Atkinson Field Notes

Learning in Action

News, presentations and reflections from Atkinson’s Chief Executive Officer Colette Murphy and the rest of the Atkinson team.

6 Feb 22
Ever since the news of John Honderich’s sudden death broke, like many of you, I’ve been taking in the story of his life. Friends, co-conspirators and rivals alike have attested to John’s brilliance, tenacity, and principled pursuit of stories with the power to re-shape the world. At the Atkinson Foundation, we witnessed all of these leadership qualities... Read more >
6 May 21
Documentaries take us into each other’s lives and workplaces, to learn and inspire action. Here is what Nora Cole, Atkinson’s Manager of Policy and Communications, is taking away about work today from her Hot Docs queue so far. Read more >
18 Dec 20
2020 has been a year like no other in memory. Decent work activists and advocates have taken centre stage with hard-hitting campaigns for paid sick days, child care, employment insurance, and other income supports for essential workers and their families. Migrant workers Luis Gabriel Flores Flores, Blanca Islas Perez and many others have said: “This is enough... Read more >
13 Jul 20
Essential workers and their families continue to bear the brunt of COVID-19 for little more than our gratitude. It should be no surprise that these workers are mostly Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Read more >
17 Jan 19
Last fall, I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity to hear Gloria Steinem speak. In a panel discussion, she was asked about the challenge of right wing populism and the threat to social justice. Read more >
11 Sep 18
In my first year of journalism school I was given an assignment to write about a great moment in Canadian journalism. I submitted an essay on how Joseph Atkinson paved the way for socially responsible journalism with the creation of what is known today as the Toronto Star. Read more >
4 Nov 17
If you know the history of the Toronto Star, you’ll know Joseph Atkinson expected his reporters to “Get the news first, sew it up, pursue every detail, and play it big.” The fight for decent work benefits from the Star’s passion for investigating, reporting and effecting change in countless ways. One way stands out tonight. News gatherers are fighting for the future of journalism these days. Read more >
4 Nov 17
I’d like to start by thanking you for the opportunity to advocate for “humanity above all” in a world that is too often inhumane. In preparation for this night, we set out to learn more about this phrase, this timeless mission that Mr. Atkinson placed at the centre of his life and his foundation. We discovered that it has all the characteristics of what’s called a “meme.” Read more >
1 Nov 17
I was a kid who loved the weekend comics but who never quite became a comic book nerd. I discovered Chester Brown's now acclaimed graphic novel on Louis Riel while in university. It was a revelation to me to see such serious information delivered in an entertaining and sensitive way. While the playful illustrations pulled me in Read more >
11 Sep 17
A new reporting position has been created at the Toronto Star to increase coverage of issues related to democratic renewal with our help — and we’ve been wondering what Mr. Atkinson would think about this decision. We can imagine the current state of the news industry would keep him up at night. But it would be the news itself Read more >
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