Readers will recall my earlier post about the OPC ruling against columnamalist David Warren and the Ottawa Citizen.
What is the newspaper required to do if my complaint is upheld? When the Council reaches its decision, a press release and a text of the adjudication are issued, copies of which go to the complainant. If a complaint is upheld, the newspaper is obligated to publish a fair account of the decision and the text of the adjudication in the paper. If the complaint is dismissed, the newspaper may print a brief item in the paper and the full adjudication on its website. Other media may also decide to report on the adjudication.
But the final paragraph of the Citizen’s account is worthy of attention:
Citizen Editor-in-Chief Gerry Nott said he was disappointed in the press council’s handling of the complaint and noted the internal issues they raise have been dealt with.
What crust! The Citizen boycotted the OPC hearing. The newspaper showed utter contempt for the process to which, as a member of the OPC, it had voluntarily subscribed.
The “internal problems” raised—in particular a columnamalist in four instances not attributing sources—would, in the old days, have resulted in serious disciplinary action.
But there David Warren is today, wittering on in his usual style as though nothing had happened—which I suspect is indeed the case. So much for complaints to the OPC: even when you win, you lose.