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

Entry archive:

Public Editor: Journalism needs to focus on accuracy, fairness and independence

SYLVIA STEAD

Words matter, accuracy matters, fairness matters, independence matters.

With journalism under attack these days south of the border, journalists need to focus on the basics of the craft and not become defensive to the swirling charges from Donald Trump that they produce “fake news” and are the “enemy of the American people. SICK!” (His tweets.)

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A new approach to reader comments on The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail is changing the way users leave comments on articles.

While other news sites have abandoned reader comments altogether, we feel there is value in maintaining a place for readers to debate the topics we report on and tell us what they think of our journalism.

We are adopting a new platform from Civil Comments, which relies on the community of commenters to self-moderate.

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Public Editor: Error in RCMP story shows lessons to be learned

SYLVIA STEAD

Last Thursday, the main story on the top of the newspaper was wrong. It said the RCMP had declined to mount an audit of recent sexual-assault complaints.

Following The Globe’s series Unfounded on the high number of sexual assault complaints that are dismissed in some jurisdictions, police departments were being asked if they planned to review previous cases and a number said they would.

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Public Editor: With headlines, the details matter

Sylvia Stead

In these times of political spin, contradictions, obfuscation and, at times, outright lies, readers expect to see not only the articles, but also the headlines, reflect the truth as best they can.

A British Columbia reader wrote to me this week calling on The Globe to pay closer attention to the big type. This was on a story about BC Premier Christy Clark who accused the New Democrats of hacking her party’s website.

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Public Editor: Why being right beats being first

Sylvia Stead

Today and yesterday, the website and the front page of the newspaper have been and are dominated by extensive coverage of the attack on the Quebec City mosque. Much more coverage is and will be done in the coming hours and days and readers still have many questions: mostly about motive, but also what kind of weapon and where did the shooter get it?

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Public Editor: Trump, truth and the journalistic endeavour: The Globe’s readers weigh in

SYLVIA STEAD

The President of the United States has declared a “running war with the media.”

He called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth” for their accurate reporting that the crowds at his inauguration were smaller than at Obama’s eight years ago.

His newly installed press secretary, Sean Spicer, in the briefing room in the White House, falsely said last week saw “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe.” On NBC on Sunday, Chuck Todd of Meet the Press asked Mr. Trump’s aide Kellyanne Conway why Mr. Spicer had uttered “a provable falsehood.” Her response? Mr. Spicer had been presenting “alternative facts.” (After that statement, sales of George Orwell’s 1984 soared to sixth on the Amazon list.)

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Public Editor: I’ve had a few calls for language checks – or Czechs

SYLVIA STEAD

A reader on Twitter raised this “Language check” question yesterday. “Why is a move to Status of Women necessarily a ‘demotion?’ ” Demotion was a description used by Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife to describe Maryam Monsef’s move from democratic institutions minister to status of women minister.

He noted that Ms. Monsef “was widely criticized for the way she handled the government’s plans to change the voting system.” If you’ve forgotten, here’s a video link to the controversy. Mr. Fife said he used that word because she is moving from a very controversial ministry to one with little or no controversy.

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Public Editor: When we laid eggs in 2016, you kindly let us know

Sylvia Stead

The number of corrections in The Globe and Mail has inched up this year, perhaps 10 per cent more than last, but frankly I was surprised it wasn’t higher.

In May, The Globe introduced a link on every online article asking readers to report a typo, error or concern; given there were more than 5,000 of those clicks, I expected many more corrections.

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Public Editor: Readers criticize gender balance in coverage of doctor’s killing

SYLVIA STEAD

I’ve heard criticism this week from doctors and other readers upset with our coverage of the death of Dr. Elana Fric Shamji, a highly regarded family physician and associate professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Fric Shamji was found dead late last week, and her husband has been charged with her murder.

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We must call the ‘alt-right’ what it is: fascist, racist, white supremacist

Sylvia Stead

Should journalists use made-up words?

Sometimes yes. Language changes constantly, and so words such as “post-truth” and “yogalates” come into the vernacular and should be used and explained until they are well understood. (Post-truth: when emotions, beliefs and even lies trump facts as the drivers of public opinion. Yogalates: yoga and Pilates combined.)

