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

Entry archive:

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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Stephen Harper's Canada: Better, worse or unchanged? Take our poll

Feb. 6 marks nine years since Stephen Harper was sworn in as Prime Minister. We'll be taking a look at his record and how Canada has changed, but first we want to know what you think. Take our poll to rate how Canada has fared after nearly a decade under a Harper government. 

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Your wonderful images of backyard ice rinks

 

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Public editor: Why coverage of polls will be important in election year

Sylvia Stead

Writing about opinion polls is kind of like sports coverage. You need to get the score right and you need to understand if a team is on the rise or stuck in a rut, but, whether that day or the next, a writer needs to explain what it really means.

This year, with a federal election looming, the coverage of opinion polls will be important.

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Do you believe in monogamy? Take our love and sex poll

 

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Public editor: Seven reasons why coverage of Rob Ford will continue

Sylvia Stead

Rob Ford.

So, readers, you thought that you wouldn’t read any more stories about the former mayor of Toronto. In fact, some of you have taken to Twitter or commented online, rather vehemently, to protest against this latest story (about Mr. Ford’s criticism of Mayor John Tory after his first month on the job) and to beg the editors to stop, just stop.

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Public editor: Why The Globe didn’t publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Sylvia Stead

There is a debate going on about whether newspapers should have published some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed.

On Thursday, contributor Timothy Garton Ash says European media should publish: “I would suggest that the publication or broadcast over this week should include not only a few of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons relating to Mohammed, but also one or two devoted to other subjects, so everyone can see that this was a satirical magazine, offensive to many different kinds of people. That’s what satire does.”

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Public editor: Suspect or accused, or just killer?

Sylvia Stead

A journalist’s instinct in dealing with crime is to be careful, and rightly so. Suspicions aren’t always right, police charges don’t always stick in court. So when charges are laid for serious crimes, the media correctly describe someone as being a suspect or accused of a crime. The final ruling on innocence or guilt is up to the courts.

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Public editor: Readers have no trouble spotting the error of our ways

Sylvia Stead

Last Saturday, my year-end column on errors was a quiz that included 15 notable mistakes – what The Globe and Mail got wrong and what the article should have said. The headline “Can you spot the errors of our ways” was a great invitation to readers to keep noticing the mistakes and keep helping The Globe correct its errors.

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Acts of kindness that prove 'even Torontonians can be friendly and helpful'

We asked readers to share any acts of kindness they witnessed throughout the year. Someone or something that inspired them and left an impression. Here are some of their responses - we hope they help spread some joy this holiday season: 

Now that’s teamwork

I was in a Toronto café, eating a quick lunch on a cold day in November. A streetcar pulled up and a woman took out her wallet to get her monthly TTC pass, worth about $134. It somehow slipped out of her hand and sailed right into a construction crew’s trench that was a few inches deep and filled with mucky water.

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Share photos of your backyard ice rinks

What's more Canadian than playing shinny in winter? Playing shinny on a rink you made yourself.

Making a backyard ice rink isn't easy - so why not show it off? Please fill out the form below and click Next to upload a photo of your rink and tell us a bit about it.

All photos should be taken this year. If selected, your photo may be published in an upcoming feature. By submitting, you are confirming that you are the copyright holder and that we have your consent to publish it. Your photo must be no larger than 60 MB, or else it will not upload.

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Public editor: Can you spot the errors of our ways?

SYLVIA STEAD

This year, The Globe and Mail has published more than 450 corrections for errors made either online or in print. It’s certainly a lot, but noticeably fewer than in either of the previous two years.

Why the improvement? I can’t really say whether editors are catching more mistakes or writers are making fewer of them. But, on average, there is still more than one miscue a day, many of them brought to my attention (or that of other editors) by our clever and ever-vigilant readers.

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Lice treatment? Another fruit cake? Readers share their worst Christmas gifts

We asked readers about the worst Christmas gifts they've ever received. Some of them Santa wouldn't even give to the kids on his naughty list.

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A pickle ornament, Die Hard and other Christmas traditions

Whether it’s a stocking stuffer or wacky movie, everyone has that one thing they do on Christmas.  We asked our readers to share some of their favourite traditions.

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Public editor: Why profanity appeared on the front page

Sylvia Stead

A number of readers were shocked and appalled to see profanity on the front page of The Globe and Mail on Saturday. The profanity was in the name of one of the bands involved in what was a wonderful feature called Broadsheet Music: a year in the review.

The feature on the front of the Arts section answered the question: What would the year sound like if it were music? To answer that question, The Globe approached Arts & Crafts, an independent record company, and the Canadian Opera Company. There were articles in the Saturday paper explaining how the six original compositions by Canadian artists, including Broken Social Scene and, yes, Fucked Up, were created. It also links to a multimedia presentation, where you can listen to the music that interprets the year 2014.

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Witness an act of kindness this year? Share your story

This callout is now closed. Thanks to readers for sharing their stories. You can see them here.

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Public editor: How a mistake keeps getting repeated

Sylvia Stead

There are times when an error slips into a story without anyone noticing and it can continue to be repeated for months. In this case, it started in July with a story on the report into the death of Edward Snowshoe, a young inmate who killed himself after being in segregation for 162 days.

That article drew parallels with Ashley Smith, the New Brunswick teen who also died after a lengthy term in segregation cells.

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Public editor: Why ‘botched’ was a poor choice of words

Sylvia Stead

The definition of “botch” is: to spoil by poor work; bungle.

Does that fit a story The Globe and Mail published online on a U.S. attempt to rescue an American hostage in Yemen and its headline, which says: “Two hostages killed in Yemen in botched rescue attempt, U.S. officials say”?

If you read the article, you see that it was expected to be and was a difficult operation. The article describes how, despite moving in under darkness with specialized equipment, the Yemeni counterterrorism troops and the SEAL Team 6 commandos knew that it was extraordinarily challenging.

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