Quebecor is going to court to try to prevent the Québec Press Council from making decisions about its news coverage.
Quebecor media properties Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec, 24 heures and TVA Group filed a motion in Québec Superior Court on Wednesday seeking an injunction and damages.
TVA Group and Quebecor’s newspapers withdrew from the Council in 2008 and 2010 respectively, and according to a press release want “their right not to be associated with the private organization, which is neither a tribunal nor an ethics committee under the law, to be respected.”
“Today, although Quebecor’s media outlets are no longer members of the Press Council, the Council continues to make erroneous, unfair and defamatory decisions about us,” said Dany Doucet, Vice-President, News, QMI Agency, and editor-in-chief of Le Journal de Montréal. “The current situation is unacceptable. Our right not to associate with this organization, a principle enshrined in the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, is being violated.”
“As a broadcaster, we are subject to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council’s standards,” noted Serge Fortin, vice-president, TVA News and TVA Sports, in the same release. “It is therefore unacceptable that the Press Council should take it upon itself to pass judgement on our reporters when we are opposed to being members of the Council or participating in it.”
Founded in 1973, the Quebec Press Council is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the freedom of the press and to the defense of the right of the public to quality reporting. Its scope extends to all media organizations that publish or broadcast in Quebec, whether they belong to the print or electronic media, and regardless of whether they are members of the Council.
According to its website, the Press Council has adjudicated eight decisions involving TVA alone in this calendar year. It rejected four of the complaints and upheld the other four.
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