Sunday, 4 March 2012

Protocol.

On the 12th of January this year (2012) we "Citizen's Media" received the latest incarnation (below) of the protocol concerning filming (or not) of "PUBLIC" Scrutiny (Parliamentary Select Committee) Panel Hearings. After reading the protocol we discovered that it was much the same as the others that have been dreamt up in the past and really only there to prevent Bloggers from engaging the public in the political process.

It was signed by the Vice Chairman, Deputy Stephen Luce, who most will know is the new Deputy of St Martin after defeating former Deputy Bob Hill in the last election. Deputy Hill was/is an avid campaigner for open and transparent government and supporter of Citizens Media. These attributes appear completely lacking in his Successor, Deputy Luce, as this latest attempt to exclude the public, in favour of, State Media should demonstrate.




Our Ref 510/1(42)
12 January 2012

New Protocol for Filming at Scrutiny Hearings

Dear “Citizen’s media

The new Scrutiny Chairmen’s Committee has considered in depth how it can best conduct its hearings in a professional and businesslike manner whilst maintaining the opportunity for visual media coverage. The Committee has held a meeting for all Scrutiny Members recently and decided that preferable way forward was for webstreaming, similar to that which operates in other jurisdictions. This means that all visual recording would be operated centrally and streamed. Any media outlets would be able to apply for permission to use footage taken centrally with no changes made to such format.

However, this is currently being looked into in detail and is not a short-term solution. Consideration has, therefore, been given as to the best way forward in the interim and it has been agreed that a standardised procedure is required for all involved in Scrutiny Hearings, be they Panel Members, witnesses, public or media.

It has been agreed that no visual footage will be permitted by the “Citizen’s media”. “Accredited” media wishing to take visual footage will be permitted to do so for the first five minutes of each public hearing only (it is anticipated that Scrutiny and PAC hearings will be held in public) and may not take any footage of the public but only those present at the table.
Everyone is very welcome to attend all or parts of Hearings to take notes. Also any media interviews with the Panel, Sub-Panel, PAC Chairmen or witnesses can be arranged to take place outside the States Building either before or after Hearings.
Yours sincerely


Deputy of St Martin
Vice-President, Chairmen’s Committee (END)

 

Regular readers will be aware that, in the past, these protocols have been hair-brained, ill thought-out, nonsensical and discriminatory against Bloggers.....and this latest incarnation is no different. So rather than (as we have in the past) question it, challenge it or point out, to the authors how 19th century, backward, nonsensical and draconian we believed it to be we chose simply to ignore it as it is only a very small part of the bigger picture that is the "secrecy" of this administration.



However an occasion arose where the protocol was breached by the "accredited" (State) media and one of the Scrutiny Panel Chairman, Deputy Kristina Moore. So in order to prove our point, that the protocol is a complete waste of time, and not worth the paper it is written on we complained to the head of the Chairman's Panel Deputy Tracy Vallois, asking who will be held to account/sanctioned for this blatant breach? Of course we knew nobody would, or even could, be sanctioned thus proving our point.

Here is the complaint made to the Chairman of the Chairman's Panel.

from: voiceforchildren
to: t.vallois
date: 11 February 2012 10:52
subject:  Sanctions/complaint.

Deputy.

I contact you in your capacity as Chairman of the Scrutiny Chairman's panel.

On the 12th of January 2012 I received the new (draconian)  protocol of filming (or not) Scrutiny Hearings. It must be said, no matter how draconian these protocols have been/are, that "non accredited" (Bloggers) media have adhered to them throught. The same can't be said for the "accredited" (State) media and in particular Channel Television. Yesterday 10th February 2012, despite the new protocol stating that the "accredited" media can only film within the first five minutes of a hearing, Channel Television turned up to the Health, Social Security & Housing Panel Hearing, long after the first five minutes and filmed. Not only did they film but, (and again with total disregard to the protocol), filmed a member of the public, and broadcast it on their 6 o'clock news despite the protocol stating the "accredited" media "may not take any footage of the public but only those present at the table."

Channel television appear to continually disregard any rules/protocols. Back in July 2011 I published this Blog Posting, http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.com/2011/07/skull-evidence-and-media.html of which I produce a section of it here.


"As for the role of the island's media, one has to question their motives. At this hearing were members of the public, among those members of the public, were victims/survivors of Child Abuse. A request was made at the beginning of this hearing and assurances given that members of the public would not be filmed by the media and reproduced below, is the "official" transcript of that.


Male Speaker:
"Could I just say before you start I do not think members of the public want to be filmed by the media.  


Deputy T.M. Pitman:
Are you going to focus on us?  Please, thank you."


