A new era: The Bermuda Media Council

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

COME tomorrow, the Bermuda Media Council’s long-awaited web site, will be online.

“The move ushers in a new era of heightened responsibility and accountability,” the Media Council Working Group has declared.

The Media.

“For the first time, media outlets in Bermuda have come together to formally recognize that our freedom to report and comment is a gift from the public that carries considerable responsibilities.”

The Council’s role is to serve the public by providing a free remedy for those instances in which a complaint against the media might not be legally actionable, but raises important issues of professional practice.

The complaints procedure is straightforward, swift and less daunting than the expensive court route.

Access the Bermuda Media Council via www.mediacouncilofbermuda.org.

As previously reported, the Council will be chaired by lawyer Christian Luthi.  He is joined on an eight-person panel by C. Wendell Emery (deputy chairman), Tom Vesey, Charles H. Webbe, Qian Dickinson, Kelly Francis, Rebecca Davies and Amanda Outerbridge.

They were chosen by a three-member Appointments Committee after public appeals for volunteers.

Twenty local media outlets have signed-up in support of the Media Council initiative and agreed to adopt a common Code of Practice. All complaints must identify specifically where the Code has allegedly been breached.

On the eve of the official launch, chairman Mr. Luthi said: “It is hoped that through the adoption of the Code of Practice the media has set a standard for itself that will continue to improve the quality of journalism in Bermuda and provide an objective mechanism for the resolution of disputes.”

The twenty local media outlets that have signed-up in support of the Media

Council of Bermuda and agreed to adopt a common Code of Practice

are: Bermuda.com; Bermudabiographies.com; Bermuda Broadcasting

Company; Bermuda Media; The Bermudian Publishing Company; Bermuda

Sports Network; Bermuda Sun; Bermuda Wired; Bermynet; Bernews;

Black ‘n’ Coke; Breezeblog; DeFontes Broadcasting Company; Inter-Island

Communications; Islandstats.com; LookTV; LTT Broadcasting Company; The

Royal Gazette; VATV; The Worker’s Voice.

The media are a powerful force in our community and we claim significant

privileges as we seek to hold others to account. The Media Council will

help make us more accountable to the public we serve and in doing so,

strengthen our vital role in our island democracy.

Note: For anyone who has a complaint against the media, the first step

is to contact the relevant editor/news director/website manager. See

contact information at www.mediacouncilofbermuda.org (the site goes

live tomorrow). A reasonable approach from both parties can often bring

swift resolution without having to involve the Media Council. If a complaint

cannot be resolved in this way, contact the Council’s Executive Officer,

Meredith Ebbin: mediacouncil@bermuda.com, tel: 236-7043 (weekdays,

during office hours).

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