CBC Ombudsman: Public figures get public scrutiny
The complainant, Nimra Amjad, asked that articles about her be de-indexed. She thought that this would protect her from harassment that she said arose from them, but still maintain the record. Ms. Amjad was a candidate for school board trustee in Calgary. She is still in the public eye related to that campaign. The material is accurate and the public interest would not be served by hiding the stories which involve a complicated tale of alleged threats against her.
You were the subject of several articles published on cbcnews.ca last August and October. The stories dealt with allegations that you had received death threats and racist attacks when running for a position as a school board trustee in Calgary.
You stated that there were inaccuracies in the stories, and that your attempts to correct them had been ignored by news staff at CBC Calgary:
Ms. Amjad was a victim, and she continues to be victimized by the misrepresentation of facts and reality, causing others to contact her making demeaning, racist, anti-Muslim comments via any avenue they can find.
There were three stories – one published on August 17th which recounted the threats and reaction to them. All of this was occurring in the midst of an election for school board trustees. The second story ran a day later, featuring a response from the Mayor of Calgary. Two months later, a story was published stating that the police were ending the investigation into racist death threats. The complaint had been withdrawn. The man who was accused of making the threats had denied them and information came to light that you actually knew him. The details were somewhat complex and reporter Meghan Grant interviewed you to get your view of the story and its development. This was the story you said was inaccurate and that your attempts to correct it were ignored.
You requested that the articles be de-indexed – which means no longer searchable – in order to forestall further “de-meaning, racist, anti-Muslim comments” you had been receiving as a result of the coverage. You pointed out that de-indexing would leave the record intact, but the stories would not be searchable by your name. You believed the threats you had been receiving met the criteria set out in CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices.
Continue reading this on the CBC website, where it was first published.