Leaked Internal memo on election coverage roils journalists at Toronto Sun

For immediate release

April 20, 2018

TORONTO/Toronto Sun journalists and their union say they will not compromise their independence and integrity by following marching orders laid out in a leaked management memo that sets out the newspaper’s editorial stance in the upcoming provincial election.

The leaked memo, which was not shared with the newsroom, has now resulted in disparaging public comments about the independence of Toronto Sun journalists. The union representing the Toronto Sun newsroom rejects any notion the newspaper’s award-winning multimedia journalists would sacrifice their journalistic integrity based on the newspaper's editorial policy.

"This memo names reporters and their proposed duties in shaping coverage,” said Zen Ruryk, assistant city editor and union co-chair at the Toronto Sun. “None of the named reporters ever saw the memo, was made aware of it, or approved its contents.”

Columnist Sue-Ann Levy, one of the journalists mentioned in the memo, rejected the idea that someone could tell her what to write.

The named reporters are seasoned veterans who prize their integrity and fairness and are recognized in the journalism community for the same, Ruryk said. "These journalists have always done their best to supply truthful and correct information. And rest assured, they will continue to do so."

Stan Behal, also a union co-chair at the Sun, said the leaked memo has left the impression that the lines between good independent reporting and the newspaper's editorial policy are blurred.

“Our multimedia journalists constantly strive to provide topnotch journalism to the Postmedia chain," Behal said. "To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and unfair."

Journalists at the Toronto Sun are members of Unifor Local 87-M, which represents some 2,000 media workers across Ontario, including at the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

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Contact: Paul Morse, Unifor 87-M president

905-536-5650, paul@unifor87m.org