Globe and Mail readers are a smart bunch. They are well-educated, well-read and they spot errors that others don’t.

By Sylvia Stead, public editor for The Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail readers are a smart bunch. They are well-educated, well-read and they spot errors that others don’t.

Several times, I have passed on reader queries about possible errors to both Canadian and world wire services and the editors for those services often say that only Globe readers had noticed the error.

For example, in this Canadian Press story about a Canadian set to win a world sailing race, several readers noticed a mistake.

The article originally said English sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who first conceived of this race, was the first sailor to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe.

Not so, Globe readers said.

One Ottawa reader wrote: “Contrary to the statement that in 1969 English sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston ‘became the first person to complete an individual circumnavigation of the globe,’ in fact the first person to sail alone around the world was a Canadian. Joshua Slocum (1844-1909) was born in Nova Scotia and grew up on Brier Island, Nova Scotia. In 1898, he became the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone, on a 37-foot oyster sloop named the Spray. No GPS, no Sat Phone, no international sponsors, no backup teams, just himself in a wooden boat and a lot of empty ocean. Not to take anything away from Sir Robin, but . . . “

To continue reading this column, please go theglobeandmail.com where it was originally published.


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.