Canadian Journalist Francois Bugingo Suspended, Accused of Fabrication - iMediaEthics

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Canada’s 98.5 FM suspended Francois Bugingo after news outlet La Presse accused him of widespread fabrication.

“Mr Bugingo is suspended for the moment,” Christine Dicaire, the director of communnications for 98.5FM told iMediaEthics by e-mail. “We will try to clarify this situation in the upcoming days. We will not be making any further comments for the moment.”

Executive Group Media also suspended Bugingo today.  A statement on Group TVA’s website reads:

“Executive Group Media says the allegations against one of its employees, François Bugingo, are important and taken seriously. The collaboration with Mr. Bugingo is suspended until checks are made.  Management cautions that Mr. Bugingo is not an employee of the Media Group, but a collaborator.”

On Facebook, Bugingo wrote that he is “stunned by this attack” and defended his work as “always verified.”

“I will defend my integrity in times and places as well as to concerned bodies,” he wrote, according to Google Translate.

La Presse accused Bugingo of having “invented from scratch” stories.

For example, Bugingo wrote for Journal de Montreal last year that he was in Misrata, Libya watching an execution, but “the problem is that Francois Bugingo has never set foot in Misrata,” La Presse reported.

“Nor has he toasted with Serbian snipers in Sarajevo in 1993. He has not negotiated the release of a journalist hostage to terrorists of Al Qaeda in Mauritania in September 2011,” La Presse went on. “He was not a representative of the European Commission to the Egyptian Minister of the Interior in Cairo in February 2011. He was not in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 4 August 2011.”

“Francois Bugingo has yet publicly claimed it all,” La Presse reported, explaining that its investigation found “his journalistic exploits are sometimes very romanticized when they are not downright false.”

In a statement on its website and press release, the Federation Professionnelle Des Journalists du Quebec said it is “very concerned” about the claims against Bugingo as “they have the potential to affect the credibility of the journalistic profession.” The FPJQ noted that Bugingo is a member.

“Given the severity and systemic nature of the alleged offenses,” FPJQ wants Bugingo to explain his side of the story and then it can act.

According to CBC, “Over his lengthy career, Bugingo has contributed to a number of media outlets, including La Presse, TVA, Le Devoir, Journal de Montréal, Télé-Québec and Radio-Canada.”

iMediaEthics has written to Bugingo’s PR representative for comment.

UPDATED: 5/23/2015 1:06 PM EST With response from 98.5 FM.

UPDATE: 5/23/2015 2:49 PM EST With statement from Bugingo

UPDATE: 5/23/2015 3:29 PM EST With statement from TVA

Hat TIp: Les Perreaux

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Canadian Journalist Francois Bugingo Suspended, Accused of Fabrication

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