John Stackhouse

How can journalism survive disruption? How can it thrive in a radically changed digital future?

Former Editor-in-Chief, The Globe and Mail; Author of Mass Disruption

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John Stackhouse | Former Editor-in-Chief, The Globe and Mail; Author of Mass Disruption
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Few Canadians are as acquainted with our nation’s political and business landscape as John Stackhouse. The former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, Stackhouse has been plugged into the country’s economic, political, and social issues for over two decades. He speaks, eloquently and fairly, about where Canada stands: historically, at present, and in the country’s fast-approaching next phase. 

John Stackhouse is currently Senior Vice-President in the Office of the CEO at Royal Bank of Canada, where he is adviser to the executive leadership team and board of directors on economic, political, and social affairs, and a champion for the bank on public policy. He was editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail from 2009–14, was previously editor of the Report on Business section, and also served as the newspaper’s national editor, foreign editor, correspondent at large, and development issues correspondent. His latest book is National Business Book Award nominee Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution, a work that examines how the world’s major newspapers are learning to survive in the digital era. He has also worked for Report on Business Magazine, the Financial Times, The London Free Press, and the Toronto Star.


“Stackhouse is a great storyteller—with a sharp eye for detail and a light touch of humour.”

The Globe and Mail

Stackhouse has won five National Newspaper Awards, a National Magazine Award, and an Amnesty International Award for human rights reporting. He is the author of two previous books: Out of Poverty: And Into Something More Comfortable and Timbit Nation: A Hitchhikers Guide to Canada, which The Calgary Herald called “both candid and reassuring, and paints us as better, happier people than we may be giving ourselves credit for.” He is also a contributing author to The Bre-X Fraud, Travels with My Laptop, and Foreign Correspondent: Fifty Years of Reporting South Asia.

In addition to his role with the Royal Bank of Canada, Stackhouse is a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

Speech Topics

The World Has Come to Canada (Now It’s Time for Canada to Take on the World)

Canada is the world’s poster child for diversity and multiculturalism: the nation that can represent world peace. We have opened our doors and integrated immigrants and cultures better than anyone. But the planet that we welcome is not sitting idly at our doorstep. From investments to exports, and education to travel, our world is changing even faster than Canada. Our moment abroad is now.

In this informative and fascinating keynote, John Stackhouse, an award-winning foreign correspondent, author, and editor, explores Canada’s place in the 21st century, the challenges that lie ahead, and how we can prosper from the profound transformations underway on our planet.

Mass Disruption On the Front Lines of a Media Revolution
John Stackhouse entered the newspaper business in a golden age: 1980s circulations were huge and wealthy companies lined up for the privilege of advertising in every city’s best-read pages. TV and radio could never rival newspapers for hard news, analysis, and opinion, and the papers’ brand of serious journalism was considered a crucial part of life in a democratic country. Then came the Internet ...

Beginning in 2009, as The Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief, Stackhouse faced the unthinkable: the possible end of not just Canada’s “national” newspaper, but the steep and steady financial decline of newspapers everywhere. A non-stop torrent of free digital content stole advertisers and devalued advertising space so quickly that newspapers struggled to finance the serious journalism that distinguished them in a world of BuzzfeedHuffington Post, Yahoo, and innumerable bloggers and citizen journalists. Meanwhile, ambitious online media aspired to the credibility of newspapers. 
Having led The Globe during this period of sudden and radical change, Stackhouse continues to champion the vital role of great reporting and analysis. In this talk, filled with stories from his three decades in the business, Stackhouse tracks decisions good and bad, examines how some of the world’s major newspapers—The GuardianThe New York Times—are learning to cope, and lays out strategies for the future, of both newspapers and serious journalism, wherever it may live. In the crisis of serious journalism in the digital era, Stackhouse shares ways the invaluable tradition can thrive in a radically changed future.