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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Small Insignificant Stuff...

Howdy!

It occurred to me, that since both Nicolas Mavrikakis, the Art Critic for Voir, and Bernard Lamarche, the Art Critic for Le Devoir are moonlighting as curators - M. Mavrikakis at the Maison de la Culture le Plateau, and M. Lamarche at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec - that I probably should ask both newspapers if they had a conflict of interest policy in place. So I did.
-----Original Message-----
From: Chris from Zeke's Gallery [mailto:zeke@zeke.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 11.08
To: cbeliveau@ledevoir.com; redaction@ledevoir.com; fDesmeules@voir.ca; info@mtl.voir.ca
Subject: Policies

Howdy!

I was wondering if it would be possible to get a copy of your conflict of interest policy with regards to critics/reviewers, please?

Thank You very much in advance,
Chris Hand

Zeke's Gallery
3955 Saint Laurent
Montreal, Quebec H2W 1Y4
(514) 288-2233
If I get a response, I will let you know.

Update #1, 11:30 12/21: The email address of cbeliveau@ledevoir.com, bounced.

Update #2, 13:23 12/21: I just heard back from François Desmeules, the editor in chief of Voir. As he puts it "No such thing. Application of deontological code of journalism as defined by FPJQ."

From the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec website:
9. Conflicts of interest

Whether monetary or not, journalists must avoid situations that could create a conflict of interest, or that could even have the appearance of a conflict of interest. They must avoid any behaviour, commitment or job that could weaken their independent stance, or that could sow doubt in the mind of the public.

When journalists serve or seem to serve specific interests, there is a conflict of interest. These interests may be their own or those of other individuals, groups, unions, companies, political parties, etc. The conflict of interest can occur through diverse contracts, favours or public commitments. Public interest should be the only principle that guides a journalist's choice to publish information. Facts should not be suppressed in order to preserve or enhance the image of a particular individual or group. By breaking the indispensable link of confidence between journalists and their public, conflicts of interest cast doubt or may appear to cast doubt on a journalist's choice to disseminate information.

The fact that journalists may be deeply convinced they are honest and impartial does not make a conflict of interest acceptable. The appearance of a conflict of interest is as damaging as a true conflict.
I'm very glad that M. Desmeules got back to me so fast.

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