New Version of Code of Journalistic Ethics to Be Administered by  Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, June 15, 2001 -- The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today announces its administration of the new version of the Radio and Television News Directors of Canada (RTNDA) Code of (Journalistic) Ethics.

The RTNDA Code of Ethics has guided member radio and television news directors since its adoption in 1970. Amended in 1986, it first began to be enforced by the CBSC at the end of October 1993. Since that time, it has been an important part of the CBSC’s self-regulatory code structure. This has resulted in the application of the RTNDA Code of Ethics by all broadcaster members of the CBSC, whether or not they have news directors who are personally members of Canada’s authoritative professional organization of broadcast journalists, the RTNDA.

The Code was amended one year ago by the RTNDA, whose members have been applying it since that time, but the text of the French version of the Code has only recently become available, thus giving the CBSC the opportunity to begin administering the Code of (Journalistic) Ethics fully for the benefit of all broadcaster members of the CBSC.

One of the additional benefits of the CBSC-RTNDA relationship has been the presence of RTNDA members on the CBSC Panels. Hudson Mack, of CHEK-TV (Victoria), is the Vice-Chair of the CBSC’s British Columbia Regional Panel. Daryl Braun, of Golden West Broadcasting (Steinbach), is the Chair of the Prairie Regional Panel. Mark Oldfield, of MTV (Sudbury), and Randy McKeen, of Telemedia Radio Atlantic (Fredericton), represent the RTNDA on the Ontario and Atlantic Regional Panels respectively.

Ron Cohen, National Chair of the CBSC, said: “The RTNDA has been a model of professionalism when it comes to the practice of the craft of broadcast journalism. This has been manifest in the Code of Ethics which they created in 1970 and have twice amended in the last 30 years. It has, from the Council’s point of view, been equally manifest in the superb representation of RTNDA members on the CBSC adjudicating Panels. While their judgment has been critical on journalistic issues, their extensive broadcast wisdom has served to benefit all Canadians on all the dramatic and other matters treated by the CBSC Panels on an ongoing basis. We look forward to the continuation of this strong relationship.”

Canada’s private broadcasters have themselves created industry standards in the form of Codes on ethics, gender portrayal and television violence 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, as well as the Code dealing with journalistic practices first created by the Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada (RTNDA) in 1970. More than 465 radio and television stations and specialty services from across Canada are members of the Council.

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