Sunday, January 30, 2011

 

Minnesota Media Council shutdown leaves only three national media councils still operating, including Hawaii’s


by Larry Geller

One of the only four media councils in the United States has announced it is closing down, according to this Associated Press story:

The Minnesota News Council is shutting down after 40 years of promoting fairness in the news media.

Council President Tony Carideo says drops in the filings of complaints by the public and in corporate funding are the main reasons. He announced the decision at the Minnesota Newspaper Association convention in Bloomington on Thursday.

Carideo said Friday a reason complaints have fallen is that people who disagree with news coverage now have almost instant recourse on the Internet through comment sections on stories, e-mail and Twitter.

[CBS Minnesota (AP), Minnesota News Council Closing After 40 Years, 1/28/2011]

Media Council Hawaii, formerly the Honolulu Community-Media Council, last handled a complaint in November, 1999. The complaint, filed by then-Governor Ben Cayatano, and the process used to handle it, became extremely controversial (see here, here, and some background here).

A list of news councils around the world can be found here. Some, like the Washington News Council, have remained active in ways not related to adjudicating media disputes.

Media Council Hawaii filed a complaint with the FCC hoping to stop the Raycom takeover of TV stations KGMB KHNL and KFVE in 2009. So far, the FCC has not acted on that complaint, nor on unrelated complaints that I filed concerning lack of access to public record files at the stations. These complaints remain open at this writing.

 

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