FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 1, 2013
The Washington News Council, which just began its 15th year of operations and added 15 new members to its Board of Directors (Fact Check: True), announced that it will close its Seattle office on May 1.
The WNC will move lock, stock and beer barrel to London and “reboot” itself as the British News Council (BNC), with oversight of all newspapers, television and digital media in Great Britain.
“The British press are a total mess,” said Prime Minister David Cameron. “We’re confident the Washington News Council, having totally reformed the media in your state, can do the same for us.” Cameron said he was inspired by an April 1 article about the WNC on Crosscut.com.
The British press have faced harsh criticism after phone-hacking and police-bribery scandals involving dozens of journalists there. A government inquiry led to a proposal to create a new National Press Regulator (NPR) to oversee the British media, with power to levy fines on bad or unethical journalists. (Fact Check: True.)
“Our mission here is done,” said John Hamer, President of the WNC. “We have transformed the news media after 15 years.”
He cited several truly extraordinary changes, including:
- Journalists are always careful to get the facts right, be fair and balanced, and leave their personal opinions out of all stories.
- Journalists are always transparent, accountable and open, following the WNC’s “TAO of Journalism” pledge.
- Journalists always double- or triple-check every fact before reporting, especially on Twitter and other social media.
- News organizations always admit mistakes promptly, run corrections prominently, and humbly apologize for errors.
- Journalists never do stories mainly aimed at winning Pulitzer Prizes, Emmy Awards or other journalism contests.
- Citizens here completely trust major news outlets and generously support them with paid ads, subscriptions and/or donations.
- KIRO7 TV’s “investigative” reporter Chris Halsne, who has been the subject of dozens of complaints to the WNC over the past decade, has left the station. (Fact Check: True.)
Suzie Burke of Fremont, Chair of the WNC Board, said: “We invite everyone to drop by the WNC office in Room #331 above the Pyramid Alehouse for a free beer on May Day from 6-8 pm to help us celebrate.” (Fact Check: True.) “And once our new office opens above London’s Fleet Street Pub, feel free to fly over for another beer…on us!”
CONTACT: John Hamer (firstname.lastname@example.org), Soon-to-Be British News Council’s Chief Hacker-Whacker and Anchor-Spanker.