CBC releases response to Conservative Party of Canada complaint



    TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - CBC News today released the following letter:

    Doug Finley,
    Director of Political Operations
    Conservative Party of Canada

    January 21, 2008

    Dear Mr. Finley:

    This letter is in response to your complaint to the CBC Ombudsman about
"collusion" involving one of our reporters during the recent
Mulroney/Schreiber hearings in Ottawa, during which questions were asked about
lobbying efforts by Mr. Mulroney directed toward the current federal
government.
    Following an investigation by senior management of CBC News, we have
determined that our reporter Krista Erickson did, in fact, provide questions
to a Member of Parliament in the lead up to the Ethics Committee meeting in
December. Those actions, while in pursuit of a journalistically legitimate
story, were inappropriate and inconsistent with CBC News policies and
procedures, specifically under our Principles, Sec. 3:

    "Credibility is dependent not only on qualities such as accuracy and
    fairness in reporting and presentation, but also upon avoidance by both
    the organization and its journalists of associations or contacts which
    could reasonably give rise to perceptions of partiality. Any situation
    which could cause reasonable apprehension that a journalist or the
    organization is biased or under the influence of any pressure group,
    whether ideological, political, financial, social or cultural, must be
    avoided."

    Our investigation determined there was no bias in related news coverage.
However, our reporter, acting on her own, used inappropriate tactics as a
result of journalistic zeal, rather than partisan interest. CBC News
management has made the decision to reassign its reporter from the story and
to Toronto, effective Jan. 21.
    Given the potential risk to the journalistic credibility of our Ottawa
bureau, its reporters and CBC News generally, we have chosen on an exceptional
basis to make the detailed outcome of our disciplinary process available to
you, our employees and the public at large.
    I trust this addresses your concerns.
    It is also my responsibility to inform you that if you are not satisfied
with this response, you may wish to submit the matter for review by Vince
Carlin, CBC Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman, an independent and
impartial body reporting directly to the President, is responsible for
evaluating program compliance with the CBC's journalistic policies. The
Ombudsman may be reached by mail at the address shown below, or by fax at
(416) 205-2825, or by e-mail at ombudsman@cbc.ca

    Sincerely,

    John Cruickshank
    Publisher
    CBC News

    Box 500, Station "A",
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5W 1E6

    cc. Vince Carlin, CBC Ombudsman





For further information:

For further information: Jeff Keay, media relations, (416) 205-3987,
jeff.keay@cbc.ca

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