Magazine article Editor & Publisher

With Those in Toronto Feeling Safe

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

With Those in Toronto Feeling Safe

Article excerpt

Few watching SARS come out

Despite the World Health Organization's warning for travelers to avoid Toronto due to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), U.S. newspaper editors last week expressed few fears about covering the outbreak up close. But, for whatever reason, they are not exactly rushing correspondents to the stricken city, despite its proximity to the United States (especially in comparison to, say, China). Among the few American reporters arriving in the city last week were writers covering Major League Baseball teams.

Those on assignment in Toronto or attached to bureaus there say they are following only basic health-protection guidelines -- a far cry from their brethren in Asia, where surgical masks, home-based reporting, and extensive cleansing of offices is the norm.

The Wall Street Journal, which has two reporters regularly based in Toronto, has put both scribes on the SARS beat nearly full-time, according to John Moritsugu, managing editor of Dow Jones Newswires Canada. But he said neither was taking extreme safety precautions and no more staffers were expected. "It's business as usual," he said.

"It is a one-person story," said Chicago Tribune Foreign Editor Colin McMahon. "We are covering it mostly out of Beijing." The paper did send a writer to Toronto last week, but saw no need for additional staffers there. The Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle have reporters based in Montreal and Toronto, respectively, who are reporting the story, editors said. Neither saw a need for more staffers there. …

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