Rogers today, along with Bell, Telus, Cogeco, Eastlink and the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc. (CCSA), filed a complaint with the CRTC that CTV has violated the Broadcasting Act by airing one-sided and unbalanced coverage of its own advocacy campaign.
CTV, in order to pressure the government and the regulator to impose a TV tax on Canadian consumers, has been promoting its “Save Local TV’ campaign across its media television properties. Incorporating the campaign into their local newscasts violates the Broadcasting Act and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters own Code of Ethics.
“While we fundamentally disagree with CTV’s position on a TV tax, the issue here is not about their position, it is about a blatant violation of respected journalistic principles,” said Phil Lind, Vice Chairman, Rogers. “The public should expect better and not be manipulated with one-sided reporting masquerading as ‘real news’. No advocacy group should be able to hijack the newscasts of Canadian broadcasters, and that is especially true when the advocacy group is the broadcaster itself.”
Rogers argues in its letter to the CRTC that the Broadcasting Act requires broadcasters to “provide reasonable, balanced opportunity for the expression of differing views on matters of public concern”. As well, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Code of Ethics emphasizes that news programming “shall be presented with accuracy and without bias.”
The correspondence signed by Rogers, Bell, Telus, Cogeco, Eastlink and the CCSA, urged the CRTC to take immediate action to correct the situation and terminate these violations.