Special to Bullet News
Peter Conradi, publisher of Bullet News Niagara, has been elected to the Ontario Press Council.
The Press Council, founded in 1972, represents the public and press alike and deals with editorial concerns about the content and conduct of its 153-member news organizations.
Bullet News is one of a growing number of online news publications to join the Ontario Press Council, the largest of five operating in Canada.
“Since our beginnings two years ago, we committed ourselves to fearless journalism,” said Bullet News president Dave Martineau. “But journalism that would also hold up to scrutiny and be held to a higher standard. That is why it was very important for us to become members of the Ontario Press Council. We are one of only a few on-line only publications that are members and we are the only daily news source in Niagara that is a member.
“Now, I am very proud that our publisher, Peter Conradi, has been named to The Ontario Press Council’s Board of Directors. It shows just how far we’ve come in a very short time.”
The 17-member Ontario Council is chaired by Dr. Robert Elgie and nine of the members represent public interests and eight are members of its news organizations. Members with a conflict of interest, real or perceived, are not allowed to participate in decisions on complaints.
The Council includes three former cabinet ministers, two former deputy ministers, a former judge, investment administrator, national chair of Muslim women, an executive member of the Ontario teachers federation and a former chair of the board of Ryerson University. Conradi joins the group of professional members, which include the publisher from the Record of Waterloo Region, the editor-in-chief of Toronto Community News, and senior newsroom executives from the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Hamilton Spectator.
On average, the Council considers and rules on more than 100 complaints each year and holds between three and six public hearings each year to deal with significant, unresolved complaints. The written decisions from hearings are published by the news organization against which the complaint was filed and posted on the Press Council’s web site at ontpress.com.
Don McCurdy, executive director of the Council, said that Conradi, former editor of the Niagara Falls Review, was selected because of his strong editorial background, and his support for ethical reporting and his commitment to high journalistic standards on all platforms.
“We are delighted that Mr. Conradi has agreed to join the council,” said Elgie, a former Ontario cabinet minister, lawyer and brain surgeon. “He is an experienced journalist with strengths in digital media and he understands the importance of providing journalism which meets community standards. Peter will be a welcomed addition to a strong press council.”
In addition to spending four years at the Review, Conradi held many senior newsroom positions at the St. Catharines Standard over 25 years.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said of his election to the Council. “I think it will be interesting. The public absolutely deserves an avenue where it can take concerns and complaints if it feels the media is not listening. I also think it’s important for the media to have a forum where it can explain its decisions and choices.”