M. W. Campbell
Mis en cause
[Montréal] et M. Larry Zolf (journaliste)
Représentant du mis en cause
M. Mark Harrison
(rédacteur en chef, The Gazette [Montréal])
Résumé de la plainte
privilégie les opinions et les lettres ouvertes qui correspondent à ses
positions éditoriales. Le texte «We’re still a colony to many British
Canadians», paru le 19 février 1981 sous la signature du journaliste Larry
Zolf, semble ainsi n’avoir d’autre but que de ridiculiser les personnes
Griefs du plaignant
de presse du Québec has completed its study of your complaint against The
Gazette’s policy of publishing viewpoints and letter-to-the-editor which comply
only with The Gazette’s alledged editorial policy. In your view it was a
consistent pratice of this Newspaper to publish biased articles and letters
supporting this bias.
you referred the Council’s attention to journalist Larry Zolf’s story of
February 19th 1981 entitled «We’re still a colony to many British Canadians»,
an article, in your view, «entirely unbalanced» and serving «no purpose beyond
inciting ridicule and possibly hatred towards Canadians of British origin».
According to you the author appeared «to have intended to insult this
considerable segment of Canadians», the result being a «scurrilous and
slanderous piece of journalism».
Commentaires du mis en cause
out that the story in question was on the page in which the Newspaper usually
publishes a variety of opinions and the possibility that the author’s views or
views expressed from time to time by others on that page might be offensive to
some people, the Editor of The Gazette, Mr Mark Harrison, felt that you were as
free as any other reader to submit a letter for publication challenging points
of view that you desagreed with.
particular case though, you did not even bother to seek redress from the
Newspaper or even to submit a letter for publication. There was then no
justification for you to complain. Would you have written such a letter
challenging Mr Zolf’s story, it is entirely possible, according to Mr Harrison,
that your views would have been published. On this point, you alledged that on
many occasions in the past, you had written to The Gazette on various matters
pertaining, for instance, to Norhern Ireland, the Monarchy and Canadians of
British descent, as attempts to counter the bias shown by the Newspaper. Very
few of yours letters had been published and that is why you decided to come
direct to the Council.
Harrison also denied that there were such a policy of publishing points of view
that support the Newspaper’s editorial opinion, The Gazette’s policy being, on
the contrary, to publish letters which are «timely, lucid and free of factual
errors or vituperations of individuals». According to Mr Harrison anyone who
reads the Paper’s editorial page could see easily viewpoints and letter-to-the-editor
expressing views contrary or different from the editorial standpoint.
Le Conseil does not retain your complaint against The Gazette’s alledged policy of publishing viewpoints and letter-to-the-editor that comply with its editorial convictions. Neither do the facts support your allegation that The Gazette would stifle or eliminate opinions and points of view that are not in accordance with its own.
Le Conseil considers that the evidence is rather to the contrary and that The Gazette in its publishing of opinions and letter-to-the-editor does generally permit the expression of as broad and diversified views as possible. Decision concerning publication and treatment of these matters is necessarily a selective process whose it is the prerogative and the responsability of the editor to perform in a spirit of equity.
Analyse de la décision
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