Today is the anniversary of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre.
I arrived in Montreal four hours after the killing was done.
Yellow tape wrapped l’École Polytechnique like a macabre Christmas present; surviving students gripped each other in numb disbelief.
I was 24, sent by the Toronto Star to write about the slaughter of female engineering students, all around my age; fourteen of them.
Looking back, I fear I sanitized the event of its feminist anger and then infantilized and diminished the victims, turning them from elite engineering students who’d fought for a place among men into teddy-bear loving daughters, sisters and girlfriends.
Twenty-five years later, as I re-evaluate my stories and with the benefit of analysis of the coverage that massacre spawned, I see how journalists— male and female producers, news directors, reporters, anchors —…
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