BuzzFeed, Daily Newspapers and the Future of Journalism

BuzzFeed Canada editor Craig Silverman sits down tonight with former Toronto Globe and Mail EIC John Stackhouse.

John Stackhouse joined the Toronto Globe and Mail in 1990, the same year the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) was created. Neither he or the organization could possibly then have foreseen the day when online outlets with names like The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed would beat Fourth Estate stalwarts to national election-year scoops.

But that’s the disrupted world Stackhouse and the CJF now occupy. Tonight, when Stackhouse sits down for a discussion about the future of journalism sponsored by the Foundation, the interviewer will very appropriately be BuzzFeed Canada founding editor Craig Silverman, who set up shop in Toronto earlier this year. (Stackhouse exited the Globe and Mail in 2014 after five years as EIC and currently works for the Royal Bank of Canada.)

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Stackhouse just came out with a new book, titled Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution. In it, the newspaper vet takes a look at some of the things dailies are doing to try and survive.

When Stackhouse met last month with Globe senior media writer Simon Houpt ahead of his book’s Oct. 27 arrival, the latter found a very clever way to frame the resulting article:

Once upon a time, the Globe and Mail owned a de Havilland airplane that was used to fly wire service photography equipment around the country.

Everything in that previous sentence belongs to a different era: de Havilland is no longer in business, wire service photographers are nearing extinction – and The Globe? No longer merely a newspaper, it publishes text, video, photography, audio and data on numerous platforms that instantly reach around the world.

Tonight’s event should prove illuminating. And next week on the CJF dais, it will be Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron and National Post editor Anne Marie Owens. The Foundation will be live-blogging tonight’s discussion here.