MediaWise statement on the postponement of the launch of our new report

1 May 2009

Statement from Iain Frazer, Director of Development, Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council
The Council’s Corporate Policy, Planning and Equality committee took a decision at last night’s meeting to postpone today’s event to allow more time to consider representations about the content of the report and time to prepare an action plan in conjunction with the report.

Statement from MediaWise
Commenting on the decision of Dungannon & South Tyrone Councillors to postpone the launch of the MediaWise study Reporting Difference in Dungannon, Mike Jempson, Director of the journalism ethics charity MediaWise, said:

‘I am very disappointed that Dungannon & South Tyrone Councillors have decided to postpone the launch of our study Reporting Difference in Dungannon. It had been timed to coincide with the start of Community Relations Week, and spoke to its theme ‘Working for a better future’.

‘We had supplied the final draft copy well in advance and clarified several queries raised with us. Yesterday (Thurs 30 April) the editor of the Tyrone Times drew my attention to a factual error which I was happy to correct.

‘Our study reviews recent local press coverage of minority groups and suggests ways in which the council, the media, the police and community organisations might work together to ensure fair and accurate coverage in the future.

‘It is particularly unfortunate that this decision comes on the eve of World Press Freedom Day (Sun 3 May), an ideal time to be discussing journalism ethics.

‘Meanwhile I am pleased to learn that councillors will be working on an action plan to implement our recommendations. I look forward to being able to discuss our findings with them and other interested parties in due course.’

Reporting Difference in Dungannon was commissioned by Dungannon & South Tyrone Council. The study was conducted by the MediaWise Trust in conjunction with the Journalism Policy & Practice Research Group at the University of the West of England (UWE), in Bristol.

Mike Jempson is also a lecturer in journalism at UWE and vice chair of the NUJ Ethics Council.

For more information, please call Mike on 07968 031 532.