Chris Stein of The Pacific Northwest Inlander gave The News Council a little coverage in an article about Spokane Police ombudsman Tim Burns. The article says:
When police ombudsman Tim Burns laid out his ideas for reforming the police department to a Spokane City Council committee last month, he also had a few choice words for the city’s reporters.
“During the past two years, the ombudsman has heard complaints from law enforcement and the community that the media is inaccurate in their reporting and unfair in their portrayal of the situation,” Burns wrote. He pointed to The Inlander’s Injustice Project, a series of articles on inequities in the criminal justice system, published in 2010. He added that he’s heard complaints about the Spokesman-Review’s coverage but wasn’t able to point to any specific examples.
The solution to these situations, Burns says, could be a watchdog for the city’s major media outlets.
Sounds like a good idea. Or, as Stein suggests, “Burns may have to look no further than the Washington News Council for the kind of oversight he says is needed.” Our President and Executive Director John Hamer agrees, and is quoted in the article saying:
“Every news organization I know needs outside comment, criticism and feedback,” Hamer says. “We are the best bet, and if people have concerns about the media’s coverage over in Spokane, they can come to us.”
See what KHQ Executive News Director Neal Boling and KXLY’s news director Jerry Post have to say about the idea in The Inlander’s original story.
Also take a look at the comments to hear more from Hamer, as well as an appearance from former US Congressman George Nethercutt who calls The Washington News Council
“A flamingo in the barnyard of irresponsible and uncontrolled journalism.”