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Esther Enkin has been one of the cornerstones of CBC News for nearly 25 years.  As you heard earlier today, Esther has been appointed Ombudsman for English services.  It is a role that is the perfect opportunity for her, allowing her to maximize her journalistic acumen, her years of experience, and her calm resolve.  We, of course, will continue to benefit from her insights in the Ombudsman role but that doesn’t mean we won’t miss her and everything she has brought to our department.

Esther first distinguished herself as a producer working on The Journal and The World at Six.  She went on to become a senior manager in radio news, leading the service and developing several new radio programs.  In her recent role as Executive Editor, she has been responsible for monitoring the balance and fairness of our coverage including dozens of federal and provincial elections, working with our investigative teams to help deliver groundbreaking coverage critical to the lives of Canadians, and responding to questions about our coverage from the public and the Ombudsman’s office.

Esther was pivotal in bringing CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices, into the 21st century.  After thorough consultations with internal and external experts, and in association with her counterpart at Radio-Canada, the JSP is now a dynamic document which addresses thorny issues like the use of clandestine recordings and social media, covering hostage takings, and how to correct mistakes in a timely and responsible manner.

Producers and reporters across the country have known Esther as the reasoned voice at the other end of the line – someone ready to deliver decisions that advance our journalism, and are fair to our staff, our interviewees and our public.  I personally have valued her integrity and her passion for continuing to better the craft journalism and our people.

Esther will officially leave us in January but it is important that we transfer some of her portfolio immediately.  As an interim measure, effective immediately, I have asked David Studer to assume the responsibility for day-to-day questions about our journalism.  That is all JSP work.  He will do this in conjunction with the red flag process he is managing as part of his investigative portfolio.

Also in the interim, any interactions with the Ombudsman’s office will report to my office, with Gino Apponi overseeing any issues, responses to complainants, and reviews.  Again this is effective immediately.

We will continue to work with Esther in her remaining time with us to transition her other work.

Jennifer McGuire
General Manager and Editor-in-Chief
CBC News and Centres