Infant mortality rate in Gaza

Review from the Office of the Ombudsman | English Services

Summary

The National's assertion that the infant mortality rate in Gaza is among the highest in the world

I am writing with regard to your request for a review by the Office of the Ombudsman concerning the broadcast of information about the infant mortality rate in the Gaza Strip.

Your June 7, 2010, correspondence with this Office identified a concern about an assertion by The National that the infant mortality rate in the Gaza was among the highest in the world. But according to the CIA World Fact Book, an acknowledged global reference volume, Gaza ranks 109th out of 224 countries or regions with a rate of about 18 per 1,000 live births. It was helpful to correct the record, given the importance of the data in articulating health challenges for the population and the implications for our understanding of quality of life standards in the world's regions.

On its June 11 broadcast, The National set the record straight. It said: “Earlier this month, we reported the Gaza Strip has an infant mortality rate among the highest in the world, but according to the CIA World Fact Book, Gaza ranks 109th out of 224 regions in the world with an infant mortality rate of almost 18 deaths per thousand live births.”

This correction was in accord with CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices which states: “The CBC will not hesitate to admit and correct a material error when it is established that one has been made.”

While your correspondence alludes to broader issues of bias, your specific concern in this instance was handled ideally in the context of CBC's standards. I cannot find any reason to further investigate the matter.

Kirk LaPointe
CBC Ombudsman