During elections, CBC's overarching principle is to ensure all candidates, parties and issues are covered fairly. But equitable coverage doesn't necessarily mean equal coverage of all candidates.
In practice, equitable coverage means the most significant candidates in the election, those most likely to influence the outcome, the most newsworthy, are covered more closely and at greater length. But all candidates can expect some coverage. So while the major candidates may be invited to participate in a debate, for example, all candidates can expect an opportunity at some point during the election to have an opportunity to express their views.
Policy and Regulation
CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices emphasizes that CBC must pay "meticulous attention to overall political balance" during an election. At the same time, it acknowledges that for coverage to be balanced, it must take into account the weight of opinion behind a particular point of view, as well as its significance or potential significance.
There are no "equal time" rules in Canada. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission once said that all candidates had to be included in debates or panel discussion programs, but that requirement was overturned in court years ago.
The CRTC leaves election coverage to the editorial judgment of the broadcaster, but acknowledges that there is a general "obligation to provide equitable - fair and just - treatment of issues, candidates and parties," where "equitable" does not necessarily mean "equal." However, it says that all parties and candidates are entitled to some coverage that will expose their ideas to the public.
If you have further questions, please contact the CBC.
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