Kevin Crull Versus the Code of Journalistic Ethics

On Thursday, March 26, the chairman of the CRTC (the Canadian broadcast regulator), Jean-Pierre Blais, announced the so-called “pick-and pay” policy that will give consumers more freedom to choose cable and satellite TV channels. It was expected that this decision would be bad for the bottom line at BCE, the parent company of Bell Media.

Kevin CrullMr. Blais was promptly interviewed on BNN, a Bell-Media-owned business news station. Kevin Crull (pictured here), then president of Bell Media, which also owns CTV, was enraged by the decision and called in Wendy Freeman, who was in charge of CTV News. He told her Mr. Blais was not to appear on CTV News.

CTV journalists considered this interference a serious matter and decided that complying with such an order would be a breach of journalistic ethics, which demand resistance to interference of this nature. After intense internal debate, they defied the order.

Last Thursday, Kevin Crull was forced to apologize and lost his job, effective immediately.

Sources: The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star


4 responses to “Kevin Crull Versus the Code of Journalistic Ethics

  1. There were people who the CBC, at least The Journal, would never interview: Barbara Amiel is one example. It may never have been stated, just understood.

    The Bell man is in that fine tradition.

  2. So pleased to hear that journalists are still able to defy censorship by their supposed owners. Journalists have a special place in the community, largely derived from their role as the eyes and ears of the people.
    If they lose that role by selective and biased reporting they lose that special place and eventually, their relevance.
    I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere with world, but in Australia this has been forgotten by media baron Rupert Murdoch’s hirelings

  3. Crull is obviously too dumb to hold that job. All organizations have some sacred cows that sometimes skew the news coverage but nothing as crass as this. He should have simply asked to be interviewed as well and made his case. It also raises the issue whether Bell is just too big for its own and the public’s good.

  4. A little — somewhat humourous — addendum to the above. My very first job in journalism was at the Windsor Star. One day I wrote that someone made a statement on the radio. It was expunged from my copy and the city editor explained that the paper’s owners — the Graybiel family — had been denied a radio license some years previously and any mention of radio in the newspaper was strictly verboten!