White Papers

Learn more about emerging issues facing the NNC

The following position papers outline our current consensus on emerging issues. We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to get in touch with us here.


Position paper: Branded content – May 2017

  • The NNC believes that branded content is within its mandate. In developing branded content, journalists are often tasked with using their skills in a context that does not necessarily emphasize journalism ethics. The NNC will provide a forum for readers and a service to members if that ethics gap becomes a source of complaints. Read the full paper on branded content here.


Position paper: Wire services and fees

  • Press council membership of wire services is largely unprecedented. Given the wide reach and impact of wire services, the NNC considers membership for wire and syndicated services to be important for readers. It is also important for wire services to remain accountable, and for service members or customers to be assured of transparency regarding complaints about content. Since the time of drafting this paper, the Canadian Press has become a member of the NNC. Read the full paper on wire services membership here.


Position paper: Adjudicating third party content – March 2017

  • If a complaint about third party or wire copy is registered, it is expected that editors will investigate the issue. They cannot reasonably be expected to make unilateral changes, but should consult with the editor in question and find a remedy if needed, as they would with a journalist in their own newsroom. Read the full paper on third party content here.


Position paper: Perceived bias – March 2017

  • The NNC understands that some members of the public may infer bias because we are funded primarily through annual fees from member organizations. However, the quality and transparency of NNC decisions should dispel any concerns of bias. The NNC ensures that complainants’ concerns are taken seriously, treated respectfully, and investigated carefully. Read the full paper on perceived bias here.


Position paper: Partnerships and funding – February 2017

  • Partnerships with non-profits and universities help amplify the NNC’s voice and reach. The NNC has partnered with non-profits and universities to help achieve shared objectives, including co-sponsoring events, co-signing statements about the media, and presenting a media ethics course for journalism students. Read the full paper on partnerships and funding here.