We changed. You reacted.
The response to our redesign of The Globe and Mail newspaper has been overwhelming and positive. Our readers love the colour and courageous design, and most of all the enthusiasm for print and serious journalism.
"I love the Globe's lustrous paper and extra sharp photos. It's a pleasure to see a publisher who believes in print," wrote one reader.
"Absolutely incredible! Thank you for having the vision that so many readers like myself, need & want," wrote another.
Many liked the fact that a Canadian newspaper was daring to be different.
There was a sense of humour, too: "Makes it easier to read between two larger men on the subway."
Of course, there was disagreement. The size of the Sudoku puzzle was an irritant. (We're working on that.) The movement of regular features, from the index to Michael Kesterton's Social Studies (inside Life now), angered some readers, as well as the size of our sports and financial agate.
"LOUSY!" was one reaction. "You have changed what was once a dignified newspaper, full of complete insightful information to a cheap imitation of The Toronto Star and The Sun. Your prolific use of colour just cheapens the whole presentation."
Other than that, there was no debate about content, not from readers who praised our "gravitas" and "the best journalism in Canada." Today, you will see more of both.
A great newspaper must speak to the soul of every great conversation. We are doing that starting today with an eight-week project: debates Canada needs to have, not about the issues of our past, but that will determine our future - from our role in the world after Canadian troops leave Afghanistan, to a logical way to accept the reality of private health care. Also under examination will be a national effort to stop the shocking and quiet decline of boys' education, and Canada's great shame, the appalling lack of women in positions of power in every walk of life.
It's not just our views. If you go to our website, you'll find discussion forums on each of these topics. They've been raging for months, involving 800 Globe readers sharing ideas with each other and our reporters to challenge and improve our journalism. It's a beginning. In the months ahead, our website will be the focus of informed and reasonable debate about the many passions of our readers and concerns of our nation. Follow the debates, in print and online, and then launch your own, if you have the courage to lead.
Today's weekend paper goes a bold step further. We know you read the weekend Globe in a very different frame of mind than you might bring to the weekday editions. You are probably relaxing right now over a cup of coffee savouring the experience. We share that feeling, and hope you are enjoying the most unique newspaper front our industry has seen. Inside, you see the launch of a glossy, magazine-designed Style section that will change the nature of fashion and design publishing in Canada. No newspaper section has looked as stunning. Your weekend feast extends to a bigger and more confident Focus section, which now includes our Editorial and Comment pages and weekly puzzles. And we have an expanded Arts and Books section that will be the home of Canada's real culture wars.
We appreciate your thoughts and your support in our efforts to make this and every day's Globe and Mail a part of your lives, and central to our country's progress. Please continue to share your thoughts with us. It's the best way to make the Globe better.
If you'd like to comment on Mr. Stackhouse's note, please do so here online or by calling 416-585-5000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Stackhouse will also be online Monday afternoon to take your questions.