The "thank you" from the panel Chairman was a consequence of receiving visual assurances from the media that they agreed with this request. The request was made, not least, because one of the members of public present, who is also an Abuse Survivor, is the target of threatening and intimidatory phone calls, and has even had a stranger come to their door to, among other things, threaten him/her not to reveal the name of their Abuser. This Survivor has subsequently received more threats since this hearing." (end)


So the questions remain just what is the point of these protocols if in practice they mean nothing? They appear totally pointless and are regularly ignored by Channel Television.

Please regard this e-mail as an official complaint, but it is difficult to know who the complaint should be aimed at and indeed what, if anything, can be done about it? Who is at fault here, is it the Scrutiny Panel that allowed Channel Television to film (out of time) yesterday and for not assuring members of the public were kept out of shot? Is it Channel Television who is at fault for having total disregard for the protocols? Just as importantly what realistic sanctions are in place for such beaches of protocol? If a Blogger was to turn up at one of these Hearings and switch a video camera on, what would the sanction be? Now that CTV has breached the protocol who, if anybody, is going to sanctioned?

I dare say neither yourself, nor any of your committee know the answers to these questions as these draconian rules are made up at the drop of a hat and in reality don't mean anything and are a waste of time that only serve to prevent "independent" media (Bloggers) from filming meetings.

As mentioned earlier this is an official complaint please treat it as such and I would like to know what the consequences will be for these breaches of protocol and who will "suffer" the consequences?

VFC. (END)

A series of e-mail exchanges then took place which resulted in the Chairman, Deputy Vallois, agreeing to this interview (Part1 below) for which we are very grateful and appreciate her support for Citizens Media. It is important to point out that Deputy Vallois was not party to the decision (vote) to exclude Bloggers from filming the Scrutiny Hearings and after a request she was the only Chairperson to reply to the e-mails and "promptly" too. All other Chairmen were asked for an interview but the e-mail wasn't even acknowledged. That said, Deputy Macon, and Senator Ferguson, as mentioned in the video, did not agree with the exclusion of Bloggers, so still waiting to hear from Deputies Moore, Young and Luce...........



23 comments:

  1. If the protocol was signed by Luce he should have given you the interview instead of hiding behind deputy Vallois. You'll have to ask him again for an interview to explain the inexplicable one rule for one

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  2. As mentioned in the main posting Stephen Luce was asked for an interview but never even had the decency (courage?) to acknowledge the e-mail. When it comes to "Testicular Fortitude", unlike Deputy Vallois, Deputy Luce seems to be lacking in that department which is a fare cry from his predecessor BOB HILL

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  3. apart from filming being restricted,i take it that audio recordings are permitted and that accurate minutes are available.
    While i do NOT like the restrictions on non MSM, is it such a deprivation,as long as we have access to WHAT was said.

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  4. thank you to Deputy Vallois for giving this interview.


    ''Why are we bloggers so discriminated against, when we haven't broken any rules any laws and we've been complimented by just about everybody we've interviewed''.

    There in that paragraph is your answer You do it by the book the people hear and see evidence you provide.

    Protocals not being followed by CTV is excused in view of them, only being guidelines to the chairman.

    If it suits the chairman and he has no problem with this the public get to (like it or lump it)

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  5. Another effort at State control that won't keep bloggers from reporting the truth to enough people to eventually topple the feudalist power base. Sooner or later, it is simply inevitable. Even the most apathetic can become tired of being lied to by State Media.

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  6. Not being funny but who wants to film scrutiny meetings? It is boring enough listening to live States debate never mind anything as dull as this. They are doing you a favour I reckon.

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  7. There must be a bigger brain behind this than Deputy Luce because the exclusion policy was in place from the very start of the New States session. Luce had probably never even been to a scrutiny hearing or meeting before "his" policy was announced and implemented.
    That it was discussed at the Chairmen's Committee amazes me - who really dreamed it up?
    The result is much more far reaching then just restricting bloggers because it works in conjunction with new PPC rules in scrutiny too. There is a closing down policy against public participation. The old "engage the public" mantra is just a memory and observers now must remain totally quiet before, during and after the proceedings.
    Of course Agenda for panel meetings are still published in very skelatal form but nobody is allowed to observe such meetings anymore. We - the paying voting opublic - must rely upon the whims of the panels to publish agenda and minutes when and how it suits them - often weeks or months after the meetings took place.

    "Send in your scrutiny proposals" say scrutiny but the chances of your topic being accepted are virtually nil.

    At least the hearings take place on time under the new regime and the sandwiches have been banned!!!!

