Monday, 10 August 2009

No Credit where Accreditation is Due

As we all know – Jersey government already curtails the reporting activities of Bloggers – the Citizens Media – because we are not “accredited press” and are not supposedly subject to the same professional and legal constraints as the professionals.
Yet the letter from Constable Peter Hanning of St Saviour published in the JEP on 8th August 2009 HEREdemonstrates amply just how facile such claims are and shows yet again that the so called “accredited press” is
very likely to be inaccurate in its reporting and there is very little available by way of a remedy.
Constable Hanning bemoans the JEP for poking fun at the recent Visite Royale in his Parish and that “the JEP chose not to report factually or accurately on this scrutiny of the good running of St Saviour.”
Notably the JEP have not allowed the online public to “have your say” regarding Constable Hannings letter.
How ironic this is because Bloggers are being discriminated against at scrutiny panel meetings on the pretext that we might not report accurately or might somehow interfere with any video recordings that we make of these and other supposedly public meetings.
Dubious and discriminatory restrictions are already imposed on Bloggers and Proposition 112 is already lodged by Senator Shenton’s Scrutiny Committee to enshrine these in law. Yet no action is proposed against the JEP when it publishes false or misleading reports about a Visite Royal or anything else and the same double standard is applied to other media outlets in Jersey too. Why?
We as bloggers have not done anything wrong.
No complaints have been made about our reporting of Scrutiny Panel meetings
we do know that some senior States employees and politicians have personal objections to our activities and they are sufficiently influential to interfere with Free Expression and reporting for all of us.
Even Constable Hanning was strongly opposed to our reporting of a supposedly public Complaints Board hearing recently – so he is no defender of Press Freedom.
But we should take notice that there are no effective restraints on the so called “accredited press” and the idea that there are codes or professional standards in place that ensure high standards of reporting or remedies for mistakes – is just simply a myth in practice.
We say that a genuinely open and Free Press that gives everybody the right to express opinions and to have the right to reply is our best guarantee of our rights.
We do not need half baked legislation such as Proposition 112.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should take the scanned photo of the article down. The JEP may try and action you for breach of copyright.

Anonymous said...

OooooooooooooooooooH!!! (Tut Tut Tommy!)