The Globe is flat
The folks at the Globe and Mail held the topping-off ceremony yesterday at their new 17-storey building on King Street East. As they prepare to move in next year I plead with them to take a close look at what their newspaper has become. Here’s what’s on page one of today’s Weekend paper: no actual stories, just blurbs and photos. Above the fold, the part meant to appeal to readers at a newsstand, the carefully curated offering includes a pointer to a crossword puzzle, the announcement of a celebrity chef columnist, top moments in the year’s culture and lessons learned from Somalian refugees.
Where’s the news? The news by definition is what makes a woman in her kitchen read a headline, drop her jar of marmalade, and say out loud, “Oh dear!” The only possible contender above the fold is a blurb on Valeant, the drug-maker, a feature sure to be a sizzler given all that’s already been said in the past few months.
Inside follows more fluff. An entire Style section built around a photo of a favourite room in a house of someone you’ve never heard of. A full-page obituary that most days has previously run in the New York Times. A trio of op-ed columnists who are tired and out of tune. Even the inimitable Lysiane Gagnon who used to provide regular insights into Quebec seems to have run out of steam.
Worst of all, Report on Business has become the catchall for hacks, flaks and other fatuous material. The editorial is regularly written by people not on staff. Too many items are one-sided arguments by organizations with an agenda. Where are the investigative articles for which Globe journalists once were so well known? Only the investment pages do what their supposed to do.
If it weren’t for Cathal Kelly in Sports, who writes like a magic man and always has some new view of the world, I’d cancel my subscription.