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

Entry archive:

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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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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Cancer will be cured, #BeforeLebronDecides: Fans grow impatient with King James

The Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and basketball fans everywhere are waiting for word from Lebron James. To pass the time, fans are entertaining themselves with things that will happen before Lebron decides.

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Public editor: The caption on this photo isn’t bull

Sylvia Stead

Globe and Mail readers are having a bit of fun with a photograph in Wednesday’s newspaper showing “a cow” jumping over revellers in the bullring in Pamplona, Spain, during the annual running of the bulls festival.

The photo has a headline saying, “The cow jumped over the crowd,” and shows a large animal with horns leaping over people.

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Public editor: No excuse for the wrong illustration

Sylvia Stead

On Monday, The Globe and Mail ran a feature with the headline: Habits of highly successful people: Traci Melchor in its Life & Arts section. The quotes from Ms. Melchor, a star journalist and now one of the hosts of CTV’s The Social, clearly show her incredible drive and positive attitude.

The problem was, the article was accompanied by a drawing, done by a freelance artist, of another very successful TV journalist, Cityline’s Tracy Moore.

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Public editor: Rob Ford and the press conference that wasn’t

Sylvia Stead

On Monday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford held what his team described as a press conference, which wasn’t really, to say he was back from rehab and in the race for re-election.

In the story by Elizabeth Church and Kaleigh Rogers, they explain that Mr. Ford limited his so-called news conference to about a dozen outlets. After starting with “confession and contrition, Mr. Ford transitioned into his campaign speech.”

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32 things to love about Canada: We asked, you answered

Contributions from Globe staff and readers

On July 1, Canada turns 147 years old and we're celebrating with a list of people, places and things that make this country special. We asked some well-known Canadians and you, our readers, to help us build our list. We've clipped our favourites here but if you'd like, you can scroll through the entire list.

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A note from the publisher

You may notice that some articles on The Globe and Mail sites today do not include writer bylines.

As part of the collective bargaining process with the union representing many of The Globe’s editorial, advertising and circulation staff, unionized editorial staff have exercised their right under the current collective agreement to withhold their bylines. 

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Public editor: One convicted journalist is guilty, others are not


Two high-profile court cases involving journalists this week are likely to evoke quite different responses from you as a reader.

The first is the Tuesday conviction of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson for conspiring to hack private telephone accounts.

The practice is illegal, but for years British tabloids tapped into the voice mails and cellphone conversations of anyone from royals, politicians and celebrities to a murdered schoolgirl.

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147 reasons to love Canada: What deserves a spot on the list?

This July 1, Canada turns 147, and we're celebrating with a list of 147 people, places and things that make this country special. There's more to Canada than poutine, hockey and maple syrup (though we like those too of course) so help us build our list and you could be featured in our Canada Day package. Please use the form below to submit your pick (and don't forget to tell us why it's worthy). You can also upload a photo with your submission.

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SkyDome turns 25: Readers share photos and memories from opening day in 1989

Arik Ligeti

On June 3, 1989, SkyDome opened its doors. Two days later, the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game, to a crowd of more than 48,000. Though the stadium's name has changed to the Rogers Centre, its presence on Toronto's skyline is the same as ever. In honour of its 25th birthday, we asked readers to share their favourite photos and memories from those early days.

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Public editor: Sometimes the number just doesn’t make any sense

Sylvia Stead

Many of the corrections in The Globe and Mail are related to numbers. Reporters will get ages and dates wrong and it is difficult for an editor to check that.

And then there are mistakes that when you stand back, you realize that the number just didn’t make sense. So it’s not really a math weakness; it’s a question of logic.

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Public editor: Media need to be aware of campaign coverage’s impact


How much does media coverage affect you as a voter during election campaigns? Are you influenced by positive or negative coverage, or by offbeat photos of the leaders? One political science professor thinks that news coverage is definitely a factor – and even more influential than partisan advertising.

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SkyDome turns 25: Share your photos and memories

This callout is not closed. See the results here.

On June 3, 1989, SkyDome opened its doors. Two days later, the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game, to a crowd of more than 48,000. Though the stadium's name has changed, its presence on Toronto's skyline is the same as ever. In honour of its 25th birthday, we want to hear your favourite memories. Were you there for the first pitch? Or when Joe Carter hit the home run that won the Jays the 1993 World Series? Use the form below to submit your stories and photos and we may include them in an article.

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'Life is pure adventure': Tributes pour in for Maya Angelou


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Public editor: Is it wrong to call Vaughan a Toronto suburb?

Sylvia Stead

When is a suburb not a suburb? Can an adjacent city also be a suburb? Does it matter if the region is more suburban than urban? Does it matter if it is right next door to a major city? And what if that major city (Toronto) is also the centre of the universe?

An Ontario election story referred to “the Toronto suburb of Vaughan.” A resident of the city of Vaughan was unhappy with that description. “Vaughan is not a suburb of Toronto it is the City of Vaughan – we have our own Mayor (thank goodness we don’t have Mayor Ford as our Mayor!!) – can you please print a correction?”

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Public editor: When 500 words aren’t enough to tell the story

Sylvia Stead

Online is a great medium for short breaking news or interesting tidbits. But it’s also an easy way to read great long-form pieces that are packaged more like a magazine article.

This is a great example of long-form journalism by feature writer Craig Offman on a Toronto neurosurgeon’s relentless and heroic crusade to develop an effective stroke drug.

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Public editor: Publishing Lac-Mégantic ‘perp walk’ photo does not endorse the practice


On Wednesday, The Globe’s front page showed three men who have been charged in the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy walking in handcuffs and single file to the courthouse.

The three men, charged with criminal negligence causing death, were marched in front of the townspeople. The Globe’s Ingrid Peritz wrote that the victims’ families stood watching mutely and there were no boos or jeers from the dozens of onlookers. In police parlance this is commonly known as a “perp walk” and it is an unusual sight in most of Canada.

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Public editor: When should a person’s age be included in an article?

Sylvia Stead

One of my regular correspondents wondered why the Globe and Mail article on the CBC’s Linden MacIntyre deciding to retire this summer did not include his age.

The article, which was the top viewed for much of the day last Thursday, said Mr. MacIntyre, a 24-year co-host of the fifth estate with nine Gemini awards, “felt compelled to leave in part to preclude the layoffs of younger colleagues …”

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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 senior social media and communities editor.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @melwhetstone