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Media ethics instructor welcomes Vancouver Sun changes following racist op-ed

Last Updated Sep 11, 2019 at 6:41 pm PDT

FILE: The Vancouver Sun is trying to make amends for an op-ed published over the weekend, which has been widely condemned as racist. (Kurtis Doering, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

A media ethics professor is welcoming internal changes at the Vancouver Sun and The Province following a racist op-ed

Langara Journalism instructor Peg Fong says it's good to see decisive action

Editor-In-Chief Harold Munro declined an interview request

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Changes made after a racist editorial was published by the Vancouver Sun and The Province have been welcomed by a former staff member who now teaches media ethics.

The newspaper’s editorial board will meet more frequently, and all submissions to the opinion pages will be reviewed by senior staff — those are some changes that have been promised in a leaked internal memo.

Langara Journalism School instructor Peg Fong is welcoming plans to add more journalists to the editorial board.

“These are pretty major changes that they’re putting in, I mean these are changes at a difficult time, at a time when resources are being depleted, so in the minds of the people at the Vancouver Sun, we are going to put more resources into this, we are going to fix the problem.

“Journalists who are doing great work — don’t take it out on them. Hopefully, what happens is that subscribers will say, hey, you know, they’re making some changes. The result should not be that people stop reading newspapers.”

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She says a promise to “aggressively and proactively” seek more diverse opinions from community leaders is definitely a step in the right direction.

“That’s journalism, right? You want to be able to look at what’s happening in the community, say these are things that need to be addressed, these are things that are being talked about, and here’s what people are saying,” she says. “Any time people you can have a range of opinions, that’s a good thing.”

The offensive piece critical of Canada’s immigration and refugee policies was quickly taken off the website, but the op-ed still ran in print.

Editor-in-Chief Harold Munro has declined NEWS 1130’s request for comment, but on Monday, he issued an apology for running the offensive opinion piece which criticized Canada’s refugee and immigration policies.