Ontario Press Council: is it doing enough?

Well, OPC member Drew Gragg thinks so.

Canada has six provincial press councils that effectively act as media watchdogs and regulators.

Some are better than others. Read about the dire state of the Atlantic Press Council – it really does make for a staggering read.

Membership to the councils is voluntary. There are notable absences from the Ontario Press Council’s subscribers, like Macleans and the National Post. And why would they join? It costs an annual fee to do so (in a climate that is already financially tough for print) and the council doesn’t protect their rights.

The public can submit ethical or factual complaints to the councils. The councils have no legal authority. If found guilty, the offending newspaper is issued a slap on the wrist, and forced to issue an apology within their pages.

Some would say more punitive sanctions are needed.

I interviewed Drew as part of a forthcoming presentation. He thinks that press councils are doing enough to hold newspapers accountable, and to uphold professional standards of journalism.

Here’s a brief clip of Drew defending press councils:

Drew Gragg on the value of press councils in Canada by marcellison