MNPR Blog

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What's the purpose of the Minnesota News Council?

If you have been watching the news or reading the local papers the last few days you have no doubt seen this story about Mike Hatch and his complaint to the Minnesota News Council. According to my understanding of the situation, Hatch a candidate for Minnesota Governor, has complained to the News Council about questions a Star Tribune reporter asked in an e-mail, not a published piece.

My understanding was that the Minnesota News Council doesn't get involved in something until it is reported on, but the Minnesota News Council's own Web site is unclear about the purpose of the organization stating only that:
The News Council's membership consists of 24 volunteer members and a hearing chairperson. Twelve of the members are from the public at large, and 12 are from the media. Members do not represent the news outlets or organizations they work for; they participate as independent professionals.

Members serve a three-year term, which can be renewed once. Anyone can apply for membership. Members are chosen through an application and interview process by sitting members on a membership committee.
My question is, should the Minnesota New Council get involved? Do we want the Minnesota News Council looking in to reporting techniques? Isn't journalism at its root about asking tough questions? What are your thoughts on this unusual situation? Comment below.

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