It is time we did more to close the media credibility gap.

By Kathy English for the Toronto Star

Earlier this month, in the interests of fostering greater media literacy between the Star and its many readers, I appealed to readers to tell me what they want to know about the Star’s journalism.

“What do you need to know to better understand how journalists work?” I asked.

I am always delighted by the extent of engagement between the Star and its readers and was happy to receive more than 200 detailed responses. While a handful were diatribes against the Star and its progressive small-l liberal editorial positions, for the most part readers responded with thoughtful, constructive critiques, curious questions and considerable appreciation for being asked for their input.

“Thank you for this opportunity to provide feedback and comment. We believe that media’s central role and responsibility should be based on a clear understanding that, as actively involved citizens, we require timely, evidence-based information at the local, national and international levels,” said readers Bill and Mary Shepherd.

Reader Helene Blais Bates gave me an all-caps “THANK YOU” for “raising the issue of educating the public/readers on the ethics of journalism!

“In light of the madness happening in the USA and spilling into Canada, the craziness of the White House versus mainstream press, it is imperative that the credible news media in Canada (one such as the Star) reach out to better inform current and future readers on how professional journalists do their job and WHY they do it,” she said, including a list of excellent questions she would like to see answered by me and other Star journalists.

Much of the feedback made clear the fact that Star readers are highly literate about the media overall and the 125-year-old Toronto Star in particular. Given that many of the emails were quite long — in some cases reading like smart, elegant media studies essays that merit top grades — I am still working on distilling the information to determine the common concerns and questions I’ll explore in future columns. I will also refer some of these questions to newsroom journalists for their responses.

Continue reading this story on the Toronto Star website, where it was first published.