Stuck in the ’90s?: Sun papers leave the Ontario Press Council, citing “political correctness”
This is all a bit insider-y, but we can’t help but detect Kory Teneycke’s hand at work here: the Sun chain of papers has pulled out of the Ontario Press Council, following the lead of parent company Quebecor, whose papers in other provinces had done the same with their respective councils. The OPC is basically a self-regulating body set up in the 1970s to deal with complaints to the press. Apparently, even the coziest self-regulation is as intolerable to the Sun papers as a human rights tribunal is to Ezra Levant.
The Sun’s owners explained their logic to the Toronto Star:
Sun Media has pulled its newspapers out of the Ontario Press Council, complaining about the “politically correct mentality” of the province’s print-media watchdog.
Glenn Garnett, Sun Media’s vice-president of editorial, sent a letter to the council earlier this week saying that the company’s newspapers were withdrawing their membership, effective immediately.
“The editorial direction of our newspapers, especially our urban tabloids, is incompatible with a politically correct mentality that informs OPC thinking, in the selection of cases it hears, and the rulings it renders,” Garnett wrote.
Ah, criticizing political correctness. That brings us right back to the early ’90s. (Up next, we’re hoping Quebecor Media will announce they’re replacing Sun News programming with an all–Fresh Prince and classic 90210 line-up.) More substantively, QMI’s departure from the Ontario Press Council leaves it regulating only a quarter of the dailies it was dealing with last week. Press councils have never exactly been lions in media regulation, but the fact that the Sun papers can just walk away from the OPC like this makes them look even less powerful. Maybe the OPC can hope that their brand is still worth something to the readers of the Globe and Mail or the Star.
• Sun Media ditches press council, citing issues with ‘political correctness’ [Toronto Star]
• Sun Media embracing ‘shock value’ over accountability: media watchdog [Vancouver Sun]
• Sun Media pulls out of Ontario Press Council [Toronto Sun]
• Sun papers pull out of Ontario Press Council [CBC]