Time for @mediaalliance to take charge of secret tapes ethics debate: @margokingston1 #MediaMargo #MediaWatch

I sent this email to the Media Alliance today. Dear Media Alliance, Last night’s Media Watch discussed the ethical dispute among journalists over the ethics of recording interviewees without their permission. The dispute shows serious disagreement on the matter. The Age believes it is always ethical. Some others, including me, believe it it permissible only in exceptional circumstances: In general it is unethical for a journo to record a private convo, phone or in person, w/o express or implied consent. #springst @bencubby — Margo Kingston (@margokingston1) July 29, 2014 After some debate among journalists on Twitter, I commissioned media law and ethics professor Mark Pearson, who writes the No Fibs media […]

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 […]

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 […]