Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh, boys

It's our time to lead, a redesigned Globe and Mail has been telling us since Oct. 1, laying out eight themes where it's arguing Canada needs to be a leader. Week three's theme? Boys. Specifically, how Canada is failing its boys. Though the series is only two days in, I have some thoughts.
First, anyone writing, knowing, etc. about education and children's issues knows this concern isn't new. It's been around for years now, to the point there's a smorgasbord of data to validate how boys are doing less well in school and in life in their earliest years. I'm not trying to suggest the Globe is late to the party on this point, as even it admits this concern has some history to it.
The Time to Lead series appears to be fashioned on the newspaper (as an institution, not the tactile paper itself) as an active member of society, as an advocate pushing for improvement in the causes it chooses to support. This is also nothing new as a journalistic concept, but the Globe holds a prominence among the groups of Canadian society who are actually poised in positions to effect change. For a paper that claims to set the political agenda (I don't doubt this on certain levels), the Time to Lead series is a bold move. Will people (the Globe's people, really) care about these eight themes?
To bring it back to boys, will we care enough when shown the data? By pointing fingers to the five top reasons the Globe says boys are falling behind? By the live chats (some of which I wish I was able to sit in on in what's shaping up to be a busy week) with the lead reporter and various others?
It's drawn me in at any rate, to the point I'll be reading the rest of the week to see where the Globe takes this topic.