Over the past few days, the National NewsMedia Council (NNC) has received complaints about an op-ed published in the Vancouver Sun and the Province this past weekend under the headline: ‘Ethnic diversity harms a country’s social trust, economic well-being, professor argues.’
As you are aware, the NNC is a voluntary, self-regulatory body that deals with complaints about news and opinion reporting published by our member newspapers and digital news organizations in Canada. The Vancouver Sun and the Province, as Postmedia titles, are among our founding members.
As a mission, the NNC promotes widely accepted journalistic standards, including accuracy, context, and the opportunity to respond to allegations and harmful statements.
Our process requests that complainants and the news organization take the opportunity to resolve the issue at the local level, and proceed to the NNC if no resolution is found.
In this case, we note that the Vancouver Sun and the Province promptly removed the op-ed in question from their website. The NNC notes that the so-called ‘unpublishing’ of any content is a rare step that is generally reserved for serious cases.
We also note the publication’s editor-in-chief has written an apology to readers, and the news organization published another op-ed that strongly refutes the original opinion column.
These are strong measures on the part of the news organization. They are consistent with remedies the NNC would recommend or find appropriate.
The fact that the Vancouver Sun and the Province has taken these steps voluntarily, and in a timely manner is, in our view, a show of good faith in remedying a lapse in the news organization’s normal adherence to journalistic standards.
The NationalNews Media Council administration