Statement by Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC, on journalistic independence

OTTAWA, March 25, 2015 /CNW/ - One of the pillars of Canada's broadcasting system—and, in fact, of our country's democracy—is that journalists are able to report news stories independently and without undue editorial interference. This principle, along with other fundamental journalistic values, is enshrined in the Code of Ethics that was developed by RTNDA Canada (The Association of Electronic Journalists).

Further to section 2(3) of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC has been entrusted by Canadians, through Parliament, to defend the principles of fair comment, freedom of expression and journalistic independence.

That a regulated company does not like one of the CRTC's rulings is one thing. The allegation, however, that the largest communication company in Canada is manipulating news coverage is disturbing. Holding a radio or television licence is a privilege that comes with important obligations that are in the public interest, especially in regards to high-quality news coverage and reporting.

An informed citizenry cannot be sacrificed for a company's commercial interests. Canadians can only wonder how many times corporate interests may have been placed ahead of the fair and balanced news reporting they expect from their broadcasting system.

The RTDNA Code of Ethics is administered by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. Canada's private broadcasters, including CTV, are members of this independent body and must adhere to its codes of conduct. Complaints about this matter should be directed to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for investigation.

We expect Canada's broadcasters to live up to their responsibilities and adhere to a high standard in their news and information programs.

SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media relations: Tel.: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245; General inquiries: Tel.: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218, Toll-free No.: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TDD - Toll-free No.: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)

RELATED LINKS
http://www.crtc.gc.ca

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