Friday, May. 17, 2013 4:40PM EDT
During election campaigns, readers often wonder how news organizations can be fair and balanced when they also endorse one side or another in their editorials.
Last weekend, for instance, an editorial in The Globe and Mail took on the British Columbia election. The piece expressed concern about Liberal incumbent Christy Clark’s “my-way provincialist” mentality, noting that she “is not as much respected as B.C. expects of its premiers.” At the same time, the writer suggested that she was a better choice than the New Democrats and leader Adrian Dix, deeming them “too risky.”More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 2:05PM EDT
So far this year, The Globe and Mail has referenced “memes” more than a dozen times. The stories have included references to memes – the funny, edited video clips – about Ryan Gosling and cereal, the frowning feline known as Grumpy Cat, and the Harlem Shake, the dance routine that became an Internet sensation.More »
Friday, May. 10, 2013 2:22PM EDT
I’ve heard from many readers who strongly agree that the media should not name Amanda Berry’s six-year-old daughter and that the media must show compassion to those who are most vulnerable. Globe and Mail staff have been told the same thing. Here’s a sampling of the e-mails that arrived in my inbox from readers who applaud the policy:More »
Wednesday, May. 08, 2013 1:12PM EDT
While other media are using the name of Amanda Berry’s daughter, The Globe and Mail will make every effort not to do so. The paper and website will refer to her age, but not her name. Managing Editor Elena Cherney believes it is not necessary to use her name to tell the story of the captive women in Ohio and that a child deserves a fair chance to live her life. There is no question that children and others who are vulnerable should be treated with great care.More »
Friday, May. 03, 2013 2:51PM EDT
An essay by Zane Schwartz in The Globe’s education section on how many of his friends are working at unpaid internships has generated many comments from readers. He makes the argument that while they may be good for someone looking to build a résumé and they are good for employers who get free labour, they are bad for society as a whole.More »
Friday, Apr. 26, 2013 2:15PM EDT
I often hear from readers who notice typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in the newspaper. The readers are right to be annoyed, especially in my view when the mistakes are in what is called “display copy” such as headlines and photo cutlines, for example.
I heard from a few this week about a cutline that said “again” rather than “against” or another that said “horrible wrong” instead of “horribly wrong.”More »
Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013 1:06PM EDT
A story was posted on The Guardian website Wednesday morning saying Beyoncé is banning press photographers from her current Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Instead of allowing photojournalists to take pictures of her performance, according to a venue contract obtained by a music photographers Facebook group, news outlets will be given a link to photos taken by her own photographer. This practice is known as handouts in the business.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013 2:22PM EDT
Political reporters need to have off-the-record conversations with their sources on a daily basis. They try to find out what is happening in cabinet meetings, in caucus meetings, the details of pending legislation, and what private discussions are behind the public statements.
Still, care must be taken so that off-the-record comments and guarantees of anonymity are not used unfairly to attack opponents. The Globe and Mail’s guidelines on anonymity were called into question by a reader who wondered why a Saturday story on Justin Trudeau said this: “Some Liberals say privately that Mr. Trudeau must adapt his speaking style to his new position and adopt a ‘more disciplined’ approach now that he is being asked to comment more often. Some in the Trudeau camp believe he can sometimes ‘say the right things, but in the wrong way,’” one Liberal said. The reader said that “without being able to evaluate the source, how can the reader assess whether The Globe and Mail is simply making a trivial comment appear portentous?”More »
Monday, Apr. 22, 2013 5:31PM EDT
On Saturday I wrote about how the media is doing better in finding the balance between being unflinching in showing and telling you the horrors of a tragedy such as the Boston bombings, and striving to remember the victims and to be sensitive to those who become caught up in great pain and sorrow.
A few people disagreed saying the media is doing a terrible job of passing on bits of inaccurate information as gospel and putting the push to be first or the only one to have an angle to the story. And of course that is a strong motivation. All media, bloggers, television, news websites want to be the one to be quoted, to be recognized as having exclusive, insightful information. In this competitive business, mistakes are made, information is not checked as it should be in that rush of breaking news. And there were some terrible mistakes, the worst being the New York Post which ran a front page photo of two men described as “Bag Men” and saying a Saudi man was a likely suspect. Globe media writer, Steve Ladurantaye wrote about this last Thursday.More »
Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 7:24PM EDT
When events such as the Boston bombings or the bullying and death of Rehtaeh Parsons are in the news, readers expect the media to act for them: to ask the questions they would ask, to help them understand and to show, especially with the bombings, exactly what happened.
