Quebecor’s media properties – Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec, 24 heures and TVA Group – today filed a motion in Québec Superior Court seeking an injunction and damages to prevent the Québec Press Council from making decisions about their news coverage. As Quebecor’s media outlets have not been members of the Council for years, they 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. 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. 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.
The Press Council recently issued two more decisions tarnishing the reputation and image of Quebecor's media properties. One was made following an incomplete and flawed process and the other was an arbitrary decision that infringed on a columnist's freedom of opinion. Quebecor’s media outlets are therefore calling on the Council to rescind those decisions.
All media have a responsibility to the public and must do their work in accordance with the rights and obligations that govern our profession. However, the courts are the only bodies that can make an impartial judgement, concluded Mr. Doucet and Mr. Fortin.
TVA Group and Quebecor’s newspapers withdrew from the Québec Press Council in November 2008 and June 2010 respectively.