By Western Standard
October 23, 2021
A St. John’s TV station breached newsroom ethics when it put out a report containing mistakes, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
The TV station was censured for garbling a handful of facts in a local story.
“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.
Correct information “could have been easily verified by the reporter prior to airing the news segment,” wrote the Council.
NTV on its flagship suppertime newscast last April 26 broadcast a story on a local parole case that misstated the year of the crime, the date the killer was convicted, and the number of years the murderer served in the penitentiary.
“This whole story was riddled with inconsistencies,” complained one viewer.
“He was charged and convicted in 2003. They reported 2002.
“These facts were not factual. There were four mistakes in the story.”
NTV management apologized and acknowledged errors were made as the story was “rushed to air” but denied any breach of newsroom ethics.
“Although we do not believe our coverage of this story was in breach of any industry guidelines or codes, we understand every individual may view news material or programming from a different perspective,” wrote station managers.
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code Of Ethics states, “It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy.”
A similar Code Of Journalistic Ethics by the Radio Television Digital News Association states: “We are committed to journalism in the public interest that is accurate and reliable.”
“It is understandable that in a rush to get the story to air, incorrect pieces of information were used.”
“Journalists should strive to verify facts and put them in context. These inaccuracies constitute breaches.”
There are no fines for breaching TV codes. The station must announce the violation on its newscast.