Ombudsman mandate review launched

CBC/Radio-Canada have launched a review of the mandate for their ombudsmen.

The review follows last year's update of CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices and deals specifically with the role of the ombudsmen in the current media landscape. The mandate has not been reviewed for several years.

CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix says social media and the Internet have changed the way in which the corporation does business, so "it's important that we understand new media's impact, either real or potential, on the mandate and role of our ombudsmen."

A panel will conduct the review, led by Jodi White, president of the Sydney House consultancy and a senior fellow of the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs and the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs in Ottawa.

The panel comprises:

  • Vince Carlin, the former CBC ombudsman.
  • Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent and host of CBC's The National.
  • Genevieve Rossier, Radio-Canada's executive director of Internet and digital services.
  • Pierre Trudel, the L.R. Wilson chair in information technology and e-commerce law at the University of Montreal.
  • Christopher Waddell, an associate professor and the director of journalism and communication Carty chair in business and financial journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa.

It will interview industry experts, past and present ombudsmen, and CBC/Radio-Canada senior managers and journalists. The panel will research practices at other news organizations.

Its work will be completed later this fall and its report and recommendations will be presented to the CBC president and board for further consideration.