TVO and the Toronto Star reveal new partnership: The Democracy Agenda

New bi-weekly series takes on big issues threatening the future of democracy 

The deadly riot at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. earlier this month underscored Canada’s own questions about the current health of and prospects for democracy. The Democracy Agenda, a new partnership between TVO and the Toronto Star launches Friday, January 22, 2021, to examine current and emerging threats to democracy – and how they might be countered with inspiring solutions.

Through bi-weekly episodes of TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, and accompanying columns by host Steve Paikin in the Toronto Star, The Democracy Agenda will delve into the complicated political questions that have come to light over the past four years, and where we might see hope for real change in Canada and abroad.

This Friday’s premiere episode at 8 p.m. ET will air on TVO, TwitterYouTube and Facebook, featuring the Toronto Star’s Washington correspondent, Edward Keenan, writer David Frum of The Atlantic, and political philosopher Michele Moody-Adams of Columbia University. The adjacent column will debut in the Toronto Star in print that same day. Following this week’s launch, bi-weekly feature episodes and columns will be introduced on Thursdays.

“While many may welcome the change of government in the United States, today’s threats to democracy extend far beyond the experiences of one country over a four-year presidency,” says John Ferri, TVO’s VP of Current Affairs and Documentaries. “The Democracy Agenda is a timely opportunity to diagnose where these challenges have come from and how we can meet them.”

“Never has a no-holds-barred conversation about democracy – its drivers, its fragility and, ultimately, its chances of survival – seemed more critical than at this time,” says Wayne Parrish, Senior Vice President, Editorial of Torstar Corporation, the parent company of the Toronto Star. “We believe this is a unique, multi-platform opportunity for our experienced journalists, together with Steve and the TVO team, to assess and convey the real truth about where we’re at and where we’re going as a Canadian nation, and as a world.”

The launch of The Democracy Agenda furthers TVO’s recent efforts to help audiences discover how we have arrived at our current state of politics – from Steve Paikin’s recent pieces on the 1988 storming of Queen’s Park and lessons for Ontario from the U.S. election, to Ethan Lou’s thought-provoking look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting government transparency. TVO Original series Political Blind Date, now in its fourth season, has been spotlighting rare moments of connection between Canadian politicians. And TVO is also showcasing how modern communications technology is being used to understand, or undermine, public political discourse through documentaries like TVO Originals Margin of Error and Propaganda: The Art of Selling Lies.

The Democracy Agenda marks an exciting and timely new partnership between TVO and the Toronto Star. Watch for bi-weekly episodes on Thursdays (after this Friday’s launch) and read Steve Paikin’s Toronto Star columns in print and online.