The meeting with Rob Benzie and Jim Coyle was most enjoyable. Never having met a journalist before, I was excited, eager and not quite sure what to expect. Articulate and quick-witted, they did not disappoint and never ceased to hold our interest. As Queen’s Park columnists for the Toronto Star, they proved to have a wealth of knowledge of the Park, as well as some interesting and humorous stories. Having been in the business for years, Mr. Coyle regaled us with tales of the archaic “old boys club” culture that once characterized Queen’s Park, and how dramatically different it was compared to the current state of affairs. Particularly, the significant increase in partisan politics.
Mr. Benzie and Mr. Coyle also provided insights into the changing nature of journalism, and how shorter articles with greater simplicity and easier readability have replaced detailed in-depth political coverage, for better or for worse. All the interns were eager to ask questions, particularly curious as to what Mr. Coyle and Mr. Benzie believed their roles in the political process to be. One memorable designation they gave themselves was the “bullshit detectors” for Ontarians, calling out MPPs for any nonsense or half-truths they might put forward to the public. Laid back and very personable, Mr. Benzie and Mr. Coyle were certainly people I hope to run into in the future, and they assured us we would.