Reviews on brain imagery and name calling

Since my last post I have completed two reviews, one on difficult televised images and one on a name-calling incident.

The first review concerned images October 4 to promote a documentary the next night on brain research on CBC Television’s The National.

I found more could have been done in the promotional clip to alert the audience it was about to see a scientist handling a human brain. But I also concluded CBC responded well to a viewer’s complaint in quickly acknowledging this and limiting the imagery in material associated with the documentary the following night. The special report itself went to great lengths to prepare the audience for the images.

The second review concerned remarks October 6 by co-host Kevin O’Leary on The Lang & O’Leary Exchange in an interview with journalist Chris Hedges.

I found the remarks violated CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices policy. While the program acted responsibly in quickly apologizing to Hedges, I concluded it would have better fulfilled the spirit of its policy by communicating its acknowledgment of error to the audience.

This column was originally published on on Oct. 14, 2011.

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