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Public Editor: Reader was right to note lack of balance

SYLVIA STEAD

Earlier this week, a reader complained about an article published online about a diamond mine in Northern Ontario. She works in the North in resources and said she knows communities are divided on the subject of development in general and its impact on indigenous people.

The article is about a diamond mine near the indigenous community of Attawapiskat. The headline says, “Diamond mines give economic sparkle to Canada’s north.”

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Public Editor: Thank you, readers, for suggesting we look at solitary confinement

SYLVIA STEAD

In June, I asked readers what issues they felt should go under the media microscope. The Globe and Mail had been honoured for its work on military men and women suffering from post-traumatic stress and from its coverage of indigenous women, but there is always much more to do.

A couple of readers suggested solitary confinement and I passed those messages on to the senior editors.

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Public Editor: Shooting the messenger: Trump’s toxic impact on journalism

SYLVIA STEAD

In just over a week, the United States will go to the polls in an election that has been unprecedented – not just because of the bizarre nature of the campaign, but because of the impact it has had on journalists, both personally and professionally, in their everyday jobs.

Reporters know that, when campaigning, politicians often spin the facts to their advantage, shade the truth and omit the bad news. But this election is different. Members of the media have been forced outside their comfort zone – reporting what each side says – to consider what fairness and balance are really all about.

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How to apply for The Globe and Mail's 2017 summer job program

Melissa Stasiuk

Applications are now closed. Thank you.

The Globe and Mail is looking to hire reporters, editors, visual specialists and designers for the summer of 2017. These are fully paid jobs and not internships. We are seeking freelance writers and editors, experienced journalists from other organizations, recent graduates or students in their graduating year.

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Introducing 'GloBot,' The Globe and Mail's new Facebook Messenger chatbot

Shannon Busta and Michael Pereira

The Globe and Mail is experimenting with a new way to give you information about the U.S. election. Introducing “GloBot,” our Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Why should I sign up for GloBot?
GloBot is designed to send you one message a day related to our coverage of the U.S. election. These messages will be sent to you via Facebook Messenger. Messages will summarize what you should know today about the U.S. Election. For fun, GloBot will occasionally offer up a quiz question or two.

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The Globe and Mail wins three Jack Webster Awards

STAFF

Three Vancouver-based reporters from The Globe and Mail are among the winners of this year’s Jack Webster Awards, which recognize journalism excellence in British Columbia.

Globe reporter Kathy Tomlinson won in the Best News Reporting of the Year, Print category, for her investigative reports about problems in the B.C. real estate industry.

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Public Editor: Evidence suggests Jays game racism story is fair

SYLVIA STEAD

I get a lot of passionate e-mails from readers, especially sports fans and political partisans, who have strong feelings about whether a column is fair or a story is accurate.

This week, the story that garnered that heat was about the Toronto Blue Jays’ wild card victory on Tuesday night. Not about whether a beer can was thrown near Baltimore outfielder Hyun Soo Kim – there is video evidence for all to see – but about the report that racial slurs had been hurled toward Mr. Kim and another Baltimore outfielder, Adam Jones.

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The Globe wins online journalism award for coverage of missing and murdered indigenous women

STAFF

The Globe and Mail’s coverage of missing and murdered indigenous women has won a prestigious international award from the Online News Association. 

The Globe was the only Canadian media outlet to be recognized this year among an international field.

The New York Times took home five awards. Other winners include The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and the Texas Tribune. The University of British Columbia’s graduate journalism program was honoured with a student award. 

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Public Editor: The call for more Paralympic coverage

SYLVIA STEAD

Sports readers always have strong opinions about the most important story, what demands coverage and how prominent it should be. Football across the country, hockey of course, baseball across North America, U.K. cricket, women’s golf, especially Brooke Henderson: The list goes on.

This week the call is for more Paralympic coverage. Last week, there was at least one story or photo every day from the day before it opened in Rio de Janeiro: story and photo of the Canadian flag-bearer David Eng and stories and photos of the opening day, including a story on the swimmers.

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