How is coverage of Jian Ghomeshi different from coverage on Rob Ford, and should we keep seeing his photo attached to stories? Public editor Sylvia Stead addresses these reader concerns.
Too much or too little? From time to time, readers will write either to ask why The Globe and Mail isn’t writing more on a subject or to say enough already, we are sick of the non-stop coverage.
Earlier this year, that subject was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Last week, it was former CBC host of Q Jian Ghomeshi. In his case, one reader wants more coverage, while another doesn’t want to see his photo any more.
Here’s the first reader: “I’d like to understand why for over a year readers endured front-page coverage 24×7 of Rob Ford yet the Ghomeshi controversy is mentioned a few times and then gone or buried. You do know you have a responsibility – i.e. Rob Ford’s self-inflicted wounds (that do not harm the public) should take a back seat to the far more serious [allegations about] … Ghomeshi. The masses get the impression that one is less serious than the other – which couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
The reader is correct that issues and allegations around both of these men are very serious and also quite different.
In terms of news coverage though, Mr. Ford was and is a public official and remains, for a short while longer, the mayor of Toronto before returning to his council seat. There is great public interest in what our elected officials are doing and saying and journalists have a role in holding them to account for their actions.