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2019 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom finalist

The Globe and Mail

About the Project

Our mission is simple: Inform and improve the lives of our readers by providing relevant, solutions-based journalism. We serve our audience by being curious about all aspects of our country, recognizing that we need to be on the side of our readers and allow them to see their lives reflected.

That comes in many forms, from investigations into policies that ought to keep people safe and healthy to exposure to diverse opinions from a cross-section of Canadians and tools to help calculate for real-life scenarios such as whether you can afford that dream trip, retirement or downpayment on a home.

We spent the last year diving deep into several investigations, including:
-the growing number of idle oil and gas wells in Western Canada, which, unlike several American states, does not legislate cleanup timelines;
-why Canadians have some of the highest drug prices in the world; and
-Canada’s still hidden, but emerging far-right movement.

These investigations galvanized the public and, in some cases, lead to government policy changes.

We created several audience-led features, including a digital letters package called “From the Comments,” which specifically gives voice to our paying subscribers, bringing them into our journalism.

When we broke one of the biggest stories in Canada this year – the resignation of federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould over a scandal involving SNC-Lavalin, one of Canada’s biggest construction firms – we strategically put it behind the paywall, something we have been hesitant to do with breaking news. We continued to paywall our columns and news coverage of this topic, and hundreds of subscriptions poured in, proving that The Globe is where Canadians turn as their trusted source to understand what’s happening around them.

Our audience in Canada and around the world continues to expand, and our business model is strong, as our subscriber audience has shown increases in loyalty and engagement. The number of digital subscriptions grew 51% year-over-year between May, 2018, and May, 2019. The number of visits from subscribers also grew by 11%, showing stronger engagement with our content.

We launched four new newsletters in the past year, including Books, Energy, Western Canada and Opinion, each with an average audience of 10,000 and an open rate of 48%.

The Globe and Mail’s mandate, at its most basic, is to tell Canada’s stories. It’s a challenge though, as we cover an area bigger than the United States, but with a market about one-tenth its size. (And with a newsroom about a quarter the size of the New York Times.) We feel our digital success has come from our investment in journalism – doubling down on quality investigations, storytelling and visuals, and always putting the audience first and foremost with quality user experience.