Ottawa, April 28, 1995 – The Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) released its decision today concerning the reporting of a sexual assault case by CFTO-TV (Toronto).
In its attached decision, the Council responded to a viewer’s complaint that the station presented two biased reports of her sexual assault case against a former pediatrician. The complainant believed that the station misrepresented her financial claim against the doctor, omitted important elements of her case from its reports, and made inappropriate comments during the preparation of the reports. After viewing tapes of the newscasts, however, the Regional Council members decided that over the course of both reports, the station provided a balanced, fair representation of the complainant’s case, and that the station could not be expected to present all of the details of the case in its two reports. As a result, CFTO-TV did not contravene industry codes on ethics and journalistic practices.
The CBSC Ontario Regional Council is composed of three broadcasters and three members of the public. The Chair, representing the public, is Marianne Barrie. The Vice-Chair, a broadcaster, is Al MacKay (who was not present for this decision). Other broadcasters on the Regional Council at the time of the decision were Don Luzzi and Paul Fockler; the remaining public members at the time of the decision were Susan Fish and Robert Stanbury.
Created by the private sector broadcasting industry to handle complaints about radio and television programming, the CBSC administers four industry-developed Codes. These are the Code of Ethics, the Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming, the Sex-Role Portrayal Code, and the Code of (Journalistic) Ethics.
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For more information, please contact the National Chair of the CBSC, Ronald I. Cohen, at (###) ###-####.