VAT severely blamed for his story on women at the site of the mosque
MONTREAL — Claiming that his story and those who have followed have had the effect of “exacerbating tensions in society” in addition to having had “a significant impact on the muslim community”, the Quebec press Council censure severely TVA News, the website of TVA’s news and its reporter for a story titled “No women on the construction site of the mosque” broadcast in December 2017. No less than 79 people have filed complaints with the court of honor of the media in this folder.
According to the decision published Thursday, the council complains that “serious breaches of journalistic ethics” for having “wrongly asserted that workers could not find on a job site (construction) in the vicinity of mosques” in Montreal.
The organization has retained the complaints of the grievances “of inaccurate information, lack of balance, lack of verification of the reliability of the information transmitted by the sources, lack of fairness, and fix inadequate”.
Members of the press Council, however, have not upheld the complaints of “bias and maintenance bias stoking the hatred and contempt”.
In the document explaining the sanction of a “reprimand severe”, the board justified its decision, arguing that this story and those that have followed have had the effect of”exacerbating tensions in society” in addition to having had “a significant impact on the muslim community”.
It accuses TVA and its journalist does not have to be retracted and apologized pretty quickly. The news media has done its mea culpa, making an apology and admitting his mistakes, more than a year after the broadcast of the report. What the council felt that it was too late.
The channel TVA Nouvelles had yet done an update in the days following the broadcast. The initial report dated 12 December 2017, and then follow-up was broadcast on 13 and 14 December, but on December 15, the media company has released a message of apology, admitting that the versions of the interviewed stakeholders had changed.
“VAT News regrets this situation and apologizes to various actors and viewers who have been affected by this news,” read this first recognition of the facts.
A few days later, on December 21, 2017, another journalist of the channel admitted that the facts reported were inaccurate and that they were the result of a misinterpretation of some stakeholders on the project and poor communication.
The television report and the article published online reported that officials from the two mosques of Montreal would have applied pressure to that no woman is working on Friday on a construction site nearby. Requests that, according to the report, would have been for the purpose of “do not harm the prayer of the faithful”.
Following these assertions, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) has conducted a survey and concluded not to have found absolutely nothing to support such requests on the part of the representatives of the mosque.
According to the press council, journalist Marie-Pier Cloutier had “provided inaccurate information” about these so-called pressures as well as “a written clause regarding the presence of women on the construction site and the redeployment of five women of the site”.
It accuses the reporter of not having obtained confirmation to the source and having cross-checked the facts. In addition, the media is blamed for not having given the word by the waves to the representatives of the mosque during a live reporting.
The council retains a claim of a lack of fairness because Ms. Cloutier has claimed to possess written evidence during an interview with officials from the mosque, so that such document does not exist.
According to the rules of professional conduct of the press Council, the company that is the subject of a complaint brought against it “has a moral obligation to publish or broadcast” within a period of 30 days.
The media Quebecor are, however, more members of the tribunal of honor of the media, that they abandoned several years ago.
In a motion for permanent injunction filed in August 2018 in the superior Court at Montreal, the Journal de Montréal and the TVA Group demanded more than $ 200 000 in compensatory damages and punitive damages to two decisions that were deemed to have damaged the reputation of the Journal de Montréal and that have been described as defamatory.
The Journal de Montréal and TVA Group, and reminded when they are removed from the press Council in 2010 and 2008, respectively, and that they do not recognize any jurisdiction to that body to which they blame the weakness of the reasons for its decisions, their arbitrariness, their lack of rigor, and appreciation of, a biased view of the facts.
Invited to comment on the decision of the press Council, TVA News had not yet returned calls from The canadian Press at the time of online.