City of Hamilton's new media policy

City councillors passed a new media policy today as GIC, bringing an end to a saga that began when the Mayor’s chief of staff declared she and the Mayor would only speak to “a journalist that has a boss that I can complain to.”

The new policy was widely condemned by almost all media outlets. City staff moved quickly to clarify that the Mayor’s office’s policy was not staff policy and a staff media policy review began.

I was consulted during the process and stated to staff that my priority was to see equatable access to public information for all.

The new policy achieves this, encourages city staff to engage online in communicating with citizens, and speaks to a need to provide access to city staff for all media outlets (both old and new) to clarify and explain city affairs.

Credit must be given to city staffers Debbie Spence and Mike Kirkopoulos for their work creating the updated policy and removing the review from the political firestorms that often engulf the relationship between media and City Hall.