Globe and Mail journalist Sunny Dhillon quits in dispute over race reporting
By Barfi Culture Team
29th October 2018

A journalist at the Vancouver newsroom of the Globe and Mail quit today after being exasperated over his treatment.

Sunny Dhillon said he resigned over an incident that was emblematic of how Canada's overwhelmingly white newsrooms ignored stories around race and diversity.

The Vancouver-based journalist has been reporting for The Globe and Mail since 2010, and was previously with The Canadian Press.

His resignation drew a big response online from Canadian journalists and even some city officials.

In an article published online, he said he resigned after a conversation with an editor over the Vancouver city elections.

He wrote: "I was given five-plus hours to write the story and I set out to speak with some of the people of colour who were on party slates but picked up thousands fewer votes than their white colleagues. The conversations were thoughtful and heartfelt. We discussed their pride at seeing a progressive council but their disappointment in not being on it."

After the interviews however, he says was asked to ignore the racial angle and focus on election winners instead.

"But the public discussion seemed to centre on the fact a city in which 45 per cent of people are of Asian descent did not have a single such person on council. It seemed more a story of who was not represented than who was. I felt we were making a choice that would undercut the voices of people of colour."

That was the final straw to him, he wrote.

"I decided to leave The Globe and Mail because that final conversation inside the bureau chief’s office crystallized what I had felt: What I brought to the newsroom did not matter. And it was at that moment that being a person of colour at a paper and in an industry that does not have enough of us — particularly at the top — felt more futile than ever before."

His resignation got a huge response on Twitter.

Barfi Culture has asked the Vancouver Globe and Mail's public editor for comment, and a breakdown of ethnic diversity at the newspaper.

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