CBC Ombudsman Admits Host Failed Ethical Standards Covering #GamerGate
CBC Fell Short of GamerGate

Another Canadian Broadcasting Corporation host and journalist has been called out by the CBC Ombudsman for failing the basic principles of the CBC’s ethical standards when it came to covering #GamerGate in a segment about females being harassed in the gaming industry.

The latest CBC Ombudsman review was posted on August 12th, 2015 [backup] and continues to defend the shoddy reporting by the CBC on the #GamerGate topic – ironically enough, the broadcasting corporation has racked up quite a few ethical violations in their coverage of the scandal – but even the Ombudsman had to admit that in this case the CBC journalist has fallen short of the ethical standards and guidelines in place to ensure that viewers, listeners and readers are getting the most accurate coverage possible.

The review opens with Enkin stating…

“It’s best to be nuanced in describing the term [GamerGate]. The host’s phrasing fell short but the interview did not violate policy.”

Originally, in a segment of On the Coast from May 8th, 2015, host Stephen Quinn introduced listeners to #GamerGate with the following description…

“The film was finished before GamerGate – and that was of course where anonymous players threatened to rape and murder female game developers, a couple of whom were actually featured in the [documentary]”

CBC Radio’s director of programming Lorna Haeber defended Quinn’s assessment of #GamerGate – that it was just about sending murder and rape threats to female game developers.

Haeber had stated…

“[The complainant] took exception to that phrase saying there is “no evidence linking GamerGate supporters to any such incidents.” Again, the interview was not intended to explore GamerGate, and the phrase was intended to remind people quickly what it was about so the question being asked made sense.”

Haeber and Quinn were reproached by Enkin for their crass and inaccurate approach to describing the scandal.

CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin stated…

“CBC journalistic policy demands clarity in its use of language. I strongly suggest that when harassment of women gamers is being discussed the language should be very precise and nuanced. Like many controversial issues, both sides point to definitive ‘facts’ or narratives to prove their point”

The CBC is welcome any day now to provide said facts. Baseless claims without any facts and with no source other than hearsay does nothing more than make it apparent that a national news organization is adhering to publishing slander and libel for the sake of views or to push a specific political agenda.

Enkin goes on to say…

“It is not some mainstream media conspiracy that women are attacked, harassed and made to feel unwelcome.“

Unfortunately this topic has turned into a media conspiracy, especially since it has been proven that there was a media conspiracy organizing how the coverage would be handled in enthusiast and mainstream outlets, such as when the Game Journo Pros were exposed by Breitbart, or when the American Broadcasting Corporation opted to only focus on harassment instead of investigating the corruption that viewers brought to their attention.

Even more than that, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation producers admitted to canning interviews to push that very same narrative and were called out on a lie they told to the ACMA, which now sees the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ready to undergo financial scrutiny at the next senate estimates in October due to multiple breaches of ethics. That’s not a conspiracy theory; that’s fact.

Additionally, the CBC canned pre-interviews with female developers and gamers who didn’t exactly toe the “gamers are misogynists” line. The cancellation of the interviews was revealed by CBC journalist John Bowman in an e-mail, where he stated that the producers didn’t want to go down that route. As an Ombudsman, I do wonder how it feels to have to defend a broadcasting corporation who is partaking in the very conspiracy that so many people within the media claim doesn’t exist?

This review comes just a few days from the upcoming SPJ Airplay event in Miami, Florida where some of the CBC’s ethical violations will be brought forward for the whole world to see.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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