Coverage violated broadcast codes, but prompt correction respected code requirements: CBSC

Ottawa, April 7, 2016 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning news reports broadcast on CTV Kitchener (CKCO-DT) about a female teacher who had been accused of inappropriate sexual comments towards a 16-year-old male student. The CBSC found that one report contained inaccurate information, but CTV Kitchener had quickly corrected the error and thus respected the requirements of the broadcast codes. Two reports were broadcast on July 15, 2015 and provided updates on the teacher’s ... read more

NNC concerned that court decision will hurt journalism

The National NewsMedia Council is deeply concerned about an Ontario Superior Court decision that forces Vice Media reporter Ben Makuch to hand his background material to the RCMP. Police want screen captures of Makuch’s online conversations with Farah Shirdon, a Canadian who has been charged in absentia for terrorism-related offenses. The court has now ruled in favour of the RCMP request, saying that the reporter’s material is “important evidence in relation to very serious allegations” and that there is “strong ... read more

Council decisions now available for review

A summary of adjudications made by the National NewsMedia Council at a meeting in Toronto on February 25th is now available for review. They are divided into three categories: decisions upheld, decisions dismissed with reservation and complaints dismissed. A searchable archive will be implemented as the new council continues its work.

Technical error resulted in the faces of two children appearing on Facebook

A technical error resulted in the faces of two children appearing on the Facebook site of an Australian newspaper. That error also underlined the importance of “appropriate checks and balances when using new technologies particularly when publishing images of children”, the Australian Press Council said in a recent adjudication. A print story in The Queensland Times on 1 July 2015 contained an image of an accused person, but the Facebook version, headed “Goodna dad accused of drug, weapons and robbery ... read more

Australian Press Council adopts Reconciliation Action Plan

Australia, like Canada, has the task of facing racism and rebuilding relations with its indigenous peoples. The Australian Press Council recognizes the powerful role of the media in that process, and has adopted its own reconciliation plan. Over the next three years, the APC will promote understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous groups. In practical terms, that means encouraging membership by Indigenous newspapers, magazines and online news and current affairs sites; engaging and consulting with Indigenous groups, individuals and organisations regarding ... read more


“In neither Canada nor the United States do reporters have a blanket right to keep sources anonymous based on constitutional rights of free expression.  Nevertheless, in applying common law or statutory shield laws, courts north and south of the border have acknowledged that reporters should be able to do so where there is not a compelling reason to override that right. So, what should reporters know about promising anonymity to their sources?” – Grant Buckler, CJFE

NNC expresses concern at events unfolding in Ontario Superior Court

The National NewsMedia Council of Canada (NNC) expresses its concern at events unfolding in Ontario Superior Court as the RCMP seeks to compel VICE journalist Ben Makuch to hand over his notes connected to an interview with suspected Canadian ISIS fighter Farah Shirdon. NNC president and CEO John Fraser said that although police have responsibility to investigate, they should be extremely wary of co-opting the media to serve as assistants in that work. “News media in Canada either have the duty and right ... read more

National NewsMedia Council believes Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made a fundamental error

  February 19, 2016 The National NewsMedia Council believes Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made a fundamental error by banning The Rebel from parliamentary briefings on the basis that its representatives are not “real journalists”. “I am relieved that Ms Notley has apologized for the initial decision and withdrawn the ban, but we are deeply concerned that the issue remains on the table,” said John Fraser, president and CEO of the new council. The NNC, which represents the public and media in ... read more

Retirement Luncheon for Don McCurdy

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the NewsMedia Council will host a small luncheon to honour Don McCurdy, the last executive director of the Ontario Press Council. Don has been a great friend to the new National NewsMedia Council. In fact, it was originally his idea to bring the regional press councils together, a task driven with great conviction by our chair, the Hon. Frances Lankin. For the past six months, Don has been the gentle and ever-helpful Sherpa to Executive Director Pat Perkel ... read more

Media Council Co-Hosts Spotlight on Publishers

          (Left to right: Phillip Crawley, Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, John Cruickshank, Kelly Toughill) On February 3rd  evening, the NNC co-hosted a very interesting discussion between Phillip Crawley, publisher of the Globe and Mail, John Cruickshank, publisher of the Toronto Star, and Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, Chief Operating Officer of La Presse. The evening, co-hosted by the Canadian Journalism Foundation, was entitled “Spotlight on Publishers: The Challenge of Making News Pay”. Between the publishers and the well-attended audience (everyone is more than ... read more