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  8. So - we have gone from Bob Hill to Deputy Luce. Great!

    You cannot film, but have not been afforded the courtesy of knowing why. Great!

    The discredited media can film for 5 minutes. Is this before or after the usual niceties and introductions are made. Either way they will no doubt abuse this 'exclusive' 5 minutes. Great!

    A new member who has already breached the protocol. Great!

    Citizens Media who have not broken and rule or protocol barred. Great!

    What an absolute joke!

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  9. Bob Hill and Stuart Syvret have faught heroically against Jersey corruption- each in their own way. Mr Hill was quiet and polite, Mr Syvret more passionate in his oratory, but either way Jersey cast these two truly uncorrupted men out.

    The departure of these two politicians will only drag out the painful conflict between democracy and Neo-Feudalism in Jersey. The truth will win out because of the blogs but the blogs will certainly and inevitably win out over state media because of the truth.

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  10. The more astute reader would have noticed this in the new protocol.

    "Any media outlets would be able to apply for permission to use footage taken centrally."

    "Apply for permission." So the next thing will be that Bloggers (Jersey's only independent media) will have their application refused and so it will go on until more politicians grow a back-bone and speak out against the State Media and in support of an independent media "Bloggers."

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  11. Another typical example of State Media being displayed by BBC Jersey today.

    The biggest assault on, what passes for, "Democracy" in Jersey since the occupation could go ahead today if Philip Bailhache is able to hijack the Electoral Commission. The BBC wheel out the old Fort Regent sketch and get all their listeners to talk about and phone in about this subject that has been beaten to death for years, most notably by the BBC.

    The possibility that Jersey could become even more feudal than it already is and the BBC are trying to convince their listeners that the scaffolding on the Fort Regent pool is more important..........hashtag startemedia

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  12. It does appear to me that your government is displaying the early signs of crisis. I have not heard anyone's eloquent defense of politicians being included in the commission. Bailhache's defenders are abnormally reticent, and probably very afraid, as is BBC, obviously.

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  13. Hi VFC.

    Just put up the audio from today's Questions with out Answers. You & your readers can Listen HERE

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  14. Strange but true that the Constitutional expert always wheeled out in Jersey is Adrian Lee - because he is on contract with the BBC!!!

    How do you value his words of wisdom on that basis?

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  15. Deputy Le Herissier for Chairman of panel!!

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  16. Tom Gruchy.

    Professor Adrian Lee being linked with the discredited and disgraced BBC will do his credibility no favours at all and the further he can distance himself from that organization the better (for him).

    Anon.

    Roy Le Herissier should not, IMO, legitimize Senator Bailhache’s feudal hijacking of the Electoral Commission by having anything to do with it let alone chair it.

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  17. Former Deputy Bob Hill gives us a short analyses of a voting pattern that exposes our State political "journalists" for what they are in his latest POSTING

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  18. http://tonymusings.blogspot.com/2011/10/philip-bailhache-and-roger-holland.html

    4.1.18 The oath of office for a member of the Honorary Police is administered by the Royal Court after it has heard any observations of the Attorney General as to whether or not the oath should be administered. It is for the purpose of these observations (known technically as "moving conclusions") that the Attorney General requires to know whether the officer concerned has any previous convictions.

    4.1.19 There was a conflict of evidence regarding the requirement to inform the Attorney General of the criminal records, if any, of prospective honorary police officers. The then Attorney General [Philip Bailhache] insisted that this was a matter for the Connétable, and correspondence from his successor supports that understanding.

    However, in written evidence to this Committee, the then Clerk to the Attorney General paints a different picture. She stated that: As a matter of routine, all prospective honorary police officers were automatically checked out with the Criminal Records Office, both by the Greffier on behalf of the Town Hall and by myself on behalf of our department. My requests to the Criminal Records Office were made by telephone and that office would fax the records through to us with no other paperwork being created. Criminal records are not usually kept on file as a safeguard against a Data Protection breach. She also stated: Should I or one of my colleagues have omitted to do this, it would have been picked by the Attorney General or Solicitor General before going to the Samedi Court for the swearing in process.

    However, in written evidence, the Attorney General [Philip Bailhache] has challenged that recollection. He stated that it would have been impractical to have undertaken such checks as a matter of course because of the short time between receipt of notification of the elections and the appearance of the officer before the Royal Court.

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  19. Neil, what we need is our very own Blogger Complaints Commission, then very simply we fit the definition of 'accredited media'.

    What do you think?

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  20. Voice , can I ask why you have deputy Jackie Hilton on you side bar , yet her blog page remains inactive
    Ther is so far no comments ?

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