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

Entry archive:

Why we had to do a new version of a video on a math problem

Hannah Sung

This week, a Singaporean math problem caught the world’s attention. The Globe and Mail’s video department thought that it would be fun to work out the solution. We contacted a great math tutor and she walked us through it.

But our solution was wrong. Well, it just wasn’t totally right. We came to the right answer, but the tutor and I both skipped info in the question – specifically, who knew the month and who knew the day (Albert and Bernard, “respectively!”). We proceeded with the solution and published it.

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Tell The Globe: Are you being wooed by wireless-contract incentives?

Are you on a three-year wireless contract that has yet to expire? The CRTC’s wireless code essentially limits agreements to no more than two years and as of June 3, all contracts must comply with the code.

Several carriers are challenging that provision in court but in the meantime, they are also courting customers on three-year agreements that are about to be terminated. Since the carriers want to keep subscribers from going to a competitor, they are offering incentives to get them to stay.

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Public editor: Seven corrections from some knowledgeable readers

Sylvia Stead

It’s worth remembering that there are readers who know much more about a subject than the writer. I’ve heard from a few knowledgeable readers in the past few days and weeks that underscore that. Here are seven:

1. A reader on Twitter noted very kindly that an editorial contained a small error about hockey. It said the National Hockey League has always had more American teams than Canadian. Well, the reader said that was true after 1925, but not from 1917 when it was founded. The NHL didn’t add its first American team, the Boston Bruins, until 1924.

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Public editor: Report on Rolling Stone offers a good journalism lesson

Sylvia Stead

On Monday, the Columbia Journalism Review published a remarkable investigation into Rolling Stone magazine’s “avoidable failure” in its thoroughly discredited feature article that centred on allegations of an extended sexual assault at the University of Virginia.

Here is what the report says: “Rolling Stone’s repudiation of the main narrative in A Rape on Campus is a story of journalistic failure that was avoidable. The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking. The magazine set aside or rationalized as unnecessary essential practices of reporting that, if pursued, would likely have led the magazine’s editors to reconsider publishing Jackie’s narrative so prominently, if at all. The published story glossed over the gaps in the magazine’s reporting by using pseudonyms and by failing to state where important information had come from.”

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Public editor: Some cartoons are meant to be serious, not humorous

Sylvia Stead

On Friday, the biggest news of the day was the statement by French prosecutors that a Germanwings co-pilot deliberately flew his plane into the French Alps, killing everyone aboard.

On that same day, deep inside the A-section of The Globe and Mail was an editorial cartoon by Brian Gable referencing the crash. The cartoon showed a car driving off a mountainside into the air with an oblivious driver at the wheel, feet up, hands off the wheel texting, “#Germanwings crash: Commercial air travel! It’s a dangerous world out there…”

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Say what? Tell us how people mispronounce your town, city or province

CALgree or CALgairy? TORonto or TORonno? NEWfoundland or NEWfundland?

Well, which ones are right? And does it drive you crazy when others say it wrong?

Whether it’s your town, city or province – we want to hear from you.

All you have to do is leave us a brief voice message at 1-800-461-3298 with your full name, the correct pronunciation, and how you feel when someone says it wrong.

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Infidelity: how has it affected your life?

Elizabeth Renzetti

Infidelity: It is a profoundly life-changing experience, and yet it’s one that we almost never speak about. Who are the people having affairs? How does it affect their lives, and the lives of their partners? How does cheating change a relationship, for better or worse?

The Globe and Mail is looking for people to speak to, either anonymously or not, about the ways that infidelity has affected their lives.

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Public editor: Why journalism must be careful about health and gender

Sylvia Stead

Psycho, schizo, retarded, vegetable – there are all sorts of words that can, or should, make us cringe when used inappropriately. They are dated at best; at worst, truly hurtful.

Everyone should strive to keep their language current and respectful, but it is especially important that journalists do so. People reporting, analyzing and commenting on the news cannot appear out of date or insensitive. Not when what they say and how they say it can have such an impact.

