Three appointed to Media Council Board
Darlene Livingston, Laura Bell and Dejon Simmons have been selected to the Media Council of Bermuda’s Board. Ms Livingston will be the Broadcast representative while Ms Bell and Mr Simmons will represent print and digital media entities respectively.
The Media Council Board is the body that hears complaints against the media.
Don Burgess, CEO for the Media Council of Bermuda said, “We have three excellent, fair-minded individuals with a broad range of experience added to the Board. All three can be trusted to examine each case on its own merits.”
Ms Livingston is a veteran journalist at the Bermuda Broadcasting Company. She currently does the morning news anchor radio, but she received her start in the mid-70s on both TV and radio for the company. She worked her way up to television programming manager and news director.
From 1989 to 1999 she represented the Bermuda Department of Tourism in Chicago as assistant sales manager. Her territory included all mid-western cities in spreading Bermuda Tourism’s message to US travel agents.
Ms Livingston is also the owner and proprietor of R.M. Roberts Candy Wholesale which imports US and European candy to Bermuda.
“Technically we have become well advanced in digital broadcast, and that is welcomed,” Ms Livingston said. “A new concern I have is with the fallout from the ‘fake’ versus ‘real’ news argument. Such labelling succeeds in creating just enough confusion to undermine news and information that actually is authentic.
“I would also welcome debate and consideration on the quality of content in talk radio and on social media. It’s mostly one-sided to the exclusion of all opposing views.”
She asked, “How do we create an opportunity to debate the full facts without fear of recrimination?”
Ms Bell is the owner of DesignLAB, a graphic design and marketing business she started in 2012. A summa cum laude graduate of Jacksonville University with a degree in Visual Communications, she has over 20 years of experience in print media and previously held the positions of arts editor for the Bermuda Sun newspaper and art director for The Bermudian Publishing Company.
Along with her background in graphic design, she is also an accomplished writer and editor and is regularly published in The Bermudian and Bermudian Weddings magazines. She also manages numerous projects—including the annual Best of Bermuda awards, and she served as the managing editor for the 2017 Celebration of Sail commemorative issue.
A fine artist, Ms Bell has had several solo exhibitions of her paintings at Masterworks and the Bermuda Society of the Arts (BSoA) and was featured in the 2004 Bermuda National Gallery Biennial exhibition. She is a former board member of the BSoA.
Ms Bell has two young, school-age children and volunteers regularly at their school. “I am grateful for the opportunity to represent print for the Media Council and look forward to lending my expertise to uphold the important mission of the Council—to resolve complaints against the media and protect freedom of expression.”
Mr Simmons is a well-known Bermudian for his strength and inspirational manner which allowed him to overcome a horrific life-changing ordeal. Since recovering from burns to 97% of his body, Mr Simmons has evolved into a multi-talented creative being, using his hardships as the core definition which has developed him into the ever-shifting medium he is today.
A six-time “Best of Bermuda” award winner with over a decade of experience in digital multimedia, Mr Simmon's tactical drive and collaborative assertion has carefully crafted him into becoming an innovative leader in Bermuda media. In 2012 he created the popular Bermudian digital platform BERMEMES, which quickly became a pillar in the island’s media landscape, changing the way Bermuda broadcasted information. With its unique flair for highlighting all things Bermudian, BERMEMES became the first social media brand that has garnered thousands of followers both locally and overseas.
Mr Simmons specialises in social media, content creation, brand development and strategic content marketing, and he has had the opportunity to collaborate and execute creative digital campaigns with many well-known Bermudian brands. Some of these include; The Bermuda Government, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Bermuda Development Agency, One Communications, Digicel, Goslings, and various other small Bermuda businesses.
He said: “I am more than humbled to be a part of Bermuda’s Media Council. I look forward to working with the experienced members of the media council and offering my expertise where possible.”
These three join lawyer Christian Luthi, and retired police chief inspector Robin Henegulph on the Media Council Board. The Appointments Committee is expected to announce the final three members of the Board within the next month.