Christie Blatchford

Christie Blatchford, newspaper columnist, writer, broadcaster (born at Rouyn-Noranda, Que 20 May 1951). Christie Blatchford studied journalism at RYERSON UNIVERSITY in Toronto, and then became a sports reporter for the GLOBE AND MAIL and a columnist for the TORONTO STAR. Blatchford later worked at the Toronto Sun, where she stayed for almost 20 years, writing in such positions as lifestyle columnist and city columnist. She started writing for the NATIONAL POST when the paper launched, then in 2003 became a columnist at the Globe and Mail. Her writing has focused on a variety of issues over the years, largely crime, human suffering and criminal justice cases. She is known for covering the trials of killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. Blatchford is a writer who has garnered many critics as well as many fans. She is considered a conservative writer whose views over the years have prompted strong reactions and media responses. In 2006 she spent half a year in Afghanistan as an embedded journalist with Canada's military. Blatchford moved from her position at the Globe and Mail back to the National Post in 2011.

Christie Blatchford's first book, Spectator Sports (1986), was a collection of comic reflections on life, love, current events and growing up in Rouyn-Noranda. In 1988 she published a similar book of essays, Close Encounters. Her third book, Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (2008) won the 2008 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD for Non-Fiction. The book focuses on 15 significant days in the Canadian ARMED FORCES' time in Afghanistan. Blatchford spent time getting to know the soldiers and their families while researching the book, which focuses on members of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Blatchford writes with tenderness and concern for the victories, trials and tragedies that touched both the soldiers and their families in Canada. She lets the reader into a world of war, with its heat and fatigue, attacks and comradeship, which is normally unknown to the civilian population. The book includes moments of laughter, and anecdotes that relieve the reader from a stream of tears. Throughout this moving writing, however, a critical eye is missing: the voices of those opposed to the war in Afghanistan, or even wary of it, are not provided a chance to speak.

Blatchford's fourth book, Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us (2010) was surrounded by controversy and accusations of racism against ABORIGINAL PEOPLE. The book condemns the inaction of the government and police forces during land disputes between the residents of the SIX NATIONS of the Grand River and a development near Caledonia, Ontario, culminating in the blockades of 2006. Blatchford sympathizes with the non-Aboriginals involved in the dispute, while not providing a voice for the Aboriginal people involved. Both critics and supporters of Blatchford's work suggest she did not focus strongly on the historical context of the conflict and, as a result, does not provide readers with the complete story in Helpless.

In 1999 Christie Blatchford won a National Newspaper Award for her columns. In addition to her newspaper work and her book publications, Blatchford is a radio commentator for CFRB Toronto and CJAD Montreal.