The National NewsMedia Council of Canada is incorporated under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act .
The Council was formed through an alliance of the former press councils of Ontario, British Columbia, and the Atlantic provinces on September 1, 2015. Facilitated by Newspapers Canada, and several senior editors and publishers, the councils engaged in a two year-long discussion leading to the merger. Its inaugural Board meeting was held in Toronto, Ontario on December 2, 2015.
Its founding members were print news organizations belonging to one of the three press councils which joined to form the national organization, the daily and community publications working with Newspapers Canada, and several magazines, online and other digital news organizations.
It was determined that news organizations on any platform would be eligible for membership, as the Council’s goal is to reflect the evolving and dynamic news media industry and a changing readership.
The first executive of the Council included Frances Lankin, former chair of the Ontario Press Council, Miller Ayre, former chair of the Atlantic Press Council, and Shelley Chrest, former chair of the B.C. Press Council. Ms. Lankin was appointed Chair, and John Fraser was appointed CEO.
The Council is currently comprised of 17 Directors, with nine selected from the public (“Public Directors”) and eight selected from news organizations supporting the Council (“Professional Directors”). The chair of the Council is always selected from the Public Directors. Directors of the Council do not vote or act as representatives of any news media organization or interest.
Press councils have existed in Canada for over 40 years to consider public concerns about the ethics and practices of journalists working in individual provinces.
Over the years, recommendations for mandatory regulation and federal oversight have been rejected in favour of a voluntary, self-regulatory approach to ensuring an ethical and free media.
To download a copy of the NNC’s by-laws, approved by the board at our meeting on September 22, 2016, please click here. To read our governance policies, as updated by the board on December 7, 2017, and amended on February 22, December 6, 2018, September 19, 2019, and December 5, 2019, and December 3, 2020 please click here. An update to include French-language publishers was added on June 23, 2022.