Time to be Alert … And a little bit Alarmed? – the @sarah_capper column

Yes, that’s right, last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Government was raising Australia’s ‘terror alert’ status to ‘high’.  While technically this means a terrorist attack on Australian soil is now regarded as “likely”, the PM was quick to clarify that “this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.” Fast forward one week as Australians woke to the news of police raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane. Almost 900 police were involved with 15 people detained and at this stage, one charged with conspiracy to prepare an attack, another charged with weapons offenses. Based on media reports, the […]

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 […]

Reporting Indi: A reflection by Margo Kingston

[clear] By Margo Kingston, 1 December 2013 I take the Gold Coast train to Brisbane airport, the plane to Melbourne, the sky bus to Southern Cross Station, the train to Seymour, and the bus to Wangaratta train station. Wayne Jansson leads me to his battered old car and drives me to the hamlet of St James. A late frost has killed the canola oil crop, and the farmers who couldn’t afford to let the crop rot as fertilizer for next year have rolled it up into hay. The cherry trees look good. Wayne says his Mum Glenys and step father Mark will host my stay because he lives in a ramshackle […]

GetUp! update Murdoch ad ban

By Margo Kingston 4 September 2013   Here is the Ad

Journalist @MargaretSimons stands up to Oz intimidation, speaks out on media reform

By Margo Kingston, March 19, 2013 I’ve known Meg Simons for more than 25 years. We met in the Fairfax Brisbane bureau in the late 1980s – she was The Age correspondent,  me a new recruit for the Times on Sunday. We covered the Fitzgerald Inquiry, and I learnt courage and persistence – and tried to learn detachment – from her. She’s since written novels,  investigative non-fiction on the Hindmarsh Island Affair, books on the Press Gallery and the media and a biography of Malcolm Fraser. She’s now an academic journalist at Melbourne University and writes on media for Crikey. Meg is one of Australia’s finest journalists. She has also been a […]

Michelle Grattan’s best work is yet to come

By Margo Kingston February 9, 2013 Michelle Grattan. I’ve loved her and hated her over the years. One invariably has a complicated relationship with a great person. Soon after the 1993 election, under pressure from then editor of The Age Alan Kohler to step back from day-to-day journalism, she left her spiritual home to become the first female editor of a metropolitan newspaper, The Canberra Times. Its owner Kerry Stokes made her promises he failed to keep, and two years later she resigned rather than accept a huge payout to leave quietly. I was one of her journos at The Age Canberra Bureau when she took that job, and was pissed off with her for […]