Course: Media Ethics & Leadership
Kirk LaPointe is a media executive now serving as Executive Director of the Organization of News Ombudsmen. Kirk has held a wide range of senior roles in Canada in newspapers, news agencies, television and online media. He has been an Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism since 2004. He blogs on media change at themediamanager.com and on media issues at presswatching.com.
Kirk was most recently the CBC Ombudsman, responsible for dealing with public complaints and evaluating the compliance of CBC’s news and information programming on radio, television and online with journalistic standards and practices. He worked for the Ombudsman’s Office from 2010 to 2013.
Before that, he had been Managing Editor at The Vancouver Sun since 2003, where he was responsible for the day-to-day print and online newsroom operations. He was responsible in 2007 for a project across the Canwest newspaper chain to shift editorial control of newspaper websites to local newsrooms. During his time at the Sun, the newsroom won several National Newspaper Awards and Jack Webster Awards for its work.
Among other executive positions, he has been Senior Vice President, News, for the CTV Television Network, the largest private broadcaster in Canada, where he was responsible for all its news programming, including the CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson, CTV National News with Sandie Rinaldo, the morning programCanada AM, the all-news CTV NewsNet network, the award-winning W-FIVE documentary program, the CTVNews.com online site, the launch of the youth-oriented 21C documentary program, and the flagship CFTO-TV Toronto news operations. During his time there, CTV won its first-ever Award of Excellence from the Canadian Journalism Foundation and several Gemini and Canadian Association of Broadcasters awards for programming. He launched and oversaw the network’s first Diversity Initiative and was Chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters task force on cultural diversity.
Before that, he was Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Hamilton Spectator. He helped launch theNational Post newspaper as its founding Executive Editor. He led the Southam News agency as its Editor-in-Chief and General Manager. In each of these positions, he launched or expanded their online operations.
He spent 14 years at The Canadian Press news agency, starting as a reporter in Toronto and working 11 of those years in Ottawa. He was its Ottawa Bureau Chief, Ottawa News Editor, Parliamentary Reporter and Communications Reporter in Ottawa and its Lifestyles Editor and Media Reporter in Toronto.
Kirk has extensive television hosting experience as a day-one host on the all-news CBC Newsworld network. He spent six years working for CBC. He has been a regular commentator and panelist on television.
Kirk was a founding director of the Canadian Centre for Faith and the Media and has been an adviser to the board of the Canadian Media Research Consortium, the newspaper representative on the Canwest Diversity Task Force, and a member of the ethics committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists. He has been honoured for his work in the freedom of information field and is a frequent public speaker on media issues.