October 1997

Ottawa, October 20, 1997–The Atlantic Regional Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) ruled today that CKEN-AM breached an industry code of ethics by referring to irrelevant background information.

During its newscast, the broadcaster reported on the death of a young woman in a traffic accident, also providing information on a previous fatal motor vehicle accident in which the deceased had been the driver. The deceased's family wrote to protest this “malicious and unforgivable act” which, in their view, smeared and humiliated the name of the deceased.

The broadcaster stated that it regretted causing any grief but that it had had no malicious intent and was simply reporting on the facts. In its deliberations, the Atlantic Regional Council weighed the dignity and privacy of the victim and her family against the need to disclose details of the previous accident which had not been reported in the media and was not publicly known. The Council accepted that the reporting was accurate, without exaggeration and without malice; however, “broadcasters also have an obligation, when they wish to include other material than the straight facts of the story they are reporting, to restrict their presentation of such material to issues of 'relevant background information.'”

This report breached the news and public affairs provisions of the Radio and Television News Directors Association Code of Ethics by “presenting irrelevant background information that had the effect of unnecessarily harming the feelings, if not also the reputation, of the deceased and her family.” The broadcaster is required to announce the results of this decision in the form prescribed within the text of the attached decision.

The CBSC Atlantic Regional Council is composed of members of the public and broadcasters. The Chair, Paul H. Schurman, represents broadcasters. The Vice-Chair, a public representative, is Zoe Rideout. Carolyn Thomas and Roger Augustine represent the public, while Kaye MacAulay and Carol McDade are broadcasters. CBSC National Chair Ron Cohen participated in the decision on an ad hoc basis in the absence of Roger Augustine.

In addition to administering the CAB Code of Ethics, the CBSC administers broadcasting industry codes on violence, gender portrayal and journalistic ethics. Some 400 private sector radio and television stations and specialty services from across Canada are members of the CBSC. This and all other decisions of the CBSC, the Codes and considerably more related information are available on the World Wide Web at .

– 30 –

Ottawa, October 17, 1997— The Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) released its decision today concerning the news coverage of a 1996 Cricket World Cup semi-final win by Sri Lanka.

In its attached decision, the Council responded to a complaint that the program in question, South Asian Newsweek, concentrated on negative issues when reporting the victory during its weekly hour-long news show. The complaint expressed disappointment over the undermining of the championship by giving only negative publicity to Sri Lankan issues, including the Cricket World Cup semi-final victory, whereas other South-East Asian countries received much more positive treatment.

The broadcaster denied any inequitable coverage. CFMT-TV noted that the reporting of this Cricket World Cup match was done on a news, rather than a sports, basis, since the contest had been tainted by a riot which forced it to be called off, an unusual occurrence in a World Cup context. Moreover, the Council pointed out, “As long as the reporting does not breach the standards established in the various industry Codes, the broadcaster is free to tell the story the way it wishes to. Those rules have largely to do with accuracy, absence of bias, non-intermingling of news and editorial comment, avoidance of distortion and sensationalisation, respect for privacy and avoidance of conflict of interest. Once those constraints have been respected, the broadcaster has considerable freedom of choice in the presentation of its news story.”

After viewing a tape of the program, the Ontario Regional Council decided that the “newscast did not ignore the Sri Lankan victory, nor did it associate the negative riots with the Sri Lankans; the reporting clearly attributed the riots to the Indian fans. Furthermore, the broadcaster did present a factual and positive account of the Sri Lankan victory, which is evidenced by the interviews with various fans.” As a result, this program did not contravene the CAB Code of Ethics.

The CBSC Ontario Regional Council is composed of broadcasters and members of the public. The Chair, a broadcaster representative, is Al MacKay. The Vice-Chair, representing the public, is Robert Stanbury. Other broadcasters on the Regional Council at the time of the decision were Paul Fockler and Madeline Ziniak (who did not participate in this decision since her station was involved). The other public members participating in the decision were Meg Hogarth and Ron Cohen, CBSC National Chair, who participated on an ad hoc basis in the absence of Taanta Gupta.

In addition to administering the CAB Code of Ethics, the CBSC administers broadcasting industry codes on violence, gender portrayal and journalistic ethics. Some 400 private sector radio and television stations and specialty services from across Canada are members of the CBSC. This and all other decisions of the CBSC, the Codes and considerably more related information are available on the World Wide Web at .

– 30 –

Ottawa, October 6, 1997– The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) announces the appointment of Suzanne Gouin and Pierre-Louis Smith to its Quebec Regional Council.

Suzanne Gouin, a broadcaster representative, is the Director of News and Current Affairs at CFCF-TV in Montreal, prior to which she worked as a Producer at Société Radio-Canada from 1991 to 1994. Ms. Gouin is a member of the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), and in 1996 won the RTNDA Regional Award for “Best Newscast, Television” for a series of four newscasts. She was also an Executive Member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (Quebec region) from 1991 to 1995; an Executive Producer of the Prix Gémeaux Gala in 1991, 1992 and 1993; Prix Gémeaux Award Regulations Committee Chairperson in 1991; and an Environment 2000 Executive Committee Member.

Pierre-Louis Smith is Director of Regulatory Affairs at Télé-Métropole and the TVA Network in Montreal. Mr. Smith joined Télé-Métropole in January 1995 as Senior Advisor, Regulatory Affairs, and was appointed to his current position in September 1996. Previously, he spent three years within the Radio Branch at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC), as a Policy Analyst for the French language radio sector. He began his career in broadcasting in 1985 as the co-founder and first station manager of CISM-FM, the radio station of the University of Montreal, from which he graduated with a B.A. in 1984.

CBSC National Chair Ron Cohen stated: “For the past month, Quebeckers and Ontarians, Francophone and Anglophone alike, have sent letters and e-mails to the Council concerning the Howard Stern Show, now being broadcast in the Montreal and Toronto markets. The thoughtful, dedicated and unbiased role historically played by the CBSC's volunteer members from industry and the public alike has been the backbone of the adjudication process. The pressures on them to deliver the same objective quality of decision-making will continue in this dossier. In addition to our present members, we are fortunate to be able to attract industry representatives with the stature of Suzanne Gouin and Pierre-Louis Smith to join the Quebec Regional Council in our deliberations.”

The Quebec Regional Council, like all CBSC Regional Councils, is made up of three public and three broadcast representatives. The Chair of the Quebec Council is Pierre Audet, a public member. Yvon Chouinard, Executive Vice President of Power Broadcasting, is the Vice-Chair. The other public members are Peta Tancred and Marc Gervais.

Created in 1990 to administer industry self-regulatory codes on ethics, gender portrayal and violence, the CBSC's membership includes approximately 400 private sector television and radio stations from across Canada. The CBSC received formal endorsement from the CRTC in 1991. To date over 80 decisions have been released by the CBSC, most of which are available, in addition to our codes and other relevant information, on the net at .

– 30 –

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