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

Entry archive:

Public Editor: Why using anonymous sources is sometimes necessary

SYLVIA STEAD

Last week, a reader in Toronto raised an important point about the use of anonymous sources in an article on what he called “allegations of improper influence of Chinese officials over Ontario Minister Michael Chan.”

In fact, many of you may see the phrase “sources say” in stories from time to time, and wonder what it actually means. Who are these sources and how do we know they are telling the truth?

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What's new in The Globe's iOS app

Matt Frehner

Last night we made a few key changes to our new app for iPhone and iPad, based on feedback we’ve received from readers since the app launched. The changes bring you more stories and more scannable ways to find the top news from the sections you care about. Here’s what you’ll see in the app today:

  • We’ve introduced new, separate sections for Sports and Life & Arts to make it easier to find the latest news, columns and game reports from all the major sports, as well as create a dedicated space for our coverage of arts, culture, food, wine, fashion, travel, health and cars.
  • Our Top Headlines section, now available on both iPad and iPhone, gives you an easily scannable view of the most recent key stories, organized according to familiar Globe sections, including: business, investing, national news, politics, world, sports, automotive and more.
  • Finally, we’ve updated the home screen view on the iPhone. The new home screen leads with an overview of the most important stories that the Globe is currently following. Scroll down and you’ll find an easily scannable list of the top headlines of the moment from all of The Globe's main sections. Watch for further improvements to this home screen view in future updates.

We are also planning a series of regular App Store updates over the next several months. The next one, coming in July, will have a lot of improvements to app navigation, speed and overall functionality.

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Recap: Online Q&A with Globe reporters on financial literacy

On Monday June 22, 2015, Report on Business reporter Jacqueline Nelson and personal finance columnist Rob Carrick were on Facebook for a live online discussion on the topic of financial literacy. Teachers, parents and all financially curious Canadians, had a chance to ask them anything - about money.

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Public editor: Inclusivity important when writing about indigenous issues

Sylvia Stead

A constant challenge for all journalists is to be as knowledgeable as you can possibly be on whatever subject you are covering. The more you know, the better the question you can ask, and the more intelligent the work on any subject will be.

One very complex subject is understanding indigenous issues in Canada including the murdered and missing women, residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which reported earlier this month.

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Why is there an old gun in our office? Join our artifact tour on Periscope

In preparation for The Globe and Mail's move to its new building in Toronto, we've been going through our archives and uncovering some interesting pieces. From an old gun to an unopened time capsule to the first-ever printed Globe and Mail and much more, join us for a tour on live-streaming app Periscope, Tuesday, June 22 at 3 p.m. ET. Watch our Twitter feed: @globeandmail for the link. It is best viewed on a mobile device. 

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Dear Toronto: Get over yourselves. Love, Edmonton and Sarnia

SYLVIA STEAD

In the past few days, a couple of Globe writers became unpopular in two Canadian cities. The one you may know about was sports columnist Cathal Kelly for his opinion that the opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup should have been in Toronto, not Edmonton.

Hundreds of complaints, calls and tweets disagreed in the most vehement way.

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Editor’s letter: The logic behind The Globe’s new iOS app

DAVID WALMSLEY

I want to address a couple of questions readers have about the new Globe and Mail app: is there less content and why are we curating your news?

In today’s rapid, complex, interconnected, information saturated world, The Globe is committed to producing and presenting high-value journalism on multiple platforms. We redesigned the newspaper section, Report on Business, in early May, adding more reporters to that section, more commentary and analysis and a greater focus on Canada’s economic pillars. And now we have launched our new iOS app.

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Public Editor: Caitlyn Jenner is a woman and should be described as such

Sylvia Stead

With the news of Caitlyn Jenner taking over Twitter and the Internet on Monday, it’s worth reminding writers to watch their pronouns and adjectives.

Just as with Chelsea Manning in 2013, now that Caitlyn Jenner has publicly identified as a woman, they are women and they have chosen their names. They are not “transgendered” but transgender women. Transgender is an adjective, not a noun, and when in any doubt in covering people, they should be asked how they would prefer to be described.

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Public Editor: The power of journalism to right wrongs and bring about change

Sylvia Stead

Anyone who doubts the ability of journalism to inspire should meet Stella McLeod.

Her mother, Kristen, recently wrote to Ingrid Peritz, a Globe reporter in Montreal, describing how the 11-year-old Grade 5 student came to choose a subject for her science project at St. Pius X, an elementary school in Regina.

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Recap: Business reporter Niall McGee answers your questions on his battle with depression

After being prescribed a drug to treat stage 3 melanoma skin cancer, Niall McGee developed severe depression, spending five weeks in a psychiatric ward in 2013. About 40 per cent of people who take the interferon drug develop depression.

McGee, a business reporter at The Globe, hopes his story will help others going through a similar experience. The other big reason he's sharing his story? "I used to have a cavalier and arrogant attitude toward depression," he says. "I didn't really believe in it, or understand it, and I had little sympathy for sufferers. So hopefully people who don't understand depression will gain some insight into how awful and debilitating depression is."

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Welcome to the new Globe app

Matt Frehner

Update: As of May 26, iPhone users have access to a new section that displays the latest headlines from across The Globe.

Today The Globe and Mail unveils a completely redesigned app for iPhone and iPad.

Our goal with this new app, available as an update through iTunes, is to give you unparalleled access to news and analysis at key moments of your day in a tightly curated package — from morning briefings and breaking news to in-depth features and interactive storytelling. The new design brings an emphasis on an enjoyable, uncluttered, visually engaging experience that rewards in-depth reading.

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Public Editor: Finding a fair depiction of smoking

Sylvia Stead

Photos really catch the readers’ attention and I’ve had complaints in the past about too many negative photos on vaccination stories. Readers will write in and complain if they see some crying babies, wailing toddlers or a needle jabbing an upper arm.

Their concern, as one told me, is that it could feed into a hesitation parents have to get their children inoculated, even though a specialist I spoke with sees no evidence of that. Also The Globe’s photo editors use at least as many generic vaccination photos without crying children as they do with those kids.

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Public editor: Stick to the facts in Omar Khadr stories

Sylvia Stead

A reader from Waterloo, Ont., wrote to me, frustrated that many Globe articles state the following as fact: that Omar Khadr threw a grenade when he was a child soldier at age 15 which killed U.S. soldier Christopher Speer.

The reader called that “bogus” and argued that Mr. Khadr was forced to plead guilty to avoid 40 years in Guantanamo Bay. “The chasm between ‘pleading guilty’ and ‘being guilty’ is huge in this case,” he argued.

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Public editor: Shortening a job title can be misleading

Sylvia Stead

Here’s a great question from a reader about how we describe someone when not all the information is known.

The reader asked why the story on CityNews TV reporter Shauna Hunt’s challenge to soccer fans over a vulgar sexual comment called the man she interviewed, and who was later fired by Hydro One, an engineer.

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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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The Globe and Mail, now on your wrist

Matt Frehner

Apple Watch owners will now be able to keep up with the most important news from The Globe with a simple turn of the wrist.

While you may not be reading an epic 5,000-word Ian Brown feature on your watch any time soon, The Globe’s audience is increasingly mobile, and we’re committed to delivering news to our readers on whatever platform they choose.

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Website disruption on April 22

Alasdair McKie

On Wednesday, April 22, The Globe and Mail experienced a serious glitch at our data centre, which affected our readers’ ability to visit the website or access our mobile apps. The outage began at approximately 2pm and by around 3pm we began shifting traffic over to our news and politics blog as an alternative means of publishing a selection of the most important stories.

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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: Why every news story deserves the right photograph

SYLVIA STEAD

Readers understand that news coverage must reflect reality, as tough as that is sometimes. But they also want what appears in print, on air and online to reflect them at times, and to be aspirational – to promote positive values.

At least that is the view of an Edmonton reader who contacted me to say how disheartened she was to see pictures of men dominate the covers of all but two sections in a recent Saturday edition of this newspaper.

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