Four findings released

Since my last post I have released four findings as a result of public complaints about news and information content at CBC.

In the first review, I was asked to examine a complaint that CBC Television's The National had violated journalistic policy by promoting a story to come in its newscast without revealing what it knew right away.

Even though the practice can annoy some viewers, there is nothing in the CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices policy to prevent so-called "teases" of content, so there was no violation.

The second review involved a CBC Television and CBC.ca report that misidentified a youth in a photograph. The youth's mother complained that CBC had interviewed him for a story on neighbourhood vandalism.

The misidentification was a violation of policy, and while there were ways to cover the story without naming or showing the youth, CBC did not violate its policy in doing so.

The third finding arose from a complaint about a CBC Television interview on The National by Amanda Lang of former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant. The complainant asserted that Lang was in a conflict of interest because she knew Bryant.

I did not find a violation of policy because there are no provisions involving coverage of stories involving acquaintances, but indicated there was room for improvement by disclosing the acquaintance earlier in the interview to mitigate any perception of a conflict.

The fourth review concerned a complaint of bias involving the headline online of an Associated Press story on the speech by movie star and director Clint Eastwood at the Republican convention.

While the headline might have been more elegantly worded, it was not a violation of policy.