Required skimming: Canada

Getting to know our northern neighbor

This month, CJR presents “Required Skimming,” a daily miniguide to our staffers’ beats and obsessions. If we overlooked any of your must-read destinations, please tell us in the comments.

The Walrus: The Canadian answer to such high-end American magazines as The New Yorker and Harper’s, The Walrus combines a commitment to longform feature journalism with a vaguely irreverent tone reminiscent of a somewhat matured alt-paper. For a representative sample of its journalism style, see its retrospective on the War of 1812.

—The tagline on Steve Faguy’s FagstienFagstein asks an apt question: “Can you think of a better title?” That aside, the blogger and frequent media reporter for the Montreal Gazette has carved out a steady niche as a tireless chronicler of movements in the Montreal media scene, from broadcast license regulatory filings to host changes on the city’s radio stations. Occasional posts discuss Montreal public transit and provincial politics.

—In terms of straight news coverage of Canada,The Globe and Mail (sometimes called the “Toronto Globe and Mail” when discussed outside of Canada) is the undisputed leader and usually considered to be Canada’s English-language paper of record. (La Presse holds a similar stature in the French-language media hierarchy.)

—CBC Radio’s This is That: Hosted by comedians Peter Oldring and Pat Kelly, this satirical radio program (which, in an arguable display of trust in the audience’s intelligence, is broadcast without any explicit disclaimer) uses the format of the typical public radio program to “document” stories ranging from the plausible to truly farcical. Several of the show’s fake stories have been mistaken by listeners and other media outlets as real stories, most notably an item regarding a dog bilingualism bylaw in Montreal.

—Numerous other programs on CBC Radio 1, including but not limited to The Current, a daily newsmagazine,Day 6, an at times serious and offbeat week-in-review program, Jian Ghomeshi’s Q, an arts and current affairs interview program, and Under the Influence, a look inside advertising hosted by an ad man.

National Post columnist and frequent CBC News pundit Andrew Coyne generally has an intelligent take on the nation’s political scene. His commentary tends to the center-right of the Canadian political spectrum, but he has been willing to critique what he sees as authoritarian tendencies in the current majority Conservative government.

Correction: This post originally misspelled the name of Steve Faguy’s blog and incorrectly stated the blog’s tagline. CJR regrets the error.

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Abraham Moussako is a former CJR intern. Follow him on Twitter at @AMoussako. Tags: ,