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

Entry archive:

Public editor: Militaristic metaphors not helpful to people with cancer

Sylvia Stead

In the stories about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s cancer diagnosis, many people are talking about his “fight” and his “battle” against the disease and noting his strong personality.

But are these militaristic metaphors really helpful to people across the country who are dealing with various forms of cancer?

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Public editor: Why sometimes it’s okay for a travel writer to take a free trip

Sylvia Stead

A reader from Stratford, Ont., asked this question about travel articles: “Increasingly travel articles in The Globe contain the disclaimer that the writer was a guest of the featured hotel or service, but that the article was not reviewed or approved by the said hotel or service. … Why is this acceptable for travel articles, and apparently car reviewers, when it would be clearly a violation of journalistic integrity if it was done, for example, in the political realm, or for theatre reviews. How would we feel to read, ‘The reviewer of the play was the guest of the Stratford Festival Theatre, but the article was not reviewed or approved by Antoni Cimolino [artistic director of the Stratford Festival]?’ ”

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Public editor: More effort needed to run photos of women

Sylvia Stead

A reader from London, Ont., wrote this week to say she was annoyed with the weekend photo essay on the Toronto International Film Festival that featured eight photos: four centred on male stars, two fan photos and two showing the shoes of women stars.

“Two female stars and only their feet. Come on! Haven’t we got past the days when women are portrayed as clothes horses? You can do much better than that. Review the whole front section of the Saturday paper and you will notice a similar lack of effort to portray women’s faces – oh, except the gamine on the front page. Your unconscious omission has significant consequences. Both men and women are seeing with their eyes that only men are newsworthy. Shame!”

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'Scotland needs to work on its feelings': 12 Scottish-Canadians on how they'd vote on independence

Scots are headed to the polls on Sept. 18 to vote on one question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Canada is home to 4.7 million people of Scottish descent so we decided to ask some of them whether they would vote yes or no, and why.( For a primer on the vote, including what would happen if either side wins, click here.)

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Widespread issues with comments proving difficult to solve


For the past few weeks, we have been experiencing a range of issues with the commenting system on our site. These issues include:

- not being able to post comments

- not being able to see comments (or disappearing comments)

- not being able to use the thumbs up/thumbs down voting

These issues are affecting various browsers and operating systems and we’ve heard reports that they are sporadic (meaning functionality may be restored for periods of time, only to disappear again later).

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Public editor: Why some words have accents in The Globe and others don’t

Sylvia Stead

I regularly hear from readers who complain that The Globe and Mail misses accents on Spanish, German or several other languages. They argue especially that an accent is often part of a name and is well known with someone like Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, which includes a tilde on the “n” in Pena.

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Scottish Canadians: How would you vote in the referendum?

This callout is now closed. Select results have been published here.

On Sept. 18, Scots will be asked to vote on whether their country should be independent from the U.K. Are you one of the 4.7 million Canadians of Scottish descent? We want to know how you would vote, why and what your heritage means to you. Fill out the form below and your responses may be included in an upcoming article.

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Thousands of strangers bound together: Your photos from summer music festivals

Globe Staff


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John Tory and Rob Ford sparred over taxes and transit in latest debate

The Globe’s Editorial Board Editor Tony Keller and selected Toronto voters asked tough questions of Toronto’s 2014 mayoral candidates: Rob Ford; John Tory; Olivia Chow; and David Soknacki.

Watch a replay of the debate below (scroll to 9:13 mark). Or read just the highlights.

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Public editor: Why Rob Ford makes balanced coverage difficult


In a normal election campaign of a few weeks duration, The Globe and Mail and other media do their best to level the playing field in terms of news coverage. Editors monitor the number and relative prominence of stories and photos on the major party leaders and the Prime Minister or Premiers. News media have a responsibility to inform the public about their voting choices but also to present a balanced picture.

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Parents: Is your child prepared for the upcoming school year? Take our survey


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Hands off my Tim Hortons! Defenders of the Double-Double react to merger

Burger King and Tim Hortons have inked a $12.5-billion merger deal, which got many Canadians fearing for the fate of their beloved Timmies. The companies said both brands will operate independently, but that didn't stop readers from speculating on what might change.

What makes Tim Hortons so special? Why are Canadians so passionate about the chain? What would you hate to see change? Tweet us @globeandmail and let us know or tell us on our Facebook page.

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Torontonians: Here's your chance to participate in a mayoral debate

Submissions are now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. You will be notified if yours was selected for inclusion in the debate on Sept. 4. Follow @GlobeToronto for live coverage of the event, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. You can watch a live stream of the debate here.

The Globe and Mail and Toronto Region Board of Trade are hosting a debate with Toronto's leading mayoral candidates: Olivia Chow, Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz and John Tory. The debate will focus on transportation issues, job creation, city services and infrastructure, and narrowing the gap between the most and least affluent in the region, and we want to pose your question.

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Show off your amazing photos from a summer outdoor music festival

This callout is now closed. Thanks to everyone for your submissions - you can view them here.

Summer is nearing an end, but we're not quite ready to let it go (we're guessing you're not either). Let's celebrate everyone's favourite season with photos from one of the most quintessential summer pastimes: outdoor music festivals. From Squamish Valley to Osheaga to Evolve and beyond, use the form below to send us your pics and tell us a bit about them; we'd love to feature it in an upcoming project.

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Public editor: Globe stories on suicide show restraint

Sylvia Stead

I heard this week from both health-care professionals and readers about the coverage of Robin Williams’s suicide after my earlier blog and it reinforced to me that the writers must always think of the audience. The readership reflects society and many are personally dealing with depression and other illnesses.

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Public editor: Coverage should treat suicide as a public health issue


Every suicide is a tragedy. It shows how hard life can be for some people, how much they struggle with finding joy and happiness and how unrelenting mental illness can be. And it causes a great deal of pain to many people who loved that person and tried to help.

In the case of Robin Williams’s suicide, it is a very wide tragedy because so many people loved his humour and sense of fun, but also a very wide opportunity for the media to talk about this public health issue.

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Public editor: Crowd estimate depends on your point of view


So, just how many people were at two recent events in the country? The short answer is, it depends on a rough estimate and who is doing the estimate.

One reader was annoyed that a story on a poll mentioning Ford Fest said hundreds of people showed up to get free food and shake hands with the Toronto mayor.

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Globe and Mail launches new app for Android tablets

Matt Frehner

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new tablet app: The Globe and Mail Android Edition.

This app features a completely new design, focused on delivering the best possible reading experience across all Android tablets. Here are a few of the goals we had in mind when building this app:

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Public editor: Headlines are hard to write, but they must be precise

Sylvia Stead

The Middle East is a complex, complicated and very sensitive part of the world for news coverage. So news media must be careful to get the facts right and be cognizant of balance at all times.

On Monday, The Globe and Mail made a mistake in its front-page headline. It said, “Defying Hamas, thousands flee Gaza.”

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Public editor: Wording about adoptive children was insensitive

Sylvia Stead

An article about the Houston-area shooting that left two adults and four children dead this week prompted a reader to wonder why the story drew a distinction between biological and adopted children.

The article said, “All of the children were theirs, while two were adopted.”

As an adoptive parent, the reader said, “I shuddered when I read this, in particular the ‘while two were adopted.’ ”

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