Current Affairs Literature

We’re building a ‘current affairs’ collection in the library at Osgoode Hall Law School – or more accurately a collection of major daily newspapers and weekly and monthly magazines for general browsing and a break from reading the law. I’d be interested from hearing from SLAWers for recommended titles for addition to this collection, some of which were mentioned during our ‘grey lit’ week. We currently get the NYT, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star. In magazines we get the Spectator, New Yorker, Harpers Bazaar, Atlantic Monthly, McLeans and The Bulletin. And also the TLS And the NYT Review of Books. Oh, and Toronto Life. Others?


  1. Nick, we looked at this about a year ago, but didn’t take any action. In addition to some of the ones you mentioned, we were also considering the Times of India and the South China Morning Post from Hong Kong. We felt that there was too much European/US content and we needed a broader perspective. The difficult was getting the Times of India in print, so we put the issue on hold. The question I now have is to be go with print or the electronic versions and get faculty and students to have the content delivered directly to their desktops.

    The newspaper stand is the most heavily used collection in the libray.

    I can reccomend the Victoria Times-Colonist to you – the letters to the editor themselves will keep the readers wondering about the sanity of Victorians not to mention the adventures of Mr. Floatie at

  2. The availability of digital editions has called into question subscriptions to hard copy in my mind. I have available to me through the lead articles from the BBC, CBC, Deutsche Welle (in English), the Globe and Mail, Guardian, NYT, Sydney Morning Herald, The Times and Washington Post and regularly read The Hindu (which is our paper in Chennai).
    The great thing about Avantgo is that if I don’t get round to reading them, they simply get flushed away. I remember in the 80s getting copies of The Times and The Hindu every day, and they just accumulated dust at the endd of my desk, until I found an hour to flick through them.
    I suspect that what the students really need is a broad global assessment of the news, web-delivered, including lots of voices from the developing world. It’s only when one looks at the Indian sites and pages like Al-Jazeera that one realizes how deeply the western assumptions are embedded in our local media – and yes, I recognize that simply accessing sites accessible in English imports its own cultural, as well as linguistic, preferences.

  3. Neil – The Times of India is very mainstream: I’d suggest looking at the Mumbai or regional media, or if you want to see the power of purely web-based media in India look at

  4. For interesting Canadiana: Geist (a monthly, partly filling the shoes of Saturday Night)

  5. And here was me thinking “when does Professor Michael Geist ever sleep?” But the reality is at
    Does anyone miss the Canadian Forum or even The Last Post?

  6. Thanks all for the comments. We’re adding the Montreal Gazette – not sure about the Indian recommendations and the South China Morning Post – will think about that. As to BC? Hmmmm
    As regards Simon’s comments about online access to news – perfectly true of course and I look at a wide range of newspapers online regularly, but its not the same as spreading out a real paper – and our students are like Neil’s in this regard in that the newspaper stand, just inside the door, is rapidly becoming the most popular part of the library. Soon to be surpassed though, I think, by our new DVD collection of law-related movies!

  7. What about Walrus – Canadian magazine with interesting in-depth articles.

  8. You can’t have a collection of current affairs periodicals worthy of the name that doesn’t include The Economist. Period.