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John Geiger, Globe and Mail Editorial Board Editor (Tibor Kolley)
John Geiger, Globe and Mail Editorial Board Editor (Tibor Kolley)

Earlier discussion

Q&A: The new Globe and Mail Add to ...

John Geiger, the chair of the editorial board at The Globe and Mail, wrote an editorial about the redesigned newspaper and website in Friday's newspaper, the first issue in our redesigned look.

"Today, the history of The Globe and Mail meets its future," he wrote. "Today, this newspaper, with deep roots in Canada, its founder a Father of Confederation, takes up the question that George Brown put during the 1865 Confederation debates: 'Shall we then rise equal to the occasion'?"

Mr. Geiger answered your questions about his editorial and the new paper in a live discussion Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Mr. Geiger did not take questions about the new globeandmail.com. If you wish to comment on the new website, please do so in here. Our editors will be watching and responding to your comments.

Mr. Geiger won a 2008 National Newspaper Awards Citation of Merit, and is the bestselling author of The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible, which has been published in 14 countries. His four other books of non-fiction include the international bestseller Frozen In Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition. Mr. Geiger has lectured widely, including presenting talks at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine - University of London and the 2009 ideaCity conference. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto, as well as being a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Natalie Stechyson: Welcome to today's live discussion. I'm Natalie Stechyson - an online editor at globeandmail.com. I'll be hosting today's chat with John Geiger, the editorial board editor at The Globe and Mail. Also joining us will be editorial writer Karim Bardeesy.

We'll be getting underway in a few minutes. In the mean time, please start submitting your questions about today's editorial, the new newspaper and the future of The Globe.

Natalie Stechyson: Thanks for joining us today, Mr. Geiger. To get things rolling, can you tell us what inspired this first, lead editorial?

John Geiger: We on the Editorial Board have been talking about David Cameron's idea of the Big Society since his election. It's obviously not something entirely new, it echoes Kennedy's call to service in the 1960s, and we've noticed in our own reporting a lot of stories about people making change in their communities. It's time to draw attention to that and to inspire debate about what can be done to assist them. Obviously government has a role there, part of which involves getting out of the way.

Natalie Stechyson: Can you explain why The Globe is now running some editorials on the front page?

John Geiger: First another thought about your first question. It seems like every now and then we need to remind ourselves about the importance of individual and community action, and the need avoid such great reliance on government. Snow clearing for the elderly is just one example. Why should municipalities be using paid workers to do the job that neighbours should be doing?

John Geiger: The Globe and Mail has always sought to provoke debate on important national issues. This is what Globe editorials have been doing since 1844. The idea of bring those debates to the front page of the newspaper from time to time is an exciting one. It sends a strong message to our readers that this is a forum of ideas, ideas which we all have a stake in.

John Geiger: Front page editorials have traditionally been very rare. Before this past year I think there have been only perhaps two in the previous 30 years.

Karim Bardeesy: For instance, before yesterday, we've run two editorials on the front page in the last year. One was expressing concern about the prorogation of Parliament; the other was about the press ban in the Tori Stafford murder.

Todd: How will the Globe choose which issues it feels are sufficiently important to warrant an editorial discussion on the front page?

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