I had an opportunity this week to attend a dinner hosted by the Canadian Journalism Foundation. The day before, the CJF held an excellent online event – Bill C-18: What’s at Stake for Journalism and Democracy? – moderated by Mary Lynn Young of the University of British Columbia, who is also a co-founder of The Conversation Canada. (Click here if you’d like to watch a recording of the event.)

The dinner brought together a group of people from both traditional and new media outlets. While this was mostly a social event, those of us around the table continued to debate some of the issues that were raised during the online event: Should governments be offering financial assistance to media outlets? What are the ethical issues of media organizations accepting funding from companies like Meta and Google? What happens to communities and the country if news outlets continue to disappear and/or go into bankruptcy – as happened earlier this month with the Ontario chain of newspapers owned by Metroland and the Métro Média newspapers in Québec.

Since the pandemic, opportunities to meet colleagues from other news organizations have been few and far between. It was good to talk out some of the issues we all face on a daily basis and for me to brag a bit about the great work we’re doing at The Conversation Canada. While traditional media outlets are primarily responsible for telling the public what happened on any given day, we offer complementary coverage to help readers understand the context of issues in the news. Our team has worked very hard over the last week to provide some excellent analyses and explainers on stories that dominated the headlines – the explosive allegation that India was responsible for assassinating a Canadian citizen in British Columbia; the sudden reversal of the Ontario government on a controversial land-use policy and, just yesterday, the appearance by Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy before Parliament.

For your weekend reading, I’ve assembled these stories and a few other explainers published by our colleagues across the global network of The Conversation. The news cycle spins quickly. We’re here to help you understand the stories behind the headlines.

Have a great weekend and we’ll be back in your Inbox on Monday.

Scott White

CEO | Editor-in-Chief

Weekend Reads: Adding context to the daily news cycle

Zelenskyy’s meetings with Trudeau and Biden are aimed at winning the long war

James Horncastle, Simon Fraser University

Ukraine must keep its cause in the hearts and minds of the public and its allies in the West. Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visits to Ottawa, Washington and the United Nations were in pursuit of that goal.

Ukraine war: beware all the talk of ‘breakthroughs’ or ‘gamechangers’ – it’s going to be a long, bloody and costly struggle

Frank Ledwidge, University of Portsmouth

The war in Ukraine is going to be a test of will, both for Ukraine’s troops and its allies in the west.

The fraught history of India and the Khalistan movement

Reeta Tremblay, University of Victoria

Hardeep Singh Nijjar is one of three high-profile Sikh political activists to be killed in recent months.

Justin Trudeau’s India accusation complicates western efforts to rein in China

Saira Bano, Thompson Rivers University

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations that India was involved in the murder of a Canadian citizen complicates efforts by Canada and its allies to woo India to counter-balance Chinese might.

Doug Ford reverses Greenbelt plans: Construction would never have provided affordable housing

Brian Doucet, University of Waterloo

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s plan to allow developers to build projects on parts of the Greenbelt was under the auspices of providing additional housing. But it would never have been affordable.

Ontario’s Greenbelt: A step in the right direction, but is it enough to protect biodiversity?

Kathryn Loog, Polytechnique Montréal

In reversing his decision on the Greenbelt, Doug Ford made no mention of ecology or biodiversity, the very things the Greenbelt was created to protect.

Why is Rupert Murdoch stepping aside now and what does it mean for the company?

Andrew Dodd, The University of Melbourne

This is a decision that was always going to come in one of two forms: either Rupert dropping off the perch or him leaving on this own terms. He has opted for the latter.

Kevin McCarthy’s leadership is an open question as budget shutdown looms and GOP infighting takes center stage

Charles R. Hunt, Boise State University

An expert on Congress helps untangle the mess that is Kevin McCarthy’s life as speaker of the House right now.