Policy 1.1.13: Program Research

Effective: July 6, 1994

The CBC/Radio-Canada will maintain a high standard of accuracy and comprehensiveness in the information which its programs present. This requires careful editorial supervision and attention to research in all stages of program planning; not only for programs normally thought to lie in the information field (news, current affairs, humanities, social sciences, agriculture and resources, schools and youth, and religious) but to "feature" programs, and even to docudramas.

Minor errors of fact can damage the credibility of whole programs and can be used by CBC/Radio-Canada's critics to cast doubt on the CBC/Radio-Canada's purposes in important program areas.

In undertaking research for any program, producers and researchers should utilize the resources available from the specialist program departments and services (Legal, Research) within the CBC/Radio-Canada.

Any research in the social sciences involves explicitly or implicitly the development and testing of an hypothesis. The original hypothesis of a program project must meet the test of research because, if it is not verified or called into question, the project has a built-in editorial bias. CBC/Radio-Canada Research will be consulted about the choice of method for the study. Such studies based on surveys, polls, focus groups, content analysis, etc. should be conducted by or commissioned through CBC/Radio-Canada Research. Any project relying on social studies methods must be authorized by the senior officer in information programming.

Research in other areas where specialized knowledge is required should utilize the resources of institutions and experts outside the CBC/Radio-Canada. It should be recognized, however, that sometimes these have a partisan interest in the subject and that there must accordingly be a balance in the outside resources that are used.

Responsibility for the program, for its editorial focus and the context in which the facts are put forward rests solely with the CBC/Radio-Canada.

The corporation must be able to defend the accuracy of the information it presents, relying on journalistic principles of accuracy, integrity and fairness, or on legitimate dramatic license, to justify the program's treatment.


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