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CBC executive says broadcaster may allow reporters to express personal views

A top executive in the CBC has said that the outlet is considering allowing their reporters to express personal opinions about political issues.
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC

A top executive in the CBC has said that the outlet is considering allowing their reporters to express personal opinions about political issues, according to Blacklock's Reporter.

If enacted, this policy will cast more doubt on the crown broadcaster's neutrality, adding more fuel to the accusation that the CBC has a anti-conservative bias.

An internal email sent by editor-in-chief Brodie Fenlon said that the CBC is currently reviewing their ethics guidelines.

"If you are struggling to reconcile your need to do or say something with your obligations under Journalistic Standards And Practices, then please talk to us first," wrote the editor-in-chief.  

"Some of you have told us you feel stymied by our Journalistic Standards And Practices," he added.

The CBC's sole mandate is to provide impartial news to Canadians. Under Fenlon's leadership, however, that impartiality has come under intense scrutiny. This hit fever pitch during the 2019 election after Rosemary Barton sued the Conservative Party while she continued to provide coverage of the campaign.

The CBC's internal code vows that "journalists do not express their own personal opinion because it affects the perception of impartiality." If they did, it is not unreasonable to infer that the general public would lose faith in the institution.

Conservative Leadership Candidate Erin O'Toole has pledged to strip the CBC for parts, defunding much of the English-language service whilst preserving Ici-Radio Canada.

"While I believe strongly Standards is the fundamental reason we are one of the most trusted news sources in Canada, I think this question of inclusion and the Standards is critically important and we will begin the discussion in earnest," concluded Fenlon ominously.

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