Why The Australian is un-Australian: all ego and little heart: @journlaw comments

First they came for journalism educator Julie Posetti, for simply tweeting some critical comments made publicly by a former staffer of The Australian. [That time I did write a commentary in Crikey about why editors shouldn’t sue for defamation.] Then they came for Matthew Ricketson, Greg Jericho, Margaret Simons, Wendy Bacon, Martin Hirst and Jenna Price and to my shame I said very little. Well, this week they came for a good friend and colleague, Penny O’Donnell from the University of Sydney, and I refuse to remain silent. Enough is enough. She is one of the most committed and respected journalism educators I know – in both research and teaching – […]

Selling out ethical journalism: @journlaw on @theage secret recordings #springst

[clear] It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources. That newspaper’s editorial thundered at the state opposition leader: “Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.” The journalist involved – The Sunday Age’s state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went […]

Why Australians should care about World Press Freedom Day: @journlaw

Readers of NoFibs reap the rewards of citizen journalists expressing their news and views with a high level of free expression by world standards. So why should Australians care about media freedom on World Press Freedom Day 2014? Quite simply, because it is a ‘fragile freedom’ – continually under threat and only noticed by most people once they have lost it. Just ask any of the refugees who have fled to Australia over the past century from regimes that have robbed them of their human rights. One of their first responses is typically that they love their new home country because it is ‘free’ and they can express themselves freely here. When […]

Abbott’s attack on ABC proves politicians are free press chameleons – @journlaw reports

[clear] By Mark Pearson  @journlaw 5th February 2014 Politicians are free expression chameleons. Regardless of their political colours, they are inevitably staunch advocates of a free media and the free flow of information while in opposition. When they win government they tend to shut down criticism and negative press by implementing policies and passing laws to limit scrutiny. We saw this happen in Australia this week Prime Minister Tony Abbott’scriticisms of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on the eve of his government’s announcement of an‘efficiency study’ on the independent national broadcaster. Less than a year ago, the former Gillard Labor government’s proposed media regulations which risked journalists and media organisations being shackled by a new privacy […]

Mindful ethics for election bloggers and citizen journalists

By Mark Pearson, Professor of Journalism and Social Media, Griffith University, Australia 10 August 2013 Bloggers and citizen journalists come from an array of backgrounds and thus bring varied cultural and ethical values to their blogging. No Fibs asks its citizen journalists to follow the MEAA Code of Ethics, and the journalists’ union has recently made a concerted effort to bring serious bloggers into its fold through its FreelancePro initiative. This would have bloggers committing to a ‘respect for truth and the public’s right to information’ and the core principles of honesty, fairness, independence, and respect for the rights of others. Specifically, they would subscribe to the 12 key principles […]

The basics on blogging and tweeting without getting sued

Margo: This is the third post in our series exploring the meaning of journalism. Professor Mark Pearson, an expert in media law, outlines the basic legal issues journos must keep in mind. by Mark Pearson May 29, 2013 Countless laws might apply to the serious blogger and citizen journalist because Web 2.0 communications transcend borders into places where expression is far from free.   Even in Australia there are nine jurisdictions with a complex array of laws affecting writers and online publishers, including defamation, contempt, confidentiality, discrimination, privacy, intellectual property and national security. If you plan on taking the ‘publish and be damned’ approach coined by the Duke of Wellington in […]

Media reform laws address abuses of long-fought for freedoms

By Matt da Silva (@mattdasilva) March 15th, 2013 Source:Happy Antipodean In a useful run-down on his blog, journalism law academic Mark Pearson outlines some objections to the government’s proposed media reform legislation. It is a little brief and although it starts out promisingly, political concerns quickly rush to the fore. Here’s his first objection, near the top: Here we have a piece of legislation proposing a statutory mechanism for the supervision of industry-based self-regulation of print and online news media. That, dear readers, is ‘regulation’. Fair enough, and we’ll get to my reaction to this point later. But for people interested in understanding the implications of the proposed laws in terms of the Privacy Act, […]