The Globe and Mail is appointing its first public editor, in an effort to make the organization more transparent and accountable to its readers and the general public.
The new position will be assumed by Sylvia Stead, a senior editor who has held a range of editorial leadership positions. Ms. Stead, who moves into the role Monday, will report to both the editor-in-chief and publisher, to ensure any needed autonomy from the newsroom.
"The Globe and Mail is among the most respected names in Canadian media, because we've always been held to the highest standards," said John Stackhouse, editor-in-chief. "Public expectations continue to grow, quite rightly, with technology, access to information and questions about the media globally. We want to stay ahead of those forces. Credibility is our currency and we want to protect its value."
The public editor will be expected to address issues of journalistic integrity; investigate complaints or signs of improper conduct; explain our work and our purpose, both in print and online; and work with the editor and staff to understand and address shortcomings in our journalism.
Ms. Stead will also liaise with the public, industry groups and other media to discuss The Globe and our responses to trends and challenges in journalism.
"We have the greatest readers who are passionate about their newspaper and online coverage," Ms. Stead said. "I look forward to showing them how and why decisions are made."
She has been a reporter and editor at The Globe since 1975, after graduating from the University of Western Ontario. She has covered courts, education and Queen's Park, as well as serving as national editor, executive editor, deputy editor and, currently, associate editor in charge of staff issues. In those roles, she has confronted journalistic challenges ranging from coverage of the École Polytechnique shooting and the 1995 Quebec referendum to the use of polling and online comments. She was also one of the original members of The Globe's Code of Conduct committee.
"There are few people anywhere in Canada more qualified than Sylvia to take on this role," Mr. Stackhouse said.