Ottawa Open-Line Show Breaches Industry Code Of Ethics (disponible en anglais seulement)

Ottawa, September 7, 1995 – The Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) released its decision today concerning the “Lowell Green Show”, an open-line show broadcast on Ottawa radio station CFRA

During a discussion of “What’s Wrong With Canada Today” the host cut off a caller who identified herself as a practising Christian, stating that she didn’t count. A CFRA listener felt that the host’s treatment of the caller and his subsequent comments about her were demeaning and discriminatory. According to the station, however, the caller’s comments were not relevant to the subject under discussion and, in previous programs, the host had received calls from people with conservative Christian views. The Regional Council decided that by cutting off the caller, once she had identified herself as a Christian, the host breached the “Human Rights” provisions of the industry’s Code of Ethics. Moreover, the Council felt that the host had infringed on the caller’s freedom of expression and limited debate and discussion of issues of public concern so crucial to open-line programming. CFRA is required to announce this decision during peak listening hours in the next thirty days.

The Ontario Regional Council of the CBSC includes representatives of the broadcasting industry and the general public. The Chair, representing the public, is Marianne Barrie; the Vice-Chair, Al MacKay (not present for this decision) represents broadcasters. Other Regional Council members present for the decision are Paul Fockler, Madeline Ziniak and Robert Stanbury.

The CBSC is the organization for self-regulation of private sector radio and television stations. Nearly 400 stations from across Canada are CBSC members. In addition to the Code of Ethics, the CBSC administers three Codes: a code on television violence, a sex-role portrayal code, and a code of journalistic ethics.

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For more information, please contact Ronald I. Cohen, the National Chair of the CBSC, at (###) ###-####.