My complaint to the CBC Ombudsman regarding Rosemary Barton taking a selfie with Trudeau

barton trudeau selfie

Update: The CBC Ombudsman has accepted my complaint:

Dear Mr. Skoreyko:

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email.  The first step in the process is to share your complaint with the relevant programmers, who have the right and responsibility to respond.  I have therefore shared your email with Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News.  If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you may ask me to review the matter.

Programmers are asked to try to reply within twenty working days.

Sincerely,
Esther Enkin

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The complaint I will be filing Monday to the CBC Ombudsman:

In modern social media culture, “selfies” with celebrities have become synonymous with excited affection. They are not mere photographs, but something more intimate, familiar, and fun — a sort of proof that the selfie-taker was not only in close proximity to the celebrity, but that the celebrity was content to get up close and cozy in a way that seems to imply genuine affinity.

For this reason, I believe it was entirely inappropriate for the CBC’s Rosemary Barton to pose for, and then tweet a selfie she took with Prime Minister Trudeau during his recent visit to Washington. I believe the symbolism of this photo creates an appearance of affection between the two that is unprofessional, and calls into question Barton’s ability to provide impartial coverage of the prime minister. I believe it is possible, though often difficult, for a reporter to pose for a photo with a prime minister that is formal and professional in a way that does not imply anything beyond respect for the office. However, I believe Barton failed this test with her misjudgement, and instead created a liability for the CBC in the eyes of its audience.

The CBC must suspend Barton from appearing on-air pending a review by management.

Thank you
Dean Skoreyko

 

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