Leslie Roberts gives journalists a bad name

Leslie Roberts should be fired for his breach of journalism ethics.

The Global Television executive editor and anchor was suspended indefinitely by the station on Jan. 8, following a Toronto Star investigation that revealed his secret co-ownership of a PR firm, BuzzPR, whose clients Roberts has featured on his show.

An obligation to the truth is the most fundamental principle of journalism. Conflicts of interest muddle objectivity, which is why personal interest must be separated from a media outlet’s editorial content. Roberts violated that separation severely.

Roberts has denied he did anything wrong, which is troubling from someone that plays a significant role in delivering the news.

With a lead anchor who has proven untrustworthy and unethical, Global’s credibility, and all of their content, is called into question. As though that weren’t embarrassing enough, it took another journalistic source to reveal what was right in front of them.

Kashif Khan, who co-founded BuzzPR with Roberts, said Roberts would come into BuzzPR every day between his morning show and 1 p.m. news meeting at Global. This demonstrates the extent of Roberts’ involvement and makes it unbelievable that other Global staff weren’t aware of the situation.

Heading forward, Global needs to keep better tabs on their staff and their extracurricular activities. As the Roberts investigation continues, more suspensions should be distributed if it’s found that other executives and staff were aware of the situation, or chose willful ignorance.

Journal Editorial Board

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