When journalism rises to its true potential it can bring the hidden stories to the front of a nation’s conscience and inspire that country to be better.
The Globe and Mail is doing an exceptional job of late. (That they are also my employer only makes me prouder to be a part of it.) Inside the newsroom, egos can often trick themselves about the important work being done, but it’s hard to look at the output coming from David Walmsley’s newsroom and not be impressed.
Take this weekend as but an example:
- Friday’s front page was devoted to Kathryn Blaze Carlson’s carefully considerate and honest piece on Rinelle Harper first steps to recovery. This is but one of a series of focused efforts by The Globe’s journalist to tell the stories of Canada’s missing native women. Notably, editors are even filling their limited news holes with wire articles on the issue. Saturday, for example, they ran Steve Rennie’s piece exposing an alarming funding gap for aboriginal women’s programs.
- Saturday’s front page and Focus section featured Ingrid Peritz’s report on the shameful state Canada has left its Thalidomide survivors in. That there are so few that are so obviously being mistreated by Canadian politicians forces you to question how much this government actually supports universal health care. Within that same paper, the same politicians are shown to be impeding the recovery of addicts in Vancouver.
- Saturday evening, the top story has an apparent suicide of yet another soldier. The day before, the editorial cartoon bluntly commented on the treatment of Canada’s latest veterans.
But it isn’t always bad news.
The Arts section this weekend published an ambitious year-end book review section (The Globe 100) which appeared in parallel with an energetic and original digital experience. As well, Walmsley’s spoken openly about the importance of supporting the arts and has devoted a year to telling the story of two young filmmakers discovering what it means to create something original in Canada today.
All of this serves as a good and necessary reminder journalism take time – and money – to pull random details together into a truthful account of our time.