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 province released the report, completed by former Canadian Press Western Bureau Chief Heather Boyd on Friday.

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:

  1. That the province should avoid coming up with a specific media policy
  2. Follow the lead of other jurisdictions, and let journalists decide questions of accreditation, thus protecting the government from perception of bias
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Consider organizing annual meetings between the Speaker and press gallery executive
  7. Keep livestreaming news conferences, committee meetings and the like, and use social media to reach as wide an audience as possible
  8. 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.