False news is never acceptable - with or without CRTC regulation change

Feb 18, 2011

TORONTO, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - RTNDA Canada - The Association of Electronic Journalists - is responding to some statements in media suggesting changes to CRTC regulations may somehow threaten the standards of journalism in Canada, and permit false news to be broadcast in this country.

The issue stems out of a CRTC consultation 2011-14 (http://www.crtc.gc.ca) to modify regulations that prohibit "any false or misleading news" to "any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public."

RTNDA Canada believes the change, if implemented, would have little impact directly on journalists - at least those who abide by the RTNDA Canada Code of Ethics, which includes all RTNDA members. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) enforces the Code for private broadcasters in Canada. In addition, most if not all news organizations in Canada have newsroom policy that upholds the journalistic standards that are similar in intent - that "false and misleading" news is never acceptable.

Article One of the RTNDA Canada Code of Ethics is a specific commitment to accuracy. Article Three is a commitment to report without misrepresentation or distortion, and Article Seven is a promise to quickly acknowledge and publicly correct errors. Many other areas of the Code of Ethics deal with areas not covered by the potential regulatory changes. The full RTNDA Code of Ethics can be viewed at http://rtndacanada.com/ETHICS/codeofethics.asp

"The public expects the truth, and RTNDA Canada members do their utmost to deliver it every day," said RTNDA Canada President Andy LeBlanc. "RTNDA Canada celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, and is proud to continue promoting such industry standards among all electronic journalists."

RTNDA Canada is the voice of electronic journalists and news managers in Canada.  The members of RTNDA Canada recognize the responsibility of broadcast journalists to promote and to protect the freedom to report independently about matters of public interest and to present a wide range of expressions, opinions and ideas. The RTNDA Canada Code of Ethics, adopted by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, is used to measure fairness and accuracy in the profession.

For further information:

For more information, contact RTNDA Canada:

Sherry Denesha     Andy LeBlanc  
Operations Manager     President
(416) 756-2213      (506) 325-4705
sherry@rtndacanada.com      andy.leblanc@nbcc.ca
or visit www.rtndacanada.com

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