In September, the Ontario Press Council gave the Toronto Star a chance to defend itself against a complaint regarding its' story about an alleged video that appeared to show the Mayor smoking crack.
On Wednesday, the council made its decision public stating that the Star did exhibit proper and ethical coverage of this story and in it's ruling stated that the paper "followed appropriate journalistic guidelines."
The Press Council stated that Rob Ford had been given plenty of opportunities to respond to the allegations before the story was ever published. The details about the alleged video and what it depicted were in the 'public's interest'.
The decision also stated, “The Council believes the Star’s reliance on the video as the primary evidence, the efforts it made to authenticate its contents and the decision to rely on anonymous sources to support the conclusions reached by the reporters, are all reasonable and credible in this case.”
During the hearing in September, the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Michael Cooke defended their reporting telling the three-member panel that reporters made at least 14 attempts to reach the mayor the night before the story was published.
They made phone calls, sent emails and even travelled to the mayor's west-end home and that of his brother, Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, in an effort to get a response, Cooke said.
Letters detailing the allegations also were left at both homes that night, the paper said.
``Mayor Ford knows whether he smoked crack in that video or not,'' Cooke told the panel. The mayor ``still owes Toronto a full answer'' on the allegations, he added.
The Globe and Mail has also been absolved of any journalistic failings in the way it alleged that city councillor Doug Ford dealt hash during high school.
There has never been any proof that this alleged video of the Mayor was ever found, or that it ever existed.