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After 15 years of holding the state’s news media accountable for accuracy, fairness and ethics, the Washington News Council will close May 31.

Founded in 1998 by John Hamer, it is the only news council left in the United States that reviews citizen complaints against media organizations and holds public hearings to review and vote on the quality of print, broadcast or online stories.

“We had a great 15-year run, and we helped a lot of people who were damaged by media malpractice,” said Hamer, who serves as the council’s  executive director and board president.

“But the news media have changed tectonically since we began. The eruption of online digital news and information made our mission of promoting high standards in journalism much more difficult, if not impossible. How can anyone oversee a cyber-tsunami?”