Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Receives RTNDA’s Bill Hutton Award of Excellence

Ottawa, June 28, 2010 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) announces its receipt of the Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada (RTNDA – The Association of Electronic Journalists) Bill Hutton Award of Excellence.

Formerly known as the “Friend of RTNDA Canada Award” the award was renamed in 2009 to honour the late Bill Hutton, RTNDA Canada’s first president. The award is given to individuals or organizations which have shown a true commitment to RTNDA and the betterment of broadcast journalism in Canada.  Previous recipients of the award include The Canadian Press, WIC, VOCM Radio, Golden West Radio, Broadcast Dialogue magazine, CTV, and the U.S. RTDNA.

In announcing the award, outgoing President Cal Johnstone said, “Our members may not always agree with the rulings handed down by the CBSC.  But everyone recognizes the important role the organization plays. RTNDA is proud to work hand in hand with the CBSC to ensure fairness and accuracy in Canadian broadcast journalism.”

In accepting the award, CBSC National Chair Ron Cohen said (for the full speech, click here):

We of course recognize that you will not always agree with all of our decisions.  That’s normal.  I fully expect that, even if you yourselves set up an internal committee to render such decisions, you would not be able to achieve such unanimity among yourselves.

What is perhaps more important is that you recognize that our decisions are carefully and thoughtfully taken on each and every occasion and that we provide a reasoned account at the end of the day of how we reached the conclusions arrived at in each instance.

Cohen added:

Our commitment to RTNDA is whole-hearted and enthusiastic.  And we know that none of us is going to run out of broadcast journalistic work soon; over the past nine years, there have been 2,637 complaints relating to journalistic issues on radio and television.  We work at resolving these together.  We are proud of our association with the RTNDA.  Your commitment to professionalism is palpable.  And we strive with you to ensure fairness and accuracy in Canadian broadcast journalism.  Thank you for this honour.

Canada’s private broadcasters have themselves created industry standards in the form of Codes on ethics, equitable portrayal, television violence and journalistic independence by which they expect the members of their profession will abide.  In 1990, they also created the CBSC, which is the self-regulatory body with the responsibility of administering those professional broadcast Codes and the pay television Codes, as well as the Code dealing with journalistic ethics created by the RTNDA – Association of Electronic Journalists in 1970.  More than 735 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty services from across Canada are members of the Council.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab