CBC Ombudsman: Bias by Omission
By Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman
The complainant, Art Toft, thought that merely reporting about the closing down of an activist group’s space because the building was being torn down was unacceptable. He believed it was biased not to mention the political positions taken by Beit Zatoun. He felt the article praised the organization. The politics were not relevant in this context.
You were concerned about a cbcnews.ca article regarding the closing of a community organization called Beit Zatoun. You brought your complaint to this office because you had not received a reply when you contacted CBC News directly about the article entitled “After 1,000 events activist hub Beit Zatoun forced to close”. You thought this article, about a community space closing because it was being demolished for redevelopment, was one more example of CBC News’ bias against Israel. You said the article “praised the activities that occurred at Beit Zatoun. You characterized the supporters of the organization as “left-wing, anti-Israel, BDS activists & in general, don’t care about a just peace in the Middle East.” Their positions on the conflict should have been included in this article, you stated:
For the sake of balance, how about spending some effort showing the true colours of these people, rather than whitewashing what their true agenda is.
But the CBC never has shown journalistic integrity when it comes to reporting on this conflict. I doubt if it will start now, but I’d be refreshing & morally & journalistically proper if you would.
The Executive Producer for CBC News in Toronto, Pras Rajagopalan, replied to your concern. He apologized that you had not received a reply to your comments at the outset. He explained that it is not always possible to answer all the mail they receive directly, but it is all read and “taken seriously.”
Continue reading this story on the CBC website, where it first appeared.