On a slightly more serious note, an analysis of Toronto media coverage of its susprise breaking news. Toronto media were caught especially off-guard because the incident happened in the middle of the night on a weekend, when few (if any) people are on the job.
Montreal’s media got lucky, in that the riots started before midnight, before newspapers were put to bed and everyone went home for the night. In addition, the top story was about the police shooting that prompted the riot, so newspapers (like mine) could combine the two together and not have to rip apart their front pages.
La Presse has the best roundup of the action (including a column by Patrick Lagacé, who was on the scene and has some stories to tell about it), as well as the best photos from photographer David Boily. LCN was on the scene live with its helicopter coverage, and though suffering from the usual breaking-news confusion saying-stuff-off-the-top-of-your-ass time-filler, was enough to keep us journalists glued to the set. (LCN/TVA reporters, meanwhile, repeatedly ignored police demands to retreat to a safe area once shots had been fired, making the anchor’s half-transparent “are you ok?” clichés seem almost silly.)
The best anglo coverage came, of course, from Canadian Press, whose reporter Andy Blatchford (a former classmate of mine) had a story filled with quotes.
Unfortunately, most of the other media are playing catch-up today, and you’ll see more photos of day-after busted up businesses than the riots themselves.