Hamilton Media Advisory Council is an important resource for the media and city's diverse communities

Opinion Apr 09, 2015 by Gordon Cameron Ancaster News

We journalists like to think of ourselves as worldly people. Because of the work we do, we know people from all walks of life, from household names to no-names, from filthy rich to dirt poor.

That level of exposure helps us to develop or hone a sense of empathy to those within our communities, even those whose life experiences are vastly different from our own.

However, no amount of empathy towards another can accurately replicate their lived experience.

That’s why we’re fortunate to have an organization like the Hamilton Media Advisory Council (HMAC) in our community. The group consists of representatives from all of the city’s major media outlets and community members chosen from Hamilton’s multicultural residents.

Each month we meet and discuss the news: what was covered, what wasn’t and how it could be done better. I always find this fascinating, as it’s an educational experience for both sides: we in the media get to learn how we could have done better, while the community members get an insight into why we chose to do things the way we did.

At times, the discussions have been heated, as there have been genuine disagreements over how a specific local, national or international story was handled in the media. However, in my two years on the council they’ve always been respectful and done with the best of intentions.

I’d like to think that both the community and the media members come away from those discussions with something to think about, the way that I do.

Beyond that, many of the community members have shared their personal stories with the board, which helps the media members to understand life outside our individual experiences. I’d love to tell you about some of the amazing and often heart-wrenching stories I’ve heard, but the details of what’s said around the table, stays at the table.

The council is in the midst of a recruiting drive for community members to serve a two-year term from fall 2015 to spring 2017. We meet every third Thursday from September to May at the Spectator building at 44 Frid St. If you are interested in applying please contact hamiltonmediaadvisorycouncil@gmail.com for more information or to receive an application form.

From my perspective, the ideal candidate will be someone who reads/watches/listens to the news (particularly from outlets within Hamilton), who is intellectually curious, willing to speak their mind and share their life experiences with those who help shape the discussion within Hamilton.

To those of you who will be joining the council, I look forward to sitting down with you next September and continuing this important discussion.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.

Hamilton Media Advisory Council is an important resource for the media and city's diverse communities

Opinion Apr 09, 2015 by Gordon Cameron Ancaster News

We journalists like to think of ourselves as worldly people. Because of the work we do, we know people from all walks of life, from household names to no-names, from filthy rich to dirt poor.

That level of exposure helps us to develop or hone a sense of empathy to those within our communities, even those whose life experiences are vastly different from our own.

However, no amount of empathy towards another can accurately replicate their lived experience.

That’s why we’re fortunate to have an organization like the Hamilton Media Advisory Council (HMAC) in our community. The group consists of representatives from all of the city’s major media outlets and community members chosen from Hamilton’s multicultural residents.

Each month we meet and discuss the news: what was covered, what wasn’t and how it could be done better. I always find this fascinating, as it’s an educational experience for both sides: we in the media get to learn how we could have done better, while the community members get an insight into why we chose to do things the way we did.

At times, the discussions have been heated, as there have been genuine disagreements over how a specific local, national or international story was handled in the media. However, in my two years on the council they’ve always been respectful and done with the best of intentions.

I’d like to think that both the community and the media members come away from those discussions with something to think about, the way that I do.

Beyond that, many of the community members have shared their personal stories with the board, which helps the media members to understand life outside our individual experiences. I’d love to tell you about some of the amazing and often heart-wrenching stories I’ve heard, but the details of what’s said around the table, stays at the table.

The council is in the midst of a recruiting drive for community members to serve a two-year term from fall 2015 to spring 2017. We meet every third Thursday from September to May at the Spectator building at 44 Frid St. If you are interested in applying please contact hamiltonmediaadvisorycouncil@gmail.com for more information or to receive an application form.

From my perspective, the ideal candidate will be someone who reads/watches/listens to the news (particularly from outlets within Hamilton), who is intellectually curious, willing to speak their mind and share their life experiences with those who help shape the discussion within Hamilton.

To those of you who will be joining the council, I look forward to sitting down with you next September and continuing this important discussion.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.

Hamilton Media Advisory Council is an important resource for the media and city's diverse communities

Opinion Apr 09, 2015 by Gordon Cameron Ancaster News

We journalists like to think of ourselves as worldly people. Because of the work we do, we know people from all walks of life, from household names to no-names, from filthy rich to dirt poor.

That level of exposure helps us to develop or hone a sense of empathy to those within our communities, even those whose life experiences are vastly different from our own.

However, no amount of empathy towards another can accurately replicate their lived experience.

That’s why we’re fortunate to have an organization like the Hamilton Media Advisory Council (HMAC) in our community. The group consists of representatives from all of the city’s major media outlets and community members chosen from Hamilton’s multicultural residents.

Each month we meet and discuss the news: what was covered, what wasn’t and how it could be done better. I always find this fascinating, as it’s an educational experience for both sides: we in the media get to learn how we could have done better, while the community members get an insight into why we chose to do things the way we did.

At times, the discussions have been heated, as there have been genuine disagreements over how a specific local, national or international story was handled in the media. However, in my two years on the council they’ve always been respectful and done with the best of intentions.

I’d like to think that both the community and the media members come away from those discussions with something to think about, the way that I do.

Beyond that, many of the community members have shared their personal stories with the board, which helps the media members to understand life outside our individual experiences. I’d love to tell you about some of the amazing and often heart-wrenching stories I’ve heard, but the details of what’s said around the table, stays at the table.

The council is in the midst of a recruiting drive for community members to serve a two-year term from fall 2015 to spring 2017. We meet every third Thursday from September to May at the Spectator building at 44 Frid St. If you are interested in applying please contact hamiltonmediaadvisorycouncil@gmail.com for more information or to receive an application form.

From my perspective, the ideal candidate will be someone who reads/watches/listens to the news (particularly from outlets within Hamilton), who is intellectually curious, willing to speak their mind and share their life experiences with those who help shape the discussion within Hamilton.

To those of you who will be joining the council, I look forward to sitting down with you next September and continuing this important discussion.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.