CBSC: CKNW Coverage Of College Shooting Violated Ethics Code
July 20, 2007 at 11:19 AM (PT)
In a decision made MARCH 26 but released now, the CANADIAN BROADCAST STANDARDS COUNCIL has ruled that CORUS Talk CKNW-A/VANCOUVER violated Article 10 of the RTNDA CANADA Code of (Journalistic) Ethics by simulcasting a feed from sister CINW-A/MONTREAL that revealed the location of students barricaded in a DAWSON COLLEGE laboratory during a gumnan's rampage on SEPTEMBER 13, 2006. In the incident, a student was killed and 19 others were injured by gunman KIMVEER GILL before he shot himself. CKNW aired CINW's coverage as breaking news during BILL GOOD's show, and the report included cell phone conversations with a student who disclosed that students and professors had barricaded themselves in a seventh floor lab while the shooter remained at large, and reports of students on other floors of the building.
A BRITISH COLUMBIA listener complained to the CRTC, which forwarded the complaint to the CBSC. The RTNDA code states that members will contact neither victims nor perpetrators of crimes while the event is still in progress. Despite the fact that CKNW is at the opposite end of the country, the CBSC noted that it was possible that the gunman might have been in contact with an accomplice anywhere in the world.
While CKNW was sanctioned, the CBSC did not apply the same ruling to CINW since no complaint was received about that station.