Media Council of Bermuda
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Media Council Statements

Paynter, Horton join Appointments Committee

Patrina O’Connor-Paynter

Patrina O’Connor-Paynter

Ellen-Kate Horton

Ellen-Kate Horton

Patrina O'Connor-Paynter and Ellen-Kate Horton have joined the Appointments Committee of the Media Council of Bermuda. Mrs Paynter, better known as PowerGirl, will serve as the committee chair. They replace Venous Memari and Leo Mills who have stepped down.

They will join Dr Myra Virgil who has served on the on the committee since 2011. Don Burgess, the chief executive officer for the Media Council, said the Appointments Committee is responsible for selecting the lay members of the Media Council Board, which in turn is responsible for hearing complaints brought against the media.

"I am very pleased to have Patrina and Ellen-Kate help perform this vital role for the Media Council. We have some vacancies to be filled on the MC Board, and they will ensure that fair-minded people fill those seats.

"I would like to thank Venous and Leo for their service, Mr Burgess added. "They have been valuable members of the Media Council community."

Mrs O'Connor-Paynter is the managing director of youth mentoring programme Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda. She is also an award-winning media personality who has hosted her own radio show and numerous television programmes in Bermuda. Most people know her from being an emcee as she hosts many popular events throughout the island including Bermuda Day, and the Miss Bermuda Pageant. Her career in media has spanned over 15 years, in various roles in front of the camera and behind the scenes."

She is a member of the Management Committee of the Berkeley Educational Society. In 2016, she was named the Most Fascinating Person of Bermuda and was honoured during the televised interview. Then in 2017, she was awarded the Queen's Certificate and Badge of Honour for her work in the community. She was also nominated as one of Bermuda's most influential mothers by Bermuda Parent Magazine and is currently ranked in the top 50 Social Media Klout List for Bermuda. In recent years she has also been given the title of motivational speaker and is invited to speak at youth-centred events throughout the island.

She is a philanthropist who believes in giving back to many causes however her main focus is making a difference in the lives of youth in Bermuda. Mrs O'Connor-Paynter received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a Minor in Sociology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is happily married with one son.

"I appreciate this opportunity to serve Bermuda in this way," Mrs O'Connor-Paynter said. "I want to work alongside the committee members to ensure that we have people on the Media Council Board who will judge each case fairly and with integrity."

Ms Horton is a former Permanent Secretary who retired from the Ministry of Transport in 2012. She had, during her tenure as PS., been responsible for The Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs, The Ministry of the Education, Sports and Recreation, and The Ministry of the Environment and Sports. She also served as assistant Cabinet Secretary (Civil Service).

Before becoming a member of the Civil Service Executive, Ms Horton held several positions in the Department of Education including the head of Human Resources and education officer responsible for Mathematics. At the secondary school level, she held the posts of acting deputy principal, head of the Mathematics Department and teacher of mathematics.

During her many years in education, Ms Horton was very active with the trade union. She served as first vice president of the Caribbean Union of Teachers. She also held the positions of a union organiser, president and chief negotiator of the Amalgamated Bermuda Union of Teachers.

Ms Horton represented Bermuda in the realm of sport both as an athlete and as an official. She was captain, vice-captain and shortstop of the National Softball team, the renowned 'Big Blue Machine' and is a member of that group that has been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

She is the mother of one daughter, Katura Horton-Perinchief, Bermuda's only female Olympic diver. Presently, she spends each summer coaching diving with her daughter at Star Diving Camp. Ms Horton has also developed a love of gardening and continues to tutor students who need assistance with mathematics.

Ms Horton said, "It is with pleasure that I join the Appointments Committee of the Media Council. It is an awesome responsibility which I am willing to accept unreservedly."

Chris Gibbons