For years the political Left has used Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) complaints as a means to drive conservative commentators such as Danielle Smith from the airways. Instead of complaining about it, conservatives should not shy away from using the same tools – especially when it comes to factually incorrect or overtly bias radio and television reporting. In January 2021, the CBSC ruled against CTV News with regard to its misrepresentation of statements attributed to former US President Donald Trump. You can read a summary of this decision published by True North News here. This story indicates the CBSC will look at facts when they are presented. Part of the reason mainstream media gets away with so much political advocacy is because they are seldom challenged. Below, Canada Strong and Free Network outlines the codes of standards broadcasters must meet and how a complaint can be filed to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council when they are violated.
How to File a Complaint Against Radio and Television for Misrepresentation and Bias
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) administers codes of standards for television and radio broadcasting. The codes themselves were drafted voluntarily by industry groups, and they are revised from time to time. The CSBC does not monitor broadcasts. Instead, it relies on you, the broadcast listener, to report when the codes are not being followed. There are codes dealing with ethics, portrayal of violence, equitable portrayal of different individuals and groups, and journalistic independence. You can read the detailed codes on the CBSC website.
To give you some examples of things that broadcasters are committed to do, they must:
If you see or hear something that does not conform with these commitments, you can make a complaint to the CBSC. You should immediately write down the date and time of the broadcast, the name or call letters of the broadcaster, and a short summary of your complaint. You must submit the complaint in writing, which you can do in one of three ways:
The CBSC can impose substantial financial penalties on those who fail to observe the codes. We encourage you to do your part in holding Canadian broadcasters accountable and create incentives for more accurate and balanced news reporting!