KFC, Worker’s Voice, Media Council Dispute

December 11, 2012

Kentucky Fried Chicken Bermuda has formally complained to the Media Council Working Group over a lack of apology from the Workers Voice newspaper following a Media Council ruling on June 2012 which directed the publication to print one.

The Media Council Working Group replied to KFC saying: “This is the first case we have dealt with in which a co-signatory to our Code of Practice has failed to comply with a Council ruling, so we are treading new ground.”

In January 2012 the Workers Voice newspaper, which is published by the BIU, printed an opinion column by Alvin Williams.

Following a complaint by KFC about the column, the Media Council concluded that the article infringed on two clauses; containing an inaccuracy as well as the writer failing to “distinguish clearly between comment and conjecture and fact.”

The Media Council then directed the Workers Voice to publish a correction which was to state: “In our 30 January 2012 issue we published an article by Mr. Alvin Williams which stated that KFC made a recent attempt to decertify the union. That statement was inaccurate.”

KFC issued a statement this morning saying: “Since the date of the Council’s ruling, not less than five (5) additional issues of The Workers Voice have been published, none of which appear to make any reference to the Council’s ruling or comply with the remedy directed by the Council.

“This lack of compliance by WV shows contempt for the Council and should not be allowed to continue without punitive sanction if the Council is to have any credibility as a self regulating organisation and protector of high standards of moral and ethical conduct in the media industry.”

The letter from KFC to the Chairman of the Media Council was cc’ed to all the listed members. KFC said it was sent for both private and public use, and the full letter can be read here [PDF].

Tony McWilliam, on behalf of the Media Council Working Group, replied to KFC today saying: “We readily concede that this matter has taken much longer than anticipated and we take primary responsibility for the delay.

“Ours is a voluntary group with limited resources but still, we have not moved as swiftly as intended. This is the first case we have dealt with in which a co-signatory to our Code of Practice has failed to comply with a Council ruling, so we are treading new ground.

“Our correspondence with the Workers Voice encouraged the publication of a retraction and subsequently, I met personally with its representatives in a bid to resolve the matter. We found no immediate solution but agreed to re-visit the issue early in the New Year.

“This matter will be resolved, albeit not within a timeframe that suits KFC. We regret the delays but also take exception to the provocative language chosen by KFC. Contrary to inferences in KFC’s letter, there is no conspiracy against KFC. Again, the Working Group of the Media Council resolves to bring this matter to a close as soon as possible.”

The Workers Voice has not commented on the matter as of yet, but we will update if able.

In 2008 five media outlets — BBC, Bermuda Sun, DeFontes, Inter-Island Communications [HOTT 1075] and the Royal Gazette — began meetings to set about establishing a media council. That momentum was regained after Dr Brown tabled the Media Council Act in the House of Assembly in May 2010, and the Media Council of Bermuda became active in February 2011.

This is the second time the Media Council has directed an outlet to issue an apology. The first came following a complaint by the Bermuda Cricket Board, and the media outlet issued the apology within the given time frame.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (17)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Articles that link to this one:

  1. Workers Voice Withdraws From Media Council | Bernews.com | January 29, 2013
  1. More Confused says:

    Proof that organisations such as the Media Council are a total waste of time. No teeth and no desire to enforce its own rulings. Was no time frame given in which the Worker’s Voice had to issue a retraction? If not why not and if there was why have they not been punished for ignoring it? Oh wait, they are owned by the BIU who ignore the law requiring audited Financial Statements, and receive no penalty for this either.

    • street wise says:

      Funny! The so-called Media Council was set up by Dr Evil mainly to keep Royal Gazette criticism of the plp in check. And who get nailed first? The biu/plp’s W.V. Good one LaVerne. BWAA-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-Ha!!

      • UnionsupporterbutnotAlvinsupporter says:

        The Workers Voice was the second, the Gazette was nailed first but at least they apologised and didn’t act up like the Workers Voice.

        http://www.mediacouncilofbermuda.org/media-council-complaints-cases.html

        That aside, the Workers Voice need to stop printing Alvin Williams writings and use the space for Union news. We have all heard enough from Alvin and his column is the one that started this trouble.

