The Southland Times editorial is very good on the changes the Press Council is making to include bloggers.
Sometimes the news media need to grab their ankles for a health check.
This being the case, it’s a welcome development that bloggers and other digital media are being offered to partake in the process, by means of membership of the Press Council.
It’s a body that weighs up complaints against principles including accuracy, fairness, balance, privacy, confidentiality, discrimination, the use of subterfuge, the distinction of comment and fact, and conflicts of interest.
Inviting independent digital media to succumb to such extra scrutiny not only brings more accountability but, equally, credibility.
It doesn’t do any news or current affairs media any harm to be found out when they have seriously erred, nor to have their judgments independently endorsed, as occasionally happens too.
Nowhere is it written that those running their own websites must now form an orderly queue and join up. But the absence of a self-regulatory body has become an issue for those bloggers and sites that have become heavy hitters. And those who aspire to be. So they should be willing to join up.
[This is provided the yet-to-be-confirmed costs aren't disproportionately high compared with their income and that they are fairly represented on the complaints panel.]Â Read more »