Over the past several days, serious allegations have been raised about the work of one of our columnists, Margaret Wente. Many of the concerns centre around a July, 2009, column and similarities in quotes in that work to those in a column already published in another newspaper. The journalism in this instance did not meet the standards of The Globe and Mail in terms of sourcing, use of quotation marks and reasonable credit for the work of others. Even in the spirit of column writing, which allows for some latitude in attribution and expression, this work was not in accordance with our code of conduct and is unacceptable.
I spoke with the writer Sunday evening, and again Monday, about these matters and others that were brought into question, and have taken appropriate action. As in all disciplinary cases at The Globe, the details remain a private matter between employer and employee. I will continue to defend her right to free expression.
We will continue to examine our journalistic practices and standards. As a first step, the Publisher and I agreed Monday that the Public Editor position should be made fully autonomous from the newsroom and will report directly to him. That change takes effect immediately.
If anyone has questions or concerns about our conduct of journalism, please don't hesitate to contact me or Public Editor Sylvia Stead.