Reader faults CBC’s unfair coverage of Ukraine crisis
The discussion on PeaceQuest about the media’s use of commentators and experts with links to companies and lobby firms has generated a lot of interest.
Readers have been writing to the CBC ombudsman following our first article on the widespread use of “experts” with unabashed financial ties to the military and weapons-makers by the CBC and others.
In one response received by a PeaceQuest reader, the CBC Ombudsman agreed that the broadcaster should do better, and encouraged viewers to forward other instances of reporting that may not meet journalistic standards.
This week, our friend and long-time peace activist Tamara Lorincz shared a letter she has submitted to the CBC Ombudsman Jack Nager. In it, she documents what she calls very biased and unbalanced coverage of the Ukraine crisis.
“The CBC has hosted many more Ukrainian, pro-NATO and anti-Russian guests who have advocated for more weapons to Ukraine and have portrayed Russia as the aggressor. The CBC has not given equal air time to Russian officials or to alternative peace perspectives who are critical of NATO expansion and the Canadian military in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The poor, biased reporting is misinforming Canadians. Worse, it is fanning the flames of war and increasing insecurity in the region and risking the lives of Ukrainians,” said Tamara Lorincz.
Here are a few of the examples documented by Tamara and links so that you can judge for yourself.
On January 21 on The Current, Matt Galloway only interviewed one Ukrainian, pro-NATO, anti-Russia speaker: Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. She called for more weapons to Ukraine and described Russia as the aggressor. There was no Russian guest on the show. There was no one critical of NATO or offering a peaceful, diplomatic perspective. Galloway’s show was heavily biased. Listen here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-63-the-current/clip/15890539-watching-developments-between-russia-ukraine
On January 20 on her podcast At Issue, Rosemary Barton, interviewed four Canadian commentators and not one was critical of NATO expansion to Russia’s border and most supported greater Canadian military aid to Ukraine: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-170-cbc-news-at-issue/clip/15890409-canadas-role-russia-ukraine-tensions
On January 23 on the CBC News web site, CBC reporter Christian Paas-Lang wrote a story that cited Ukraine’s former ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko, and Ukraine oligarch Petro Poroshenko’s messages to Canada to further arm Ukraine and did not give equal weight to Russian perspectives. Though Paas-Lang did include a short clip of Russian Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov, Stepanov is given one quote toward the end of the article. There was no critical, peace perspective provided. There was no balance of views. Please read his story here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/poroshenko-ukraine-russia-canada-aid-1.6324247
“I find CBC’s current reporting extremely troubling as it is reminiscent of the media reporting in the lead up to the Iraq War in 2002-2003. I would like to know how the CBC will address this severely biased, unbalanced and inadequate coverage, which is a violation of the Journalistic Standards and Practices, of the Ukraine crisis,” Tamara Lorincz concludes.