Earlier this month all eyes were on Rio, Brazil as the best athletes competed in the latest edition of the Summer Games. In a few episodes I’m going to speak with Georgia Sapounas. Georgia is the digital team lead for Team Canada and was my guest on Episode #28. When Georgia comes back from her vacation after the Olympics she’ll be joining me in studio to chat about Team Canada’s athletes.
Today I speak with the award-winning writer from the Toronto Star, Morgan Campbell. Morgan is a returning guest of the podcast. He made his first appearance on Episode #18.
Today, instead of talking about how Canada fared against the world’s best, we talk about how the media covered these games.
Morgan P. Campbell is an award-winning sports writer with the Toronto Star. He has written about the Canadian Football League, MMA, Boxing, Baseball and even rugby. In this episode we talk about Campbell’s journey playing football with Northwestern University to writing for Canada’s largest daily newspaper.
We discuss racism in sports (specifically baseball), football and the issue of concussions, and even steroids in professional and amateur sports.We also discuss the future (and current state) of newspapers.
To say that I was glued to this Robyn Doolittle’s book until I was finished reading it would be an understatement. It’s taken me longer to start (and finish) blogging about the book than it took me to actually read it.
Crazy Town us the perfect title for this book. It’s not so much as Toronto being a crazy town as it is a play on the bubble that the Ford family has created for itself over a generation.
Everything that you would expect to be in this book is there. Everything. Including the research process and behind the scenes meetings and conversations between Doolittle and her superiors at the Toronto Star.
What struck me the most about this book were two things that have nothing to do with Ford.
The first is the amount of research and discussions that occur before a word is even typed and subsequently printed. For every piece that Doolittle has written there is literally a team of editors, (sometimes) publishers and even lawyers (especially when reporting on Rob Ford) that need to go over her research and submission. Nothing is left to chance and all sides of the story are discussed and dissected. Reading her book gave me a new found appreciation for the news reporting process that the Toronto Star follows.
The second, and most disturbing, revelation has to do with the seemingly archaic laws in Canada surrounding access to information. Our public institutions (government and public services such as police) gather so much information in the name of the greater public good. However, accessing that information is next to impossible for ordinary citizens such as me. And the media? Well, they have the resources and the knowledge on how to ask and what to ask. Yet even they have the hardest time getting access to information.
As a book, Crazy Town has it all. And by all, I mean everything you could ever want to know about Rob Ford. His parents (enterprising), upbringing (silver spoon), siblings (crazy people usually influenced by drugs it seems), career before politics (nada), his brushes with the law (international and usually involving booze) and his current political life (unbelievable).
This October, Toronto will go to the polls to vote for who they want as their Mayor. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for or not vote for. Unless you ask me. However, I do have one suggestion: READ. THE. BOOK.