Giving the Public a Say

How news ombudsmen ensure accountability, build trust and add value to media organisations. A report by Karen Rothmyer, published by Fesmedia Africa.

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Press regulation: three national papers urge editors to compromise

Editorials in three U.K. newspapers accept the need for statutory underpinning and urge an end to press reform deadlock. Read more >>

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Who stands for the public in Murdoch vs the government?

Editor’s introduction: In this essay, Geoffrey Robertson QC, who has extensive experience representing media companies and free speech cases, explores the role of the Leveson Inquiry, established by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in July to conduct a “judge-led inquiry into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press and the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper organisations.” Robertson places the inquiry in the historical context of media regulation in the UK. He casts a skeptical eye on the prospects for meaningful media, especially given the failures of past similar attempts and the low credibility of the UK’s Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in either protecting privacy or enforcing its ethical rulings.He then explores various proposed alternative structures to media regulation. Since the essay deals with UK-specific material, British grammar conventions have been preserved.

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Ombudsman mandate review launched

CBC/Radio-Canada have launched a review of the mandate for their ombudsmen.

The review follows last year’s update of CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices and deals specifically with the role of the ombudsmen in the current media landscape. The mandate has not been reviewed for several years.

CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix says social media and the Internet have changed the way in which the corporation does business, so “it’s important that we understand new media’s impact, either real or potential, on the mandate and role of our ombudsmen.”

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Roundtable focues on media self-regulation in Turkey

A group of senior Turkish journalists and international experts met in Istanbul to discuss media self-regulation and ombudsman mechanisms in a national roundtable. This meeting started the second series of events initiated by UNESCO within the framework of the project, Alignment to International Standards in the Media Sector of South-East European Countries.

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Discussing a dilemma

Members of ONO recently discussed an issue concerning complaints, fairness, balance, and ethical dilemmas. The conversation took place via e-mail. It is re-posted here to serve as an example of the thinking and clarity ombudsmen bring to their jobs.

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