War, Terror and Natural Disasters

  • Depiction of Violence

    We reflect the reality of the situations we report. We also respect the sensibilities of our viewers, listeners and readers.

    Scenes of violence and suffering are part of our coverage of wars, disaster, crime and conflict.

    We respect our audience by assessing the impact of our images according to time of day and the context of the program where such material is appearing.

    If it is necessary to use graphic images, we will add a warning ahead of their use.

    We should familiarize ourselves with any laws or regulations about the depiction of violence.

  • Embedding with Military or Armed Factions

    Our conflict reporting should contribute to an understanding of the reality on the ground, and tell the stories of the combatants and the people affected by the fighting. To do this we may choose to embed with the military or another faction in the struggle, or with other interested parties.

    Embedding usually imposes some restrictions of movement and on our ability to record or tell stories.

    Reporting from an embed means that only a particular point of view is represented; we will provide balanced reporting with other perspectives and sources in a reasonable time frame. We will also be transparent with our audience about the restrictions embedding imposes.

    The decision to embed is an important one involving serious safety issues, as well as editorial considerations, and requires referral to the Director.

    Only personnel that meet CBC’s training requirements for reporting in dangerous situations can be sent on these assignments.

  • Kidnapping

    A kidnapping presents a difficult challenge because it requires us to balance our professional duty to report what we know with the concern to protect innocent people from additional harm.

    A news blackout could be requested by the authorities or people involved in negotiations with the kidnappers. Decisions about respecting a news blackout or breaking one should be referred to the General Manager and Editor in Chief.

  • Natural Disasters

    When a natural disaster strikes, we provide useful information and context, especially for those most directly affected.

    The information we provide helps the audience understand a fluid and chaotic situation, so that it can assess the impact and potential danger.

    We will sometimes receive conflicting information from credible sources. We may chosse to report this, making clear the circumstances of the situation and citing the sources while we work to reconcile the information in light of the reality on the ground.

  • Drones

    Sometimes new technologies change the way journalists are able to gather images and information.

    Use of these technologies generally does not change the way we interpret our standards and practices.

    One such example is the use of drones.

    Images captured by cameras attached to drones may violate the principle of respect for privacy. Any capture or dissemination of material involving this principle should be assessed against the public interest in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy standards elsewhere in this document.

    Where appropriate, we may also refer to provisions for Clandestine Methods.

    We should be aware of legal regulations concerning the use of drones.

  • Respect for the Suffering of Victims and their Family

    In approaching victims or witnesses of tragic events, we carefully weigh both the public interest of full reporting and the need to show compassion and restraint. In such situations we are considerate and we use judgment.

    We take care not to exert undue pressure on a distressed person for an interview.

    When images or audio clips could upset part of the audience, we choose them carefully. We limit their use to what is necessary for an understanding of the subject and we provide an audience advisory before use on any of our platforms.

  • Identification of Accident and Crime Victims

    If police have not released the identity of a person who has died as a result of an accident or a crime, we refrain from publishing this information until we have confirmed it. If the immediate family has not been notified, we consider the public interest before identifying the victim.

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