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Marineland: Inside the Controversy



On Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, the red eyes of a harbour seal named Larry stared out from behind bars on the front page of the Toronto Star, in the first story of the series Inside Marineland. Larry immediately went viral as readers worried about his welfare and that of other animals at the tourist attraction. Linda Diebel had already spent four months searching out and interviewing Marineland whistleblowers. She was then joined by colleague Liam Casey, and they continued to investigate the park for another nine months.
Marineland: Inside the Controversy chronicles how the Star found out about Larry and other ailing or deceased animals at Marineland, including Smooshi the walrus and Skoot the baby beluga. The eRead details the digging that led to  sources, and it explains how the series has galvanized a movement to increase oversight of marine parks and captive animals.  It is a compelling look into the inner workings of both journalism and Marineland.

Liam Casey has worked at the Toronto Star since 2010, spending most of the time in the city section. He's worked on several large series, including post-traumatic stress disorder among police officers and a series on the broken mental health system. He was part of the team that won a National Newspaper Award for the Star's G20 coverage and was named Best New Writer at the 2012 National Magazine Awards for his piece in the Ryerson Review of Journalism about suicide reporting. He was a scientist before moving to journalism.

Linda Diebel, an award-winning political reporter, has worked across Canada, including on Parliament Hill and as the Star's bureau chief in Washington and Latin America. She has written two books, Betrayed: The Assassination of Digna Ochoa, and Stéphane Dion: Against the Current. She's been described as "that mean Diebel person" by President George H. W. Bush and someone "with a good head on her shoulders" by Noam Chomsky. They're probably both right.

Star Dispatches ebooks provide readers with exceptional long-form journalism from the Toronto Star newsroom.


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