The Leveson inquiry into media practice in the UK rolls on in parallel with our own Independent Media Inquiry.
The turn has now come to some of the journalists to give evidence at the inquiry. Yesterday former News of the World reporter Paul McMullen defended phone hacking and other illegal and un-ethical practices in the name of the public interest. He also claimed that former editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson knew about the methods and encouraged them.
One of the key players in exposing the disgraced practices at News of the World, Nick Davis senior investigative reporter with The Guardian, also gave evidence. He appears to have lost faith in media ethics self-regulation as he told the inquiry that ”I don’t think this is an industry that is interested in, or capable of, self-regulation”. I hope he is wrong.
In my submission to the Independent Media Inquiry I argued that the media industry should get one more go to pro-avtively clean up its act and prove that it can regulate itself. The stakeholders and the public needs to be convinced that the reformed system is user friendly, well funded and fair. If the industry proves incapable of doing this – then, and only then, do we need to consider other avenues such as legislation.
The Australian submissions page now contains a large number of documents that are well worth a read as they span a wide variety of views of what is wrong with the current media ethics regime and suggestions of reform. After I had finished my reading of the submissions my long standing puzzlement with the unwillingness of the media industry to take the issue of public trust seriously was strengthened.
It’s time for the media industry to change gear from reactive to pro-active. Eric Beecher sums it up at the end of his submission to the inquiry.
“Unless the media puts its own house in order, transparently and aggressively, there is every chance over the next few years that governments and courts, under pressure from the disillusioned consumers of journalism, will do it for us.”
My take on the prosecution of Witness K
Fear is a tricky thing. It’s often hard to distinguish between what is real and … Continue reading My take on the prosecution of Witness K
ABC caves in after political pressure – latest piece in the conversation
The ABC’s chief economics correspondent, Emma Alberici, did her job the other day. She wrote … Continue reading ABC caves in after political pressure – latest piece in the conversation
Australia – world champ in anti-terror and security laws
My latest piece in The Conversation on the proposed federal bill on foreign interference and … Continue reading Australia – world champ in anti-terror and security laws
‘In the name of security – secrecy, surveillance and journalism’
Our book assessing the impact of anti-terror, secrecy and surveillance laws on in-depth public interest … Continue reading ‘In the name of security – secrecy, surveillance and journalism’
How should research into journalism be assessed in Australia?
In the July edition, 2017, of the Australian Journalism Review one section of the journal … Continue reading How should research into journalism be assessed in Australia?
The Senate inquiry: How governments can support public interest journalism
Drawing on the Journalism Education Research Association Australia’s submission (that I contributed to) I outline … Continue reading The Senate inquiry: How governments can support public interest journalism
‘A government without newspapers’ – why we should care about the cuts at Fairfax
Market based journalism is failing public interest journalism. It’s time for governments to consider how … Continue reading ‘A government without newspapers’ – why we should care about the cuts at Fairfax
Trump supporters playing with nationalistic fire
Has nationalism combined with xenophobia ever brought the world anything good? The answer is no. … Continue reading Trump supporters playing with nationalistic fire
Journalism in the era of post-truth and fake news
Confidence in the media has long been low, but can we really afford a society … Continue reading Journalism in the era of post-truth and fake news
New article – Suspect identified: revisiting naming practices in crime coverage
Australian Journalism Review – Vol 38 Issue 1 (Jul 2016) with Steve Lillebuen and Philip … Continue reading New article – Suspect identified: revisiting naming practices in crime coverage
New article: Information access evolution: assessing Freedom of Information reforms in Australia
Australian Journalism Review – Vol 38 Issue 1 (Jul 2016) The past seven years have … Continue reading New article: Information access evolution: assessing Freedom of Information reforms in Australia
Secrecy, Naru and Manus island
My take on our right to know what is done in our name in the … Continue reading Secrecy, Naru and Manus island