Keewatin-Patricia District School Board Bullies Local Media

Friday, April 19, 2002
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is astonished by the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board's move to determine what constitutes quality journalism. Dave McLeod, the Board's director of education, said in an interview aired March 18, 2002, on the CBC Radio program "Ontario Today" that the Board will pull its advertising from newspapers and broadcast outlets it deems to be unbalanced or factually inaccurate in its coverage of Board affairs. "When you deal with issues about our Board," Mr. McLeod said, "we expect it to be factual, hope you're balanced [but] take great exception to any media source that feels, for example in a newspaper, they can write editorials and not bother to check facts with us." Mr. McLeod did not return a CJFE call to check facts for this news release. The new policy apparently follows a recent strike by support workers at Keewatin-Patricia that led to some strongly worded editorials in a local newspaper. CJFE laments that the Board apparently sees no merit in taking its complaints to press councils, approaching journalists with its side of the story or writing letters to the editor. The Board will, instead, sit in judgment of what is "factual" and "balanced" reporting and act accordingly. CJFE is an association of journalists and others who work on behalf of freedom of expression and media rights issues. For more information, please contact Joel Ruimy at CJFE, tel: 416 515 9622, fax: 416 515 7879, E-mail: ruimy@cjfe.org.

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