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Public editor: Why there is never an excuse for gender bias in media

Sylvia Stead

Sunday is International Women’s Day, a time to stop and think about progress for women in all fields and where issues remain.

While The Globe and Mail generally does a good job of treating women in the news without gender bias, I had two complaints about language usage over the past month.

Here’s what The Globe’s Style Guide says on women and language:

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Do you have the most connected home in Canada?

Do you start your dishwasher, control the temperature of your fridge and turn on your front hall light by tapping an app on your phone? Get an email when your surveillance system detects motion? Stream music through your showerhead? We're looking for Canada's highly connected homes to feature in an upcoming video project. If you think yours is a good candidate (and you'd like to show it off) fill out the form below.

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Public editor: When a critic is accused of having an agenda

Sylvia Stead

Some journalists are expected to have a point of view. Political columnists comment on public policies, and critics are, well, critical when evaluating a performance. In both cases, the writers have opinions and should feel free to express them.

There is also a tradition of provocative thinking in columns and critical writing that is important to free speech. The views expressed often spark a wider debate on the letters page and social media as well as around the dinner table.

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Slash debt, save more: Money tips from Carrick's financial boot camp

Rob Carrick

 

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Public editor: Stories on vaccination aren’t propaganda

Sylvia Stead

I received an e-mail from a reader who said he always believed The Globe and Mail has professional standards and is very objective in its news coverage.

“I have to admit though, as a person with no academic or professional background associated with vaccination, I am surprised at the one-dimensional reporting on this topic. It feels like the paper is engaged in an act of public duty propaganda-style. I find it difficult to believe that the individuals belonging to the ‘anti-vaxxer’ community have no credible person(s) who could intelligently and responsibly relate the complex rationale that is the basis for their position on this issue,” he wrote.

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Your wonderful images of backyard ice rinks

 

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Earlier: Q&A with sports columnist Cathal Kelly

Sports columnist Cathal Kelly hosted a Facebook Q&A on Feb. 13 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET. Questions ranged from a rebuild of the Toronto Maple Leafs to the future of the TFC. Click here to read a recap of the chat.

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Public editor: It’s not a poll; it’s just reader feedback

Sylvia Stead

I’ve had a few complaints about a recent survey of Globe and Mail readers’ views on federal politics asking if they believed Stephen Harper’s Canada is better, worse or unchanged.

So what’s good and what’s bad about this particular survey?

It’s good that readers are being engaged on what will be the political story of the year. The survey attracted 138,000 votes, so it’s obviously a topic of great interest.

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Ask political writer John Ibbitson anything on Reddit

After nine years as prime minister, Stephen Harper has made Canada a more conservative place. That's the argument John Ibbitson, The Globe's writer-at-large, made in a feature published this weekend (subscribers only).

Mr. Ibbitson will take questions on that piece and anything else about Mr. Harper's tenure in Ottawa on Reddit from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET.

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Public editor: If The Globe was perfect, we’d never beg the question

Sylvia Stead

The headline above was on my column on grammatical mistakes that appeared in Saturday’s Focus section.

It was penned by a very clever editor, Victor Dwyer: a wordsmith, writer and, if I may say, grammar nerd with a great sense of humour.

Not surprisingly, many Globe readers were in on the joke.

One reader from Winnipeg wrote: “If the Globe WERE Perfect ...?” Then, just four minutes later, “Duh! Got it ... now.”

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Survey results: Stephen Harper's Canada: Better, worse or unchanged?

Feb. 6 marks nine years since Stephen Harper was sworn in as Prime Minister, so we asked readers to rate how Canada has fared under his watch in areas such as the economy, environment and reputation in the world. Our survey attracted more than 138,000 responses. Here are the (unscientific) results:

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Public editor: Egregious grammatical errors caught by Globe readers

Sylvia Stead

Globe and Mail readers are very well-read and, rightly so, are sticklers for good grammar. Not a week goes by without a few notes. This month, one reader asked writers to “please stop the redundancy” by adding “why” after “the reasons.”

One man despaired over the mixing up of flout and flaunt. “If we mix up the two words, soon the distinction will be lost and neither word will mean anything.”

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