CRI on Thursday said it thinks the news media’s focus on the Conservatives should be re-focused on the NDP and Liberals, instead of conservative outlets such as the CBC and Postmedia.
“The Conservative press is more of a corporate outlet,” said CRI’s chief executive officer David Miller.
“It’s a company that doesn’t really care about the facts.”
The CRI report said the majority of conservative news stories and columns are written by conservative journalists, and it says many Conservative newspapers and magazines have no left-leaning content.
Miller said Cri’s new website has been in the works for several months, but it was launched after an internal investigation into the Conservative Party’s handling of the recent coronavirus crisis.
He said the party was under scrutiny by the parliamentary budget officer (PBO) for not properly preparing the media and other organizations for the pandemic.
The Harper government has been under fire for what critics say are slow and ineffective responses to the pandemics, which have killed thousands of people and sickened millions more.
Miller noted that Cri found the Conservative party was not doing enough to respond to the crisis, including its lack of preparedness.
“I think it would be a huge mistake for us to think that if we just do our best and if we’re prepared that we’re going to get out of it,” he said.
“They’re just not prepared.”
Conservative Press Minister Maxime Bernier said in an interview with CTV’s Power Play the party has made changes to ensure its journalists are more independent and accountable.
He did not say if the changes are intended to make the Conservatives less influential.
Bernier said the Conservatives’ media team is working with the parliamentary watchdog, the Parliamentary Press Gallery, to review its media policy.
“We’re taking this very seriously and will make sure that we take every possible measure to ensure that we’ve got the best information available and we’re working with Parliamentary Press Gatherings to look at how we can make sure this information is disseminated to the public,” he told Power Play.
The Cri report also said Conservative press organizations do not publish information on their own, but instead rely on the media outlets they represent to do so.
It said there is an expectation among journalists that the media will be independent and impartial, but that is not the case.
Miller says the lack of an independent news media makes it difficult to get information from conservative outlets.
“When you have a conservative press that’s focused on the Conservative press, it’s a very conservative press,” he added.
“A lot of that is coming from the right of centre that’s not representative of the broader population.”
The report comes as the Liberal government announced the release of a report on the pandemaker that said more than 90 per cent of cases are traced to the government.