Alberta Press Council

December 19, 2008 19:15 ET

The Alberta Press Council: Press Release

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2008) - The Alberta Press Council has dismissed a complaint by Tony Morneau of Edmonton, that an October 19, 2008 headline in the Edmonton Journal, "TERRORISTS TARGET U.S.A. VIA ALBERTA" was not an accurate statement.

Mr. Morneau complained that "nowhere in the ensuing article is this unequivocal statement of fact supported". He also stated that the Edmonton Journal didn't know if terrorists are targeting Alberta - it is pure speculation. Mr. Morneau pointed out that there had been two explosions at sour gas pipelines in British Columbia in the preceding week and felt that the Journal was reporting to its readers that it had determined that terrorists are targeting the US by hitting the energy supply that travels through the energy infrastructure that travels through Alberta.

The story, printed on the front page, described a conference in Calgary attended by specialists and consultants in the field of security and emergency response. The story contained numerous quotes from several of the consultants.

With respect to accuracy, the Alberta Press Council's Code of Practice states that "It is the duty of newspapers to avoid publishing inaccurate or misleading statements and further, that it is the duty of newspapers to correct promptly, and with due prominence, significant inaccuracies or such misleading statements."

In dismissing the complaint, the Alberta Press Council did note that the headline was provocative, but it did reflect the proposition being put forward by the persons being quoted in the news story, adding that the function of a headline is not to tell the full story, but rather to draw the reader's attention to the story.

Respectfully submitted,

Colleen Wilson
Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Alberta Press Council
P O Box 2576
Medicine Hat, AB T1A 8G8

Contact Information