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public editor

The Globe and Mail’s coverage of Jian Ghomeshi continues.The Canadian Press

Too much or too little? From time to time, readers will write either to ask why The Globe and Mail isn't writing more on a subject or to say enough already, we are sick of the non-stop coverage.

Earlier this year, that subject was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

Last week, it was former CBC host of Q Jian Ghomeshi. In his case, one reader wants more coverage, while another doesn't want to see his photo any more.

Here's the first reader: "I'd like to understand why for over a year readers endured front-page coverage 24x7 of Rob Ford yet the Ghomeshi controversy is mentioned a few times and then gone or buried. You do know you have a responsibility – i.e. Rob Ford's self-inflicted wounds (that do not harm the public) should take a back seat to the far more serious [allegations about] … Ghomeshi. The masses get the impression that one is less serious than the other – which couldn't be farther from the truth."

The reader is correct that issues and allegations around both of these men are very serious and also quite different.

In terms of news coverage though, Mr. Ford was and is a public official and remains, for a short while longer, the mayor of Toronto before returning to his council seat. There is great public interest in what our elected officials are doing and saying and journalists have a role in holding them to account for their actions.

Mr. Ghomeshi is no longer at the CBC and is under police investigation, but coverage is continuing on two fronts. The Globe has run recent stories about Mr. Ghomeshi's case and also the larger issue of sexual harassment or assault. A Saturday story on Fruheads explores the fans' efforts to understand, while a column on Friday says every man "who hurts a woman diminishes the way decent men everywhere are seen."

The second reader asked that The Globe "please stop showing Ghomeshi's photo with the online articles about his situation. My friends and I find it revolting to see him visually in light of such revolting … [allegations]. I do appreciate the articles to see how the situation is being handled."

Police in Toronto opened a criminal investigation after at least three women complained to them about Mr. Ghomeshi, but it is important to note that he has not been charged with anything. I have edited the readers' e-mails to make it clear that these are allegations, not proved in court.

In this case though, every article online includes a photo and if the story is about Jian Ghomeshi, well, the photo will often be of Mr. Ghomeshi. That is hard to avoid.

Please let me know if you agree with more or less on this or any other subject at publiceditor@globeandmail.com