Report on media access released, province accepts all recommendations
MLAs in Alberta are expected to be in Edmonton on March 10, 2015, for the first day of the spring session. Many say the period, which will lead up to the budget being tabled in late March, will end with a call for an election.
Published Friday, March 18, 2016 4:16PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, March 18, 2016 6:56PM MDT
Weeks after the provincial government announced a review on media policy at the legislature, the report on the review was released – including eight recommendations.
The 122 page document, described as “a cross-jurisdictional analysis of accreditation of Canadian legislative reporters and an examination of the issue of media access” was posted on the Alberta Government website, and included eight recommendations:
- That the province should avoid coming up with a specific media policy
- Follow the lead of other jurisdictions, and let journalists decide questions of accreditation, thus protecting the government from perception of bias
- Those deciding on media accreditation and access should look to Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery as a guide. The organization has existed for 150 years, the report says, and has “elaborate and carefully-thought-out mechanisms to deal with” media accreditation, and criteria are subject to regular review
- Set up a something similar to the Secretariat in Ottawa, where staff funded by the House of Commons help the press gallery handle accreditation of daily events – in Alberta, funding could come through the Speaker’s office, not through the government
- Those in charge of media accreditation should take into account evolving realities of new media, and not deny access based on their point of view
- Consider organizing annual meetings between the Speaker and press gallery executive
- Keep livestreaming news conferences, committee meetings and the like, and use social media to reach as wide an audience as possible
- The province should look into ways security concerns can be addressed, while allowing journalists to have easier access to the Federal Building
The province said Friday that it had accepted all of the recommendations outlined in the report.
The review was launched in mid-February, after two contributors to The Rebel website were removed from provincial government media briefings, prompting a negative backlash.