Weekend Posted: Some great stories you may have missed

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Welcome to your Weekend Posted. This is an all National Post themed Posted, on account of our 25th anniversary. There’s a lot of good National Post lore in here today. Enjoy!


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In 1998, before the National Post launched, “journalism was so unbelievably boring,” according to Martin Newland, one of the early editors to come over to the Post. The paper, which launched on Oct. 27, 1998, was basically launched on a wing and a prayer. There were secret meetings. There were secret names under consideration. There were lunches and coffees and dozens of meetings to recruit top-tier editors, reporters and columnists, all because Conrad Black, the paper’s founder, wanted to start a national newspaper and kick its way into the Toronto market, fighting for space alongside the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Toronto Sun. Adrian Humphreys, a Day One Postie, has an incredible oral history of the launch of the paper, including this tidbit from Anne-Marie Owens, who was hired as a reporter and would go on to become the first female editor-in-chief of a national newspaper. Before the paper launched, reporters would set out to do dry runs, writing stories that never saw the light of day. The Post didn’t even have a name at the time. “We went out and reported things. ‘Hi, I’m working on a story for the new newspaper that’s going to launch.’ They would say ‘What’s it called?’ ‘Oh it doesn’t have a name.’ ‘When will this story be published?’ ‘I’m not sure it ever will be.’ It’s kind of remarkable how many people did talk to us,” Owens recalled. While you’re at it, check out this video of founder Conrad Black and founding editor Ken Whyte talking about the paper’s beginnings.

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National Post founder Conrad Black hands out copies of the Post's first edition.
Nick Didlick/National Post Photo by Nick Didlick/National Post

We’re sticking to the birthday theme today. Now that you’ve read the story on how the National Post came to be, you’ll want to read the story by Tristin Hopper and other National Post staff that lists 25 things that the Post changed about Canada and Canadian journalism. We were right about a bunch of stuff: Back in 2000, we predicted a descendant of Pierre Trudeau would become prime minister. We also helped unite Canada’s conservative parties, which, at the time of the paper’s launch, were in a state of disarray. We got a story WILDLY wrong on Iran, back before fake news was the cool thing to do. (Yes, we corrected it, as responsible news organizations do.) And, mostly, we’ve had a lot of fun doing all this — crusading to unite lost mittens with their owners, in-depth coverage of a cat in a tree and creating a video game of Jason Kenney’s quest to become Alberta premier.


Conrad Black illustration
Brice Hall/Postmedia Photo by Brice Hall/National Post

Well, let’s hope you’ve done your reading of our two big features about the history of the National Post, because the entire National Post news quiz this week is about the history of the paper.

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In the weekly satirical feature Dear Diary, the National Post re-imagines a week in the life of a newsmaker. This week, Tristin Hopper takes an imagined journey into the mind of the National Post as it turns 25: “Do you have any idea how hard it is to run a newspaper for 25 years? Like; an actual, paper newspaper that you have to fill with fresh content six times a week – and then somehow deliver to doorsteps and newsstands across multiple time zones in the world’s second-largest land mass? Not even Le Monde has to routinely factor deadly blizzards and roaming wild ungulates into its delivery timetables.”


  • Just to prove that we can do things that aren’t about how cool the National Post is, Postmedia sports reporter Dan Barnes has the inside story of how the Heritage Classic came to be. The “celebration of pond hockey” on a massive scale has now become a major revenue stream for the National Hockey League.
  • An American mariner who set off from Washington state last week has been rescued after a week adrift at sea. One person who was with the sailor remains missing.
  • Aarij Anwer, a Muslim chaplain who counselled students, has been dismissed from Western University for comments that “do not align with Western’s commitment to peaceful and respectful dialogue.” While the comments have not been specified, Anwer has been an open supporter of Palestinians in the war between Hamas and Israel.


Police use water cannons to disrupt student protesters on the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Friday. Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA /AFP via Getty Images

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Originally posted 2023-10-29 11:00:55.