  2. Chilly says:

    If it takes a year for the Media Council to resolve an issue, it’s time to shut it down.

  3. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Good luck on getting the Worker’s Voice to apologize for anything. I am still waiting for an apology from LaVerne Furbert who had the temerity and abysmally bad taste to write an article purporting to be in my deceased mother’s voice to castigate my brother because he did not support one of the PLP’s SDO’s. She called it satire and thought that excused it.

    • Y-Gurl says:

      I’m with you Pastor, they are “above” saying sorry or even admitting wrong doing

      • street wise says:

        Actually, they are meaningless amateurs, IMO. Nobody reads the W.V.

    • Sledge Hamma says:

      I disagree – if you have ever read the workers woice – you would know they are all a sorry bunch.

      Give them A BREAK PERIOD. This is the same company that was 10+ years behind on their financial statements.

  4. Family Man says:

    Time frames don’t matter when it comes to the BIU. The BIU & PLP routinely ignore Bermuda’s laws and regulations. One only has to look at how late the BIU audited accounts are. A situation that is totally ignored by the Registrar of Companies and condoned by the ruling party.

  5. Edmund Wells says:

    “This is the first case we have dealt with in which a co-signatory to our Code of Practice has failed to comply with a Council ruling, so we are treading new ground.”

    “… I met personally with its representatives in a bid to resolve the matter. We found no immediate solution but agreed to re-visit the issue early in the New Year.”

    This sounds like the Workers Voice has crossed the line from “failed to comply” to “refuses to comply”. The admonition to KFC about provocative language seems quite misplaced; for the amount of time that has passed since the order, it appears they have every right to be incensed over the behaviour of both the Workers Voice and the Media Counsel.

    EW

  6. Mbda says:

    I don’t see anything provocative about KFC’s factual statement. The Media Council appears to be taking sides.

  7. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    I did a course once which said that the ultimate human problem stems from the desire to be right. We see apologies as admitting we are wrong, and our upbringing teaches us that when we are wrong, we are the losers.

    In actual fact, an apology actually frees us. Admitting we made a mistake opens the way for us to grow and learn. (Check out a baby learning to walk. They laugh when they fall down, unless they have sat on or bumped into something very hard, but they still get up and try again, each time gaining more knowledge about balance and forward motion). There is no shame in making a mistake. ALL human beings make mistakes – it is the only way to learn. NOBODY does everything perfect first time around.

    However, until we admit that we are wrong, that we have made a mistake, there is nothing we can do to fix the problem and we cannot grow. We become stagnant. When everyone else can see our mistake and we still refuse to admit it, and to apologize for it, we do ourselves a disservice. We present ourselves in a very bad light – immature, unable to take responsibility, not to be trusted.

    Having said that, it is also important to recognize that there are consequences for making mistakes, some can be quite painful, but they are still opportunities to learn how NOT to do things next time.

    • street wise says:

      “However, until we admit that we are wrong, that we have made a mistake, there is nothing we can do to fix the problem and we cannot grow. We become stagnant. When everyone else can see our mistake and we still refuse to admit it, and to apologize for it, we do ourselves a disservice. We present ourselves in a very bad light – immature, unable to take responsibility, not to be trusted.”

      Sounds like you had the plp in mind when writing this… cuz that’s them to a tee!

  8. swing voter says:

    sue the bastids

  9. Let me get this str8 says:

    The WV, BIU and Credit Union as wll as the PLP are all above the law.

    Just accept it. It won’t change anytime soon because these institutions believe that lying and deceiving is acceptable and that only they should not be chastised for it.

    The ironic thing is the Media Council was established as a backlas to the RG. How funny…

  10. More Confused says:

    The irony is that had the WV published the retraction, very few people would have seen it. Now the Media Council has highlighted the complaint and the refused retraction across the whole media so it has reached a much wider audience. Well done KFC. Maybe the WV needs a new Editor who is not asleep at the wheel, or spending so much time on call in radio shows.