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Digital Lab

Where The Globe discusses community, journalism and how Canadians shape our stories

Entry archive:

Public editor: A new standard set for reporting on mental health

Sylvia Stead

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma has unveiled an excellent guide on reporting on mental health that offers great advice to all working journalists.

The guide is the result of its work with the CBC as a media partner, with help from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. It is the most thorough and well-explained advice for journalists that I have seen.

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Public editor: One reader’s note leads to a correction, another doesn’t

Sylvia Stead

On most days in The Globe and Mail, you see a correction or clarification on Page 2 and some articles online. These notices are often prompted by readers.

Each possible error pointed out by a reader requires an investigation to see what is right. Let me explain one note that ended up with a correction and one that didn’t.

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Get thee to a bakery: Cakes to celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday

To celebrate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare on April 23rd, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is offering bakers from around the world a chance to be crowned the maker of the cake that best sums up the Bard's big day.

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Share your family's First World War stories, from Canada and beyond

To reflect on the 100th anniversary of the First World War, we would like to share the stories, photos and mementos of those who lived through it. Did one of your family members or friends experience the Great War? Whether they lived in Canada, Europe or any other part of the world, whether they fought on the front lines or supported the war effort from home, we'd love to hear about it. Use the form below to submit your stories, photos or mementos.

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On Earth Day, some stunning reader photos to celebrate nature's beauty

April 22 marks Earth Day, and to celebrate, we asked readers to share their stunning photos of nature. It's a chance to reflect on the beauty of the world around us and think about what actions we can take to make sure that beauty lives on.

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Canadian Boston Marathon runners: What will you remember most about today's race?

We are looking to tell the story of this year's Boston Marathon through the experiences of Canadian runners who took part. What was the race like one year after the bombings? What will you remember most? Please use the form below to share your story. Thank you

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Public editor: Certain phrases draw complaints

Sylvia Stead

A few issues have come up this week from readers who wonder why certain phrases were used in stories…

But first, one reader was shocked and not amused to see this headline on a video: Horse gives birth to twin girls.

That would be a shocker if actually true. The reader wondered, “Is this an article about some sort of interspecies surrogacy? No, it is an article about a horse that had twins, fillies presumably. I am disappointed by mistakes that happen in The Globe that are obviously the result of automatic spell checkers but they are understandable. This is a higher level of ignorance…”

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Globe launches pilot project on advertising content

This month, The Globe and Mail launches a pilot native advertising project on our desktop and mobile websites.

Native advertising is essentially the integration of advertising content into the main flow of the site.

The native ad units carry clear markers that identify the content as sponsored, including a yellow background screen, a “Sponsored Content” label and a different font on the article pages than we use for The Globe’s editorial content. They do not appear on our apps, social feeds or home page.

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Public editor: When the spoiler alert becomes pointless

Sylvia Stead

There was a brief flurry on Twitter Monday morning and also an e-mail to me about a spoiler (spoiling?) headline and photograph with a Game of Thrones story.

The story starts out with this warning in bold letters: (Warning: Spoilers. If you have not watched Episode 2 of Season 4, don’t read this).

But the problem was that too much was given away with the headline and accompanying photo. I don’t want to make it worse by giving anything away here, but you can click on the link if you want to know more.

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Public editor: Not a day for a bland headline

Sylvia Stead

There was a letter to the editor in The Globe and Mail Wednesday from a reader who felt the “PQ crushed” main headline from Tuesday’s front page “smacked of a tabloid.” The reader called it un-Canadian, scornful and narrow-minded.

In my view, it was none of those things. As the smaller headline said, it was a “historic defeat.”

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The Globe launches daily video program

Today we kick off Globe Now, The Globe and Mail's new daily video program delivering our take on the day’s most compelling topics. We’ll also entertain you along the way with a dose of need-to-know and shareable stories, all packaged in one six-to-eight-minute show.

Designed for busy professionals who want to stay in the loop, Globe Now brings the themes you need to know on the day’s news and business stories to the foreground.

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Public editor: Clichés drive readers up the wall

Sylvia Stead

Clichés and overblown rhetoric drive some readers up the wall. Okay, that was both a cliché and overblown, but you get the point.

I’ve had a couple of e-mails from readers over the past week who were so annoyed that they took pen to paper (yes another cliché) – hands to keyboards anyway – to complain about these following phrases:

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Video chat: How to keep millennials engaged at work

Keeping millennials engaged at work has become a hot topic of discussion for employers. For many businesses, Generation Y employees are too preoccupied with work-life balance and have unrealistic expectations of how quickly their careers will advance. Instead of navigating workplaces and dealing with those beliefs, some Gen Yers are choosing entrepreneurship, where they can set their own goals, follow their passions and work as hard as they need to – but for themselves.

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Since I retired I am more aware of my steady advance toward life’s closing chapters

Elaine Peebles

The Essay is a daily personal piece submitted by readers. Have a story to tell? See our guidelines at

With winter in Ottawa seemingly unending, I have to fight the impulse to slip into gloomy thoughts. I remind myself of my New Year’s resolution to be more positive – a vow formulated in response to several experiences.

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Public editor: The reasons for and against endorsing a politician

Sylvia Stead

On Friday, I wrote about the importance of the media in holding power to account and used the example of The Globe and Mail’s editorial board, which endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the last election campaign, but now has published an unprecedented series arguing very strongly that the Fair Elections Act should be killed.

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Public editor: Why endorsing Harper doesn’t mean not criticizing him


This month, The Globe and Mail’s editorial page published an unprecedented five-part series calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill the Fair Elections Act. The editorial board argued that the bill, if adopted as is, will harm the foundation of our democracy, undermine the electoral process, reduce voting rights and expand the role of money in politics.

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Winnipeg’s winter has brought out the mean in me

Rob Krause

The Essay is a daily personal piece submitted by readers. Have a story to tell? See our guidelines at

This winter has been a difficult one. No, strike that. This winter has left me dumbstruck and beaten down, bookended by an endless stream (frozen, of course) of insanely cold nights and snow mounds that rival small apartment complexes – though slightly cheaper in cost.

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Yes, betrayal is a really big deal

Elizabeth Haselden

The Essay is a daily personal piece submitted by readers. Have a story to tell? See our guidelines at

Picture this: You lie down for a short rest after a long day. About 10 minutes into your nap, you are woken by the sound of persistent knocking at the front door. You want to ignore it, but get up when someone starts leaning on the doorbell.

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Got your #stormchips yet? Atlantic Canada tweets through the blizzard

Strong winds and up to 40 cm of snow have been forecast to hit the Martimes on Wednesday. Schools, malls, workplaces and, gasp, even Tim Hortons closed in preparation

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For me, true contentment lies in a drawer brimming with socks

Rachel Plotkin

The Essay is a daily personal piece submitted by readers. Have a story to tell? See our guidelines at

As a self-identified environmentalist, I pretty much fit the mould: I gain sustenance from being outdoors; shopping malls make me claustrophobic; I am in love with badgers; I hate driving.

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Digital Lab Contributors

Amberly McAteer

Amberly McAteer is The Globe and Mail's community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books.

Follow Amberly on Twitter @amberlym

Dianne Nice

Dianne Nice is community editor for Report on Business and writes about social media

Follow Dianne on Twitter @diannenice

Melissa Whetstone

Melissa Whetstone is The Globe and Mail's community editor for News, Sports and Commentary.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @melwhetstone