Home Media Action Alerts2008 HRC Commends Radio-Canada Ombudsman (December 9 2008)

HRC Commends Radio-Canada Ombudsman (December 9 2008)

by Mike Fegelman

For the Record: Radio-Canada’s Ombudsman stated that “Before the controversy erupted” a senior documentary director “purchased the right to some very interesting Israeli documentaries that will be broadcast in the first six months of 2009.”

For Immediate Release

HRC commends Radio-Canada Ombudsman for concluding that a pro-Palestinian propaganda film “should not have been broadcast” on its airwaves

Toronto, December 9, 2008 — HonestReporting Canada (HRC) commends Radio-Canada Ombudsman, Ms. Julie Miville-Dechêne, for carrying out an independent review of our public broadcaster’s airing of a pro-Palestinian propaganda film, which concluded in a report released today, that the “documentary should not have been broadcast” in the first place due to numerous failures of “editorial control.”

“We are satisfied that our concerns have been addressed, both promptly and professionally, by the staff at Radio-Canada,” said Mike Fegelman, Executive Director of HonestReporting Canada. “As the network has voluntarily disclosed many of its journalistic lapses, as it will air “very interesting Israeli documentaries” set to broadcast in early 2009, and has implemented stricter editorial policies to prevent an incident like this from occurring in the future, Radio-Canada has strengthened its credibility and has become a better news organization.”

Ms. Miville-Dechêne acknowledged in her review that she “
received 156 complaints about this broadcast. Most of those filing complaints, who were in various countries, did so in response to an appeal by HonestReporting Canada, a pro-Israel media watchdog that encouraged visitors to its website to send complaints to my office.”
According to the review: “The film claims, without proving it, that the government of Israel controls U.S. print and electronic mediaThere is no fairness, balance, or nuance here: this pro-Palestinian documentary presents one point-of-view, one side of the coin… The documentary, produced five years ago, contains anachronisms and inaccuracies, and militant pro-Palestinian groups were involved in researching the film. Given the circumstances and the acknowledged failures of editorial control, this documentary should not have been broadcast.
In conclusion, Ms. Miville- Dechêne points out that: “Journalistic Standards and Practices were not followed in the presentation (of the film). Radio-Canada should have indicated that the film was a point-of-view documentary and that the situation on the ground had changed in the last five years. The film’s production date should have been indicated, especially since Israel had withdrawn form the Gaza Strip. Finally, it should have been clear that the documentary was a foreign-produced work.
Click the following links to read the formal 10-page review by Radio-Canada’s Ombudsman in English or in French
View our original complaint here entitled: “Radio-Canada Wrong In Airing Pro-Palestinian Advocacy Film”
About HonestReporting Canada
HonestReporting Canada is an independent, non-profit, grass-roots organization monitoring Canadian media for fairness and accuracy in reporting. HonestReporting Canada’s goal is to ensure that Canadian news organizations abide by professional standards of conduct when reporting on Israel and the Middle East. The organization is supported by donations from concerned Canadians. Online donations can be made at its website. To discuss major gifts, contact the organization at info@honestreporting.ca.



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