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Journalism matters: A letter from Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley

Globe and Mail front pages.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Dear Readers,

The values of a strong and independent press are clear. Journalism is driven by a commitment to curiosity, a fidelity to the facts and a determination to discover the unknown.

It is the job of a journalist to ask questions, to ensure accountability and, when necessary, to expose injustices.

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It is the job of an editor to give reporters the time to pursue their instincts with tenacity, without losing sight of the public interest – and without compromising our commitment to fairness.

As readers, you see only our final product. Some stories are the result of months of reporting, research and editing. Many of them evolve substantially over the course of time. Others are never published at all because the facts didn't support our initial lines of inquiry.

Our commitment is to provide the truth, to offer a safe harbour for the exchange of ideas that is central to a fair and just society.

We believe in a simple, powerful truth:

Journalism matters.

David Walmsley, Editor-in-Chief

Stories that matter from The Globe and Mail

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Recognition matters.

The Unremembered

A startling number of Canadian soldiers killed themselves after serving in the Afghanistan war. The Globe has spent more than two years reporting on this phenomenon. We revealed the number of soldiers who died by suicide after the combat mission in Afghanistan and how the system failed them and their families. The work has triggered commitments from the federal government and military to do better.

Read it here.

Advocacy matters.

Solitary Confinement

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We asked you to learn the name Adam Capay. The 23-year-old was held in solitary confinement in a provincial jail for four years, housed in a basement cell sheathed in plexiglass. The lights were on 24 hours a day. The Globe revealed that the upper echelons of the Ontario government knew about Mr. Capay's situation for at least nine months. He has since been moved and the government has pledged to review its use of solitary confinement.

Read it here.

Awareness matters.

Medical Marijuana

After the federal government signalled its intent to legalize medical marijuana, dispensaries flourished in cities across the country. The drug was being sold at storefronts that were illegal, unregulated, ubiquitous. Health Canada would not test the product, so The Globe did. In the process, we raised serious questions about the safety and regulation of a nascent industry.

Read it here.

Reform matters.

B.C. Real Estate

A Globe and Mail investigation uncovered an opaque and speculative realm of the B.C. housing market. Properties were being traded one or more times before a sale closed, fueling the steep rise in Vancouver home prices. The ongoing investigation has since pressured both the provincial and federal governments to act.

Read it here.

Persistence matters.

Asbestos

Once Canada's "miracle mineral," asbestos now has the distinction of being the leading cause of workplace death in the country. Our investigation of asbestos-related cancers – and Ottawa's longstanding defence of the industry – helped compel the government to change course and enforce a ban by 2018.

Read it here.

Understanding matters.

Graffiti Kids

The Syrian civil war has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions and fanned the flames of geopolitical tension. Five years later, we set out to answer a simple question for our readers: How did we get here? The result is the story of Naief Abazid, whose youthful act of rebellion – spraying graffiti – was the catalyst for the Syrian conflict and the refugee crisis in its wake.

Read it here.

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