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Drawing a clear line between news and opinion has long been one of Torstar's core values. These values are informed by the Atkinson Principles, named for the Toronto Star’s legendary publisher, which state that a progressive news organization should contribute to the advancement of society through pursuit of social, economic and political reforms.
A new labeling initiative applied to content across all Torstar web, print and social platforms — including Metronews.ca — will help readers more easily distinguish news — verified information based in the impartial reporting of facts — from opinion — articles based on personal interpretation and judgment of facts.
This initiative is part of the company's ongoing commitment to improving transparency and fostering greater trust.
The glossary below contains definitions for the various types of news and opinion content.
Analysis: A critical or contextual examination of an important and topical issue based on factual reporting. It provides an explanation of the impact or meaning of news events and draws on the authority and expertise of the writer. Analysis articles do not contain the author’s opinions.
Investigation: In-depth reporting in the public interest that reveals wrongdoing and/or systemic problems that holds those in power accountable and promotes positive change.
Editorial: An article that presents a point of view reflecting the company’s progressive values on an issue of public interest. Editorials are not meant to be a neutral presentation of the facts. They are written by staff journalists who are members of the Star's editorial board, which is independent of the newsroom. As an editorial serves to present the company’s voice, there is no individual byline.
Opinion: Articles based on the author’s interpretations and judgments of facts, data and events. Opinion artciles include columns written by staff and commentary from non-staff contributors. Columnists speak for themselves, not the company, and may express opinions contrary to the company’s editorial views, subject to the rights and responsibilities of fair comment.
Advice: An advice article reflects the opinion of the author who provides guidance or direction on a topic based on their expertise as well as their personal interpretations and judgments of facts.
Blog: An online journal updated regularly by a journalist or editorial department that supplements news coverage. Blogs are usually informal or conversational in style and may reflect a writer’s opinions, subject to the rights and responsibilities of fair comment.
First Person: Narratives exploring an author’s insights, observations or thoughts based on that individual’s personal experience and opinions.
Review: A critical assessment of the merits of a subject, such as art, film, music, television, food and literature. Reviews are based on the writer’s informed/expert opinion.