The Media Council of Bermuda has asked all media outlets to exercise journalistic responsibility as the Island is set to potentially see yet another demonstration of unrest as the People’s Campaign calls for a meeting today at noon.
Recently appointed Executive Officer of the Media Council, Don Burgess, said in an open letter:
“With meetings scheduled this week with regard to Rev. Nicholas Tweed’s work permit, and the demonstrations likely to go with it, The Media Council of Bermuda feels it prudent to be proactive to contact all news directors, editors and CEOs.
“We recently witnessed scenes that shocked a great many people, which caused people’s emotions to run high on both sides of the issue.
“The Media Council noticed that some of the rhetoric since has been verging on the inflammatory. In advance of Tuesday’s meeting please be aware of the use of potentially volatile language and its consequences. Words like mob and paramilitary could incite people further and could risk further exacerbating an already highly emotional environment.
“The Media Council would ask that everyone carefully consider the potential effects of word choices before posting it to social media or any other platform such as opinion columns, blogs and Letters to the Editor.
“We would also ask that the media, both print, electronic and talk shows, carefully consider what they allow to be published. We would also ask that comments be carefully monitored online.
“We are here to inform the public but we also have a responsibility to make sure we are not doing harm as we do so.”