The Globe’s Opinion – Front and Centre

Last week’s Globe and Mail weekend edition led with a story I was pretty interested in. It was headlined “Who Is Stephen Harper” and I was pretty excited to read a profile piece of the Conservative leader.
I read the first two paragraphs and then – BAM! – the third paragraph slapped me in the face:

Some time in early February, unless the plurality of you who now support him change your mind, Stephen Harper, at the age of 46, will become the 22nd prime minister of Canada.

Whaaaaaaa? I asked aloud. This doesn’t sound like an objective piece of journalism at all. So I went back to the top of the story and checked out the byline: John Ibbitson.

Now, of course, this all makes sense. John Ibbitson is a Globe columnist and he’s not required to write objective pieces of journalism. But the reason I incorrectly assumed this was a news profile was because it was formatted like a straight news piece (I don’t have a pic of the front page, but if someone does, please post it). No typical JI photo, nothing.

Online, however, you see Ibbitson’s mug at the top with a link to his “latest columns.”

So, if it’s a column, why isn’t it formatted like a column. And if it’s a news piece, why does it say “Stephen Harper, at the age of 46, will become the 22nd prime minister of Canada?”

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