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News Council Holds Mock Hearing

MARCH 4, 2005--Learn how news media resolve ethical issues at a mock hearing held by the Minnesota News Council on March 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 137-8 in Rodli Commons at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The event is free and open to the public.

Since its start in 1971, the Minnesota News Council has promoted fairness in the news media by offering a formal complaint process for those who might feel damaged by a news story.

News Council Executive Director Gary Gilson and his staff will enact a hearing of a past complaint that was heard by the News Council. They will play the parts of a complainant who felt mistreated by the media, and the respondent, a media representative defending the coverage that led to the complaint.

Students in a course taught by journalism Professor Pat Berg will deliberate the issues raised by the complaint, then "vote" as if they were members of the council. Berg is also a member of the Minnesota News Council.

After the students have rendered their decision, Gilson will explain the decision the council made in the case. The audience will have a chance to ask questions and participate in the discussion.

The council's role has been expanding in recent years to reach out to the media and the public to create awareness that will reduce the reasons for complaints. It hosts public forums, mock hearings, workshops and presentations throughout the region. The council has also created curriculum materials for teachers to stage a mock hearing in their classrooms. It also produces a half-hour public television series exploring issues of media standards, practices and ethics, participates in a radio show on media ethics, and publishes a magazine covering ethics issues and council activities.

Contact Berg at or 715/425-3169 for more information about this event. For more information about the Minnesota News Council, visit


Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:20 Central Daylight Time

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