What both events require is a balancing act between being unflinching chroniclers of the horrible events of history and being sensitive to the people caught in the chaotic whirlwind of breaking news. In my view, the North American media have been doing a better job in the past months of finding the right balance.More »
Friday, Apr. 12, 2013 3:37PM EDT
With the tragic death of Rehtaeh Parsons this week, it is important to think of the media’s role in covering these incidents. Journalists understand this is a story about allegations of violence and sexual assault against a young woman and also the pile-on cyberbullying that followed. They have an important role during these public tragedies to find out what happened, to ask questions of the police, the political leaders and others, and to let the wider society understand the relentless nature of cyberbullying.More »
Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013 2:26PM EDT
I receive a number of e-mails from long-standing Globe readers, some with questions or complaints and others just remembering past experiences. Here are a few from the past week:
“In the mid-90s, I was living in Colombo (Sri Lanka). My employer had a subscription to the Saturday Globe and Mail (don’t ask!) and I was at the bottom of the circulation list. At some point, I decided to have a little R&R in the Maldives. By then, I had a stack of three or four unread Globe and Mails. I left on vacation with them, in a large transparent bag. I flew from Colombo to Male (capital of the Maldives). From Male to the island where I had booked my package, we flew on DCH-6 Twin Otter (a Canadian plane) on floats. The planes were operated by Canadian pilots. The Twin Otter is a smallish plane (20+2). There is no cockpit. We boarded with our luggage. I could see the pilot eyeing my bag of Globe and Mails. During the flight, he turned around and asked me where the hell I got hold of these Globe and Mails. I explained. I think I saw some drool. ‘Are you the one picking us up? I asked. ‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘I will give you my Globe and Mail then,’ I said. I was never more confident of the return of a plane. I could have sold my Globe and Mails for good money. Male is 14,068 km from Toronto. No point on Earth is farther away than 20,000 km from any other.”More »
Monday, Apr. 08, 2013 4:42PM EDT
When things go wrong, it’s important to look back and change your behaviour so you don’t repeat the error. So, there are several things to take away from a blog post last week by University of Western Ontario business professor Mike Moffatt.
Professor Moffatt’s Economy Lab post on the budget stated that the iPod faced a tariff increase effective Jan. 1, 2015. He based this on his own research of the tariff codes, including an e-mail to Canada Post about the tariff code for the device.More »
Thursday, Apr. 04, 2013 2:55PM EDT
In the various branches of the media, there are varying practices for correcting errors. Most – whether newspapers, television, radio or digital – do a very good job with the online “permanent” record: The errors are corrected, and the nature of the correction noted. Newspapers in general do a pretty good job of correcting errors on Page 2. For television and radio, it’s tough to acknowledge errors on air and most stations count on their online platforms to do this.More »
Monday, Apr. 01, 2013 2:45PM EDT
A while ago, I heard from a reader in Victoria who wondered why The Globe and Mail did not capitalize the term “first nation.” It was an excellent question and one deserving of a serious look. The Globe’s Style Guide said very simply that when the term first nation is used “it is lower case unless we are giving the band’s formal name: the Kettle Point First Nation. The term applies to status Indian bands that belong to the Assembly of First Nations…”More »
Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 11:06AM EDT
On Saturday, I wrote about the updated Globe code of conduct. There were many responses from readers in my public editor inbox and also in the comments section of the blog. One particular section of the code garnered the most reaction. On the first page of the section “journalistic principles”, it says:More »
Saturday, Mar. 23, 2013 8:00AM EDT
Every week, I hear from readers who want to know how news decisions have been made. Why was a photo chosen? Can the organization be fair to a political party if the editorial board has supported that party? As part of that ongoing conversation, it’s important that readers have a sense of the ethical guidelines The Globe and Mail gives to writers and editors, the organization’s principles and practices.More »
Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 1:25PM EDT
I heard from many readers Monday on e-mail, Twitter and by phone who were unhappy about The Globe’s front page photo of 17-year-old figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond, and I agree with them that it was not an acceptable photo for the front page.
It showed a very happy and very successful Kaetlyn, who came eighth in the ISU World Figure Skating Championship, skating a joyous gala routine on Sunday and kicking her leg up high while wearing a typical brief skating skirt over skin-coloured tights. The readers and I both thought the photo could be embarrassing to anyone, although Kaetlyn, who is a good sport and a great skater, responded on Twitter that she was happy to be on the front page and said “I really like that picture.”More »
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013 4:05PM EDT
There is nothing like breaking news to get the news junkie’s adrenalin flowing. We knew a new Pope was about to be named when the white smoke started billowing out from the Sistine Chapel, but The Globe and Mail editors and writers were poised to try out some new methods of bringing that news to readers.More »
Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 6:04PM EDT
Homophones are those words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things. According to a website devoted to homophones, there are more than 400 of them. Some of them are pretty obscure, while others are very common. (And by the way if you take a look at this list, many of them aren’t really homophones because the pronunciation is different.) But it is some of those common ones that have tripped up The Globe and Mail lately.More »