The Ryerson Free Press Needs a Fact-Checker

Yesterday, the Ryerson Free Press published a ridiculously boring article on a story that’s now two months old: Anti-Abortion Club Suspended at McGill. It offers nothing new, and no real thought or insight beyond the comments of SSMU execs and Choose Life.

For example, this is their only comment on the 3-hour old-mcdonald-had-a-farm sit-in:

Early on, Ruba’s lecture was disrupted and subsequently shut down by 15 protestors, an action that culminated in the arrests of two protestors on mischief charges.

How much more bland could it get? How much more could they glaze over the centre of the controversy?

Anyways, good thing I kept reading. Out of nowhere, the article ends with this totally baseless claim: “Anti-abortion organisations have set up graphic displays a number of times this past semester at the University of Toronto.”

Um… what?

First of all, we had one demonstration, and there were no graphic images.

Second, if there’s a demonstration on campus about abortion, it’s almost certainly going to be the University of Toronto Students for Life that’s responsible. Sometimes, we might work with other pro-life organizations, but that’s very different from an outside organization parachuting in.

We have used graphic images in the past (the most recent display was last April), and I’m sure we will again, but when we have multiple demonstrations and when we use graphic images, it’ll be obvious.

“Anti-abortion organisations” should be “the campus pro-life club,” “graphic displays” should simply be “a demonstration,” and the “number of times this past semester” is one.

You’re welcome, Ryerson Free Press!

Update: I’ve contacted the editor, who has forwarded on our concerns, while defending the vague inaccuracy of the statement: “Our article states that there have been ‘a number’ which, according to your clarification, remains to be true: one is a number.” I suppose we can claim now that the Ryerson Free Press has published misleading information about abortion demonstrations on our campus “a number of times?” The editor’s hostility towards us (“I personally have been visually assaulted by your offensive displays… We have had similar anti-women campaigns at Ryerson”) might help to explain the sterile bias in the original article.

Blaise Alleyne (0T9) completed a B. Sc. with a major in computer science, and minors in English and philosophy. He is currently in the Masters of Theology Studies program at Regis College at the University of Toronto. Blaise has been involved with UTSFL since becoming a member in 2005.

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3 comments on “The Ryerson Free Press Needs a Fact-Checker
  1. R M says:

    It’s the Ryerson Free Press … they aren’t real journalist in my mind just CFS employees trying to make the claim they are journalists

  2. I don’t think they have a copy editor, or a sense for journalistic style or proper grammar. The Ryerson Free Press is the punchline of Ryerson’s journalism program.

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