Filed today with the CBC Ombudsman based on my original blog post here:
Just as politicians and lobby groups must publicize their sources of funding in order to be accountable to the public, reporters seeking to inform that same public must make this information a prominent part of their stories in order to provide relevant context to readers. Particularly when a new political interest group appears on the scene, reporters have an obligation to provide readers with a complete picture of who this group is, why they have emerged, and who has provided the funds to make their emergence possible.
I believe Margo McDiarmid made a significant omission in the June 20, 2014 story, “Northern Gateway tanker threat spurs First Nation’s yarn blockade” by omitting a great deal of information about the nature of the “pipeline opponents” featured in his story — the Hartley Bay First Nation — particularly who provides their funding as outlined in this Joint Review testimony: https://bcblue.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/tides-gitgaat.jpg and this 2008 CP story in which the Hartley Bay First Nation created their own environmental disaster: https://bcblue.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/hartley-bay.jpg
Considering that many political activist groups these days are open fronts for special interest lobbies, reporters should be aware that their neutral coverage can be compromised by omitting critical details about who is providing the funding for mysterious new groups suddenly exerting great influence over our political debates. In particular, it is becoming increasingly apparent that many “green” activist groups have ties to highly questionable sources of funding that may significantly alter their standing in the eyes of the public if known, such as the recent news from NATO that some European environmentalist groups may in fact be on Russian payroll. Funding questions of green groups is thus a matter of clear public interest and curiosity.
A correction needs to be issued by the CBC and a statement from the CBC Ombudsman that condemns omitting such details in further stories on this and other similar issues.