The union that represents more than 800 people in the newspaper and print business has voiced their concerns over James Miller’s election to Penticton city council.
Miller, the managing editor of the local newspaper the Penticton Herald, was elected to council on June 19, 2021 when he garnered over 1,500 votes to beat out nine other candidates.
The newspaper union Unifor Local 2000, which represents some Penticton Herald employees, took to Twitter to voice their concerns Wednesday, June 23.
“The managing editor of one of our member papers has created a journalism ethics controversy by getting himself elected to city council in a byelection. As a media union concerned with media issues, Penticton Herald Managing Editor James Miller’s election concerns us too,” Unifor tweeted.
“We’re also concerned for our members at the paper. How does the council reporter or layout editor, our members, cover a meeting in which his boss is involved?”
We’re also concerned for our members at the paper. How does the council reporter or layout editor, our members, cover a meeting in which his boss is involved?
The election caught the attention of other media. They're raising questions too. Examples follow in this thread. 2/6
— Unifor Local 2000 (@Unifor2000) June 24, 2021
Miller initially said he “respectfully declines” comment on the matter when first contacted by the Western News but later provided a written statement.
“I’m very proud that our campaign team was non-partisan and two of the key members were Lynn Kelsey, arguably the greatest champion for organized labour in the South Okanagan for many year, and a retired CUPE member/city staffer as my lawn-sign coordinator. I appreciate the overwhelming mandate the voters, through the democratic process, gave me and will never take that for granted,” Miller’s statement said.
Miller has previously provided details on how he plans to ensure his position with the city does not impact coverage at his newspaper.
Miller will take part in his first council meeting on July 6.