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Analysis and Comment (15)

The BBC was at the scene and the Mail wasn’t pleased. The BBC was at the scene and the Mail wasn’t pleased. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Trust the Mail to stick the boot into the BBC over Cliff Richard

When police investigating allegations of historic sex abuse searched the Berkshire home of singer Cliff Richard, it was the BBC that broke the news. Indeed, the Independent reported that when the eight…
Sensitive reporting is required when reporting suicide. