The Globe gets sloppy, Joe gets ranty

So I was cruising the ol’ interweb today at work (fear not, Canadian taxpayer, it was a designated break time) and decided to read the latest missive from Nero on the state of the fires in Rome Richard Peddie’s latest soothing words on the state of Leafs Nation.

As I scanned the article I was somewhat jarred by a series of non-hyperlinked links to other TSN articles and columns. “Why aren’t these linked and formatted?” I wondered to myself. “Moreover, why are these TSN links in a Globe and Mail article?”

See for yourself:

Screen cap from the Globe and Mail

You can click for a bigger version of the photo but the quality is somewhat poor, my image editing tools at work are pretty limited.

I quickly surfed (do people use that verb in relation to the internet anymore?) over to TSN to see if, by any chance, the text of their article was similar.

TSN screen cap

As you can see, it was.

Now, both articles were attributed to the Canadian Press, so I figure TSN got it first, the Globe saw it online and decided the quickest way to get it online was to grab it from TSN rather than sort through their wire stories.

And I am sure some of you are wondering what the big deal is. After all, the Globe corrected their mistake within minutes and they had the same right to the copy that TSN did, as both outlets attributed the Canadian Press.

But to me, this is symptomatic of a bigger problem with the whole news-on-demand culture that has sprung up with the emergence of online media.

In this case, the Globe added one more degree of separation from the source. It is bad enough that media outlets today are content to run wire stories without necessarily doing some fact checking first (right everyone who published the Paris Hilton elephant story?). Now they are willing to take wire stories off of someone else’s website?

Call me crazy, but I like to think that antiquated idea of measuring twice and cutting once still holds some relevance in the media world. It is not good enough to say we can correct this later. Sure, in this case the Globe has a little egg on its face but no harm done. But if they are willing to rush to the point of allowing TSN’s link text to make it online for a throwaway story about the inner turmoil in MLSE, what are they willing to do to be the first (or second) online with an important story?

The need to be first should never supplant the need to be correct.


  1. Oh no, we should always trust everything wire services. Always. Without question. Especially when we don’t make any sense, best to just trust us blindly then, too.

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