CTV News and its reporter Nicole Lampa provided fair and balanced coverage yesterday in a story about a Superior Court judge’s ruling in a dispute between separated parents as to whether their 10-year-old daughter should be vaccinated for measles.
In reporting that the judge sided with the father’s desire for vaccination, CTV aired statements from both parents without diminishing the views of either. The mother, in fact, was identified as having researched vaccinations for 15 years, and recorded saying “If people were to look into the science they would find that these diseases were on the decline before vaccines were introduced.”
A brief unattributed write-up on the CTV website expanding on the broadcast, “Judge orders Ontario girl to get measles vaccine amid parents’ dispute,” does not deserve kudos. While not factually inaccurate, it would mislead some into thinking measles is a chronic disease when it stated that “Measles is not usually deadly, but there is no cure.” While there is no cure, measles in children is generally benign, typically running its course in two to three weeks, after which children obtain lifelong immunity. Girls who will bear children especially benefit from having had measles — they will pass on to their newborn natural immunity against measles, protecting them during their first year of life. Vaccinated mothers are less able to protect their newborns, who are too young to be vaccinated.
Kudos to CTV News (@CTVNews) and reporter Nicole Lampa (@nicolelampa); a pass on the website version of Lampa’s report.