CBC reporter reassigned after Tories complain

CBC releases response to Conservative Party of Canada complaint

        TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ – CBC News today released the following letter:

        Doug Finley,
        Director of Political Operations
        Conservative Party of Canada

        January 21, 2008

        Dear Mr. Finley:

        This letter is in response to your complaint to the CBC
Ombudsman about “collusion” involving one of our reporters during the
Mulroney/Schreiber hearings in Ottawa, during which questions were asked about lobbying efforts by Mr. Mulroney directed toward the current federal government.
        Following an investigation by senior management of CBC News, we
have determined that our reporter Krista Erickson did, in fact, provide
questions to a Member of Parliament in the lead up to the Ethics
Committee meeting in December. Those actions, while in pursuit of a
journalistically legitimate story, were inappropriate and inconsistent
with CBC News policies and procedures, specifically under our
Principles, Sec. 3:

        “Credibility is dependent not only on qualities such as accuracy and
        fairness in reporting and presentation, but also upon avoidance by both
        the organization and its journalists of associations or contacts which
        could reasonably give rise to perceptions of partiality. Any situation
        which could cause reasonable apprehension that a journalist or the
        organization is biased or under the influence of any pressure group,
        whether ideological, political, financial, social or cultural, must be

        Our investigation determined there was no bias in related news
coverage. However, our reporter, acting on her own, used inappropriate
tactics as a result of journalistic zeal, rather than partisan
interest. CBC News management has made the decision to reassign its
reporter from the story and to Toronto, effective Jan. 21.
        Given the potential risk to the journalistic credibility of our
Ottawa bureau, its reporters and CBC News generally, we have chosen on
an exceptional basis to make the detailed outcome of our disciplinary
process available to you, our employees and the public at large.
        I trust this addresses your concerns.
        It is also my responsibility to inform you that if you are not
satisfied with this response, you may wish to submit the matter for
review by Vince Carlin, CBC Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman, an
independent and impartial body reporting directly to the President, is
responsible for evaluating program compliance with the CBC’s
journalistic policies. The Ombudsman may be reached by mail at the
address shown below, or by fax at(416) 205-2825, or by e-mail at ombudsman@cbc.ca


        John Cruickshank
        CBC News

        Box 500, Station “A”,
        Toronto, Ontario
        M5W 1E6

        cc. Vince Carlin, CBC Ombudsman



/For further information: Jeff Keay, media relations, (416) 205-3987,