Toronto, Ontario, Canada • Founded in 1892 • Trust Project news partner since
The Toronto Star describes itself as Canada's largest local daily newspaper. It originally emerged in 1892 from a newspaper strike as a "paper for the people" and now serves cities across the country.
The Star is the flagship newspaper for Torstar Corp., a broadly based, progressive media company with a long history in daily and community newspapers, book publishing and digital businesses that reach consumers in Canada, the United States and around the world.
The Star has long been guided by the values of Joseph E. Atkinson, publisher from 1899 to 1948. Throughout his leadership Atkinson developed strong views on both the role of a large city newspaper and the editorial principles it should espouse. These values and beliefs now form what are called the Atkinson Principles, the foundation of the Star’s ongoing commitment to investigating and advocating for social and economic justice.
The principles Atkinson espoused were founded on his belief that a progressive news organization should contribute to the advancement of society through pursuit of social, economic and political reforms. He was particularly concerned about injustice, be it social, economic, political, legal or racial.
Fundamental to Atkinson’s philosophy was the belief that the state has the right, and duty, to act when private initiative fails.
The operation of a news organization is, above all, a public trust, no less binding because it is not formally conferred, according to the Star. Its journalists have an overriding responsibility to the democratic society.
The Star's policy states that freedom of expression and of the press must be defended against encroachment from any quarter, public or private. Journalists must be vigilant against faithless to that public trust.
The Star describes itself as a forum for the interchange of information and opinion. It should provide for the expression of disparate and conflicting views. It should give expression to the interests of minorities as well as majorities, of the powerless as well as the powerful.
The Star is owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corp. Torstar is a broadly based, progressive media company, with a long history in daily and community newspapers, book publishing and digital businesses that reach consumers in Canada, the United States and around the world.
The company publishes 70 newspapers and operates dozens of digital businesses in Canada.
Torstar newsrooms aim to reflect the diversity of their communities and respect the human rights and equal dignity of all. They aim for a variety of voices as sources and contributors in news and opinion.
The Toronto Star seeks to foster greater community understanding about ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status and physical/mental ability and does not perpetuate hurtful stereotypes.
According to the Toronto Star, corrections serve the reader and they serve the public record. They are essential to building and maintaining trust with readers.
Star journalists are accountable to readers for the accuracy of the information in stories, headlines, photos, cutlines, social media, graphics, data, videos and any other content. The corrections policy states it will correct errors of fact in a clear, transparent manner on the platform(s) in which the error was published, as promptly as possible. It makes clear to readers the correct information and the context and magnitude of the mistake.
The Toronto Star believes the public interest is best served when news sources are identified by their full names. Torstar's policy is to press sources to put information on the record and seek independently to corroborate off-the-record information. It does not provide anonymity to those who attack individuals or organizations or engage in speculation.
Responsible journalism in the public interest does often depend on confidential sources who give journalists information that powerful people seek to keep secret. Underage or other vulnerable people may also require anonymity.
Torstar's policy states that journalists must discuss using confidential sources with their department head, and in some cases the most senior editor. They must always reveal the source’s identity to editors, and provide a compelling argument for why the source will not be named in news reports.
The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency and working with technology platforms to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices. It was founded and is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman.
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, was our original funder, through the Trustworthy Journalism Initiative of Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Google followed with their financial support. Our funders also have included Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Facebook. Funders. Trust Project policies and the Trust Indicators are shaped and enforced independently from our funding sources.