Even though Toronto’s Globe (which would later become today’s Globe and Mail) has been keeping Canadians informed since 1844, the paper has never featured guest editors—until now. Fellow Irishmen, musicians and activists, Bono and Bob Geldof, were welcomed into The Globe and Mail’s offices last weekend, where they helmed several articles focused on Africa’s future. Doing everything from assigning stories to choosing which art to run, the guest editors were given free reign of the newsroom. (“You guys are in charge,” Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse told Bono and Geldof. “This is your paper.”)
Considering both of their affinities for all things Africa, it’s no surprise that they were called upon as experts on the topic. But, “We don’t, in any way, claim to be spokesmen for Africa,” Geldof was quick to point out. “That would be insulting and absurd. In both our cases we’re interested in the issue of poverty.”
Spokesmen or not, the musicians are most definitely seasoned Africa supporters—and they know their stuff. They’ve been a part of a push for the G8 to infuse double the aid into African countries and have continued to encourage the G8 to keep its commitments. And it’s projects like this editing one, Geldof says, that can help to build more momentum when it comes to getting the world to really focus on Africa’s needs. “It’s so important,” Geldof said. “We can do marches, pop concerts, but one of these editions changes things.”
The special edition of The Globe and Mail ran today (coinciding with Bono’s birthday) and included an interview Bono conducted with President Obama and an opinion piece by Christy Turlington, along with Bono/Geldof-selected front page art.