Thursday, May 10, 2012

Are Workers Paying For The Globe and Mail's Sins?

UPDATE/CORRECTION: While I strive to be as accurate as possible in this blog, the second paragraph of this post contained an inaccuracy, which I have since rectified.

I have to say that my heart rejoiced yesterday when I saw the news that Torstar, the parent company of The Toronto Star, has increased its quarterly earnings over the year by about 100%, an unequivocal confirmation that quality, in-depth journalism for the social good can still very much be a profitable enterprise in the 21st century.

I also have to admit to an almost equal delight in the news I received from my son that the Globe and Mail, by contrast, is not faring so well. The Earnings Per Share (EPS) profit that the Globe and Mail contributes to Bell Canada, its parent company, is off by 0.23.

I interpret this profit reduction as an indictment of the direction in which John Stackhouse has taken the paper since assuming the mantle of editor-in-chief. It is a direction that has seen such betrayals as unequivocal editorial endorsements of the Harper regime, an inhouse apologist for all things Harper named John Ibbitson, and the continued employment of unoriginal thinkers like Neil Reynolds and Margaret Wente who, one suspects, would have great difficulty recognizing an original thought, should one occur to them, an admittedly unlikely event.

The one group for whom I feel sympathy at the Globe is the rank and file, who are now being asked to take unpaid leaves this summer in an attempt to temporarily reduce costs.

Oh, and I almost forgot. In either a very desperate grasping at straws for financial salvation or a very public display of delusions of grandeur, The Globe announced today that it is instituting a paywall. If you read the article, I strongly encourage you to also peruse some of the readers' comments that follow, comments of such withering contempt that one might infer that this 'Hail Mary pass' from the Globe is too desperate by anyone's standards.


  1. I have never understood how the Moan & Wail can endorse and apologise for Harper -- you're quite right about that -- and at the same time be so damn PC on multiculturalism, immigration and related matters. Isn't that the "journalism for the social good" you are advocating? I wouldn't pay to read either the Globe or the Star!

  2. Actually Walt, the social good I had in mind is the consistently fine investigative work The Star does that, for example, uncovered the Ornge scandal in Ontario and was directly responsible, thanks to a series on restaurant sanitation, for the institution of the restaurant inspection system that Toronto and other municipalities now have.

    1. Guess I'm not reading the Star closely enough. I thought it was Paul Bliss at CTV who had the beat on the ORNGE mess.

  3. i have heard Bliss make that claim as well. I wonder if he might be talking about how he and CTV pursued the story after it had been brought to light?

    Here is a Wikipedia entry that refers to the role the Star played:

    And here is an excerpt from a Star story from last December:

    Two weeks ago, the Star launched a series of stories on ORNGE, its founder, Mazza, and the level of care it is providing. The first story dealt with a spider web of for-profit companies that the non-profit ORNGE had created. In short, those companies had the effect of shielding top salaries from the public eye of the Public Sector Salary Disclosure List. The Star has also revealed that this web of companies created by Mazza has received $6.7 million from the Italian company that sold helicopters to ORNGE.