1. By H.G. Watson, Managing Editor

    Last week is one that people working in Canadian media are unlikely to forget for a long time.

    Several Canadian media editors, executives and columnists came under fire when they voiced for support for a so-called “appropriation prize,” coined by former Rogers Media executive and National Post editor Ken Whyte. In the days that followed, one editor—The Walrus’ Jonathan Kay—has resigned, and several more have issued public apologies.

    As we did during the Toronto Star Gardasil controversy and Wentegate 2016, we’ve gathered some of the most recent coverage and reactions to this story, which may help you keep track of everything, on the off chance you haven’t been glued to Twitter for the last couple days.

    May 10, 2017: The Toronto Star reports that Hal Niedzviecki, editor of the Write: The Magazine of The Writers' of Union of Canada, resigns after publishing an editorial called “Winning the Appropriation Prize.”
  2. May 11, 2017: Just after 9 p.m. on Thursday night, Whyte responds to a Kay tweet critical of Niedzviecki’s resignation. He offers $500 to establish an “appropriation prize.”
  3. He tweets at several editors, including National Post editor-in-chief Anne Marie Owens and Maclean’s editor-in-chief Alison Uncles, asking if they will support it as well. They, along with Steve Ladurantaye, CBC The National’s Managing Editor; Steve Maich, Head of Digital Content and Publishing at Rogers Media; Andrew Coyne, National Post columnist; David Reevely, who works for the Ottawa Citizen; Mathew Ingram, senior writer at Fortune Magazine; Scott Feschuk, columnist at Maclean’s and Sportsnet; independent journalist and Journal de Montreal columnist Lise Ravary; and Christie Blatchford, National Post columnist; all offer to kick in funds. (Ingram specified he would donate if "the money from the prize goes to a fund for indigenous authors.")
  4. The reaction to this is swift.
  5. May 12, 2017: Most of Canadian media wakes up to find that some top industry leaders had offered support — whether they were being “glib” or not — to an appropriation prize.

    At BuzzFeed, Scaachi Koul wrote that the, “conversation was so nakedly cruel, with no shred of possible empathy for people who are really struggling to get their work read, recognized, and appreciated not only by an audience, but by these exact editors who act as gatekeepers to said audience.”
  6. Sarah Hagi, a writer at Vice, noted that while there is a greater diversity of voices among those who write and report, “I question the significance of these slow changes in who is telling what stories when those at the top are still extremely white and male. When our editors are tweeting about funding and creating prizes for white people to pretend to be us, it only shows us we matter in terms of optics.”
  7. At Maclean’s, Murad Hemmadi explained why the offer of the prize was so misguided. “The response is just the kind of willful misunderstanding that suits the anti-PC crowd so well. Writing about another race or identity group is not necessarily itself cultural appropriation. Rather, it’s when those ideas are cut wholesale out of context and then presented as the taker’s own. And it’s particularly when the taker is rewarded for something the taken-from wouldn’t be.”
  8. Meanwhile, several of the editors who had chimed in on the appropriation prize offered apologies, not just to the public but to their colleagues, many who demanded answers.
  9. Maich also apologized, but appears to have since deleted his Twitter account.

    May 13, 2017:
    Uncles apologized on Twitter, and Ladurantaye offered a longer apology.
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