News Corp Australia has appointed Glenn Stanaway as its new representative on the Australian Press Council following the resignation of long-serving member Campbell Reid, as small publishers gain representation.
Mr Reid’s decision to step down from the council reflects his recent appointment as director of corporate affairs and content innovation at News.
As the group’s national executive editor, Mr Stanaway was best placed to replace Mr Reid, having worked closely with him and the press council over the past three years, in addition to his almost 20-year involvement with council matters concerning News publications.
Mr Stanaway said News believed the council could make a positive contribution to the industry, particularly around press freedoms that were increasingly under threat, or being curbed by governments.
“We have welcomed council chairman Professor David Weisbrot’s contributions to raise very real concerns about how government actions are impacting on press freedom and the ability of journalists to undertake investigative reporting,” he said.
“I also hope to contribute to the council by providing practical experience, insights and understanding of the challenges for working journalists, editors and publishers on standards issues which it may consider.”
In another council change, New Matilda’s editor and publisher Chris Graham will take up a new industry-nominated position representing the interests of smaller and online-only publications like HuffPost Australia, Crikey and mUmBRELLA.
The council currently has 24 council members with two industry-nominated positions yet to be filled by Community Newspaper Association and Daily Mail Australia who joined the council in August.
Once filled there will be a total of 26 members comprising 11 industry nominated members, 10 public members with no affiliations with a media organisation, four independent journalists who are not employed by a media organisation and the council chairman.
Prof Weisbrot said the appointment of the council’s first representative for its smaller constituent bodies reflects the growing importance of smaller and online-only publications in Australia.
“The council is delighted that a growing number of these publications are becoming members, and this new position will ensure that their views and needs are properly represented and taken into account,” Prof Weisbrot said.
Mr Graham was elected by the council’s smaller constituent bodies to represent them, before being unanimously endorsed by the council during its quarterly meeting on November 27. He will serve in the position for three years.
Smaller publications affiliated with the press council include New Daily, Monthly Chronicle, Australian Rural Publishers Association, Property Review Australia, Banking Day and Urban Cinefile.
Mr Graham said the council was forward thinking in creating the position.
“There’s so much more information and opportunities for people to access alternative news, and small publishers are obviously a key part of that,” he said. “Binding those smaller publishers to the principles of the press council is a really good thing and it is in everyone’s interest that all publishers are bound to those standards.
“I think all publishers today face essentially the same challenges, but at different degrees,” he said. “The small publications are particularly sensitive to social media.”
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