Interim Staff

The Ontario Press Council has upheld a complaint against journalist Michael Coren who criticized UNICEF in a November 1995 column in the Toronto Sun/Financial Post newspapers.

Coren, host of a popular CFRB radio program, attacked UNICEF for its support of abortion and contraception in underdeveloped countries.

The press council upheld the complaint “on issues of factual accuracy and completeness.” The council said columnists should not be prevented from expressing controversial or unpopular opinions, but they cannot ignore conflicting factual information.

Coren told The Interim he is not overly distressed by the press council decision. He believes he defended his position adequately at the press council hearing.

He also questioned the objectivity of the panel members represented labor union interests, while another is a high-ranking official with a rival newspaper, The Toronto Star.

“I’m not overly surprised by the decision,” Coren said. “I even wonder if the hearing was needed in the first place.”

He has since been vindicated by a decision by the Vatican to suspend financial contributions to UNICEF to protest its support of abortion and contraception.