Ottawa–A well-financed campaign by the Turkish Government to censor a Canadian Radio program has been condemned by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Ombudsman Vince Carlin, reported the Armenian National Committee of Canada.
"CBC did not give sufficient attention to Turkey’s official claim that the events of 1915 did not constitute a genocide," Carlin said,
He explained that while acknowledging that there are alternatives to the mainstream, journalist must nevertheless not distort the concept of ‘balanced coverage’ by giving equal weight to any and all contending theories that emerge.
"The concept of balance is not mathematical," Carlin remarked.
According to Carlin, journalists face an ethical conundrum when deciding whether to give voice to people who deny events that are part of a historical consensus. Carlin, who was referring to the Armenian Genocide, said the implications of providing a forum for denial can be appreciated if one considers giving substantial air time to those who deny that there was a genocide committed against the Jews during World War II.
"While fairness and balance would impel journalists to be on the look-out for credible contradictory evidence, appropriate weight must be given to broad-based conclusions," Carlin noted. "In this case [the fact of the Armenian Genocide] is not only academic-based, but also endorsed by UN agencies and the Canadian Government."
Therefore, he said, there has been no violation of CBC’s Journalistic standards and practices in treatment of this issue.
Carlin’s statemen’s follow a series of attempts by the Turkish government to silence the Canadian Broadcasting Company when it discusses the Armenian Genocide. The latest attempt to force the radio station to keep quiet came after CBC’s "As It Happens" program interviewed late last year United States Congressman Adam Schiff, Turkish historian Taner Ak?am, and an official from the Toronto District School Board on the proposed 11th Grade Genocide Curriculum.
The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) responded to the Turkish government’s misinformation by providing historical documen’s, genocide survivor testimonies and scholarly materials on the Armenian Genocide to the ombudsman.
"Once again CBC has demonstrated that it is not willing to compromise its journalistic integrity," Executive Director of ANCC Aris Babikian commented. ‘We congratulate the CBC ombudsman and the staff of "As It Happens" for not capitulating to the Turkish government’s propaganda machine, threats, intimidation, and bullying."It is high time the Turkish government recognized that its Armenian Genocide denial policy is a bankrupt one and that Turkey can not muzzle freedom of the press and suppress freedom of expression in the civilized world, as it has done in Turkey," Babikian said.
By maintaining this fierce policy of denial, the present government of the Republic of Turkey is masking the guilt of the Ottoman Empire and is thus the responsible for the Genocide of 1915, according to Dr. Girair Basmadjian, President of ANCC.