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Media Complaints Council hails Mills

Sunday, January 5 2014

The Media Complaints Council of Trinidad and Tobago (MCC) yesterday expressed condolences to the family, friends and the media fraternity on the passing of Mrs Therese Mills, the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive of Trinidad and Tobago Newsday Newspaper.

In a release yesterday, the organisation stated that Mills was a woman of immense courage and fortitude.

“She was forthright in defence of media freedom and independence in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider world,” MCC noted, adding that Mills played a pivotal role in the establishment of the MCC in 1997 at a time when there was general public concern for media reform, after the then Government produced a Green Paper on the media.

This paper, among other things, proposed the adoption of statuses that required journalists to report with “due accuracy and impartiality” and proposed the creation of a code of ethics that mandated that journalists promote national unity and economic and social progress.

The release stated, “The Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) saw the need to establish an independent body charged with enforcing a self-adopted Code of Practice.

This body would promote and enforce standards of fair and responsible journalism and protect the independence of journalists by holding them accountable to their colleagues and their profession and not to the government.

“Thus a Code of Practice was adopted and the MCC was created to enforce this Code and to receive and adjudicate on complaints made by members of the public. Ms Mills envisioned that the MCC would help maintain public trust and confidence in the news media by promoting fairness, courtesy and balance and by creating a forum where the public and the news media can engage each other in examining standards of journalistic fairness. She was a pioneer in the field of Caribbean journalism.”

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