Where It’s At
I arrived at York University in the fall, after decades as a staff journalist at the Globe and Mail newspaper, to take the helm as editor of this magazine.
I feel like I am back at school. Now don’t get me wrong. I love school. Or should I say, I relish any opportunity that would enable me to improve myself through learning about other people and their unique works, deeds and experiences. From investigating First Nations repatriation efforts and fighting for artists’ rights to uncovering the latest trends on the Paris runways and reporting from Ground Zero while the towers burned on 9/11, I have unwaveringly followed the siren call of discovery for the betterment of myself, my readers and, if I did my job right, society. But that noble pursuit has become harder to do in recent years with newsrooms across Canada, and around the world, shrinking from the dominance of the Internet. Those still producing the news tell us that we are in the midst of a global crisis. That journalism is dying. That facts are fake. It’s enough to make you cry – or do something about it.
Changing directions, I have chosen the latter, going to where I can continue to practise my craft without external political and economic pressures shaping the story, and where unearthing relevant information and ideas remain strong as working ideals. York is where it’s at. As I have discovered on exploratory walks on campus, the University is an ever-expanding frontier of innovative research and creative work, a global village of interesting people doing interesting things. Let me count the ways: scientists using mathematic modelling to battle infectious diseases (see “Viral Math”); varsity athletes who go on to play with the major leagues (see “Big Goals”); historians who make sense of our world (see “Tiny Epic” and “Yesterday and Today, Olé!”); dancers who invent new ways of moving in a degree program unique in Canada (see “Dancing on the Edge”). These York stories, and more, are inspirational, engaging, uplifting. They are also the beginning of what I hope will be a broadening learning experience for us all. I, for one, look forward to it.