The National NewsMedia Council has dismissed a complaint from Kenan Fanni, who alleged that a
column by Doug Saunders contained a factual error in stating that by 2020 white children in the
US will be a minority.
The complainant stated that the February 13, 2016 article, “1968, all over again: Young Americans
rally for an anti-system outsider”, relied on “insufficient research or reliance on extremist
sources”. The complainant supplied additional information that he requested the paper to
incorporate, and initially requested a retraction. He later asked for a correction.
The opinion article made the statement in relation to demographic trends, and cited a US
Census news release dated March 3, 2015: “Around the time the 2020 Census is conducted,
more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic
The date and demographic picture in that Census news release matches the date and
demographic picture reported in the article.
In arguing against the article’s statement, the complainant cited a US News story: “According to
the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2014 there were more than 20 million children under 5 years old
living in the U.S., and 50.2 percent of them were minorities”. The complainant used the “under
5” statement to extrapolate from the data and support his view that the Globe and Mail article
The Globe and Mail article did not cite US News as a source, and the “under 5” statement was
not referenced in the Census report.
In dismissing the complaint, the NewsMedia Council found the demographic trend noted in the
Globe and Mail article is based on a reputable source, and is one part of the article’s larger
viewpoint on voter preferences in leaders’ style and priorities. The article uses credited source
material, and there is no error in reported facts.
The NNC notes that the paper recognizes the potential for further debate on the issue and
offered the complainant opportunity to write a letter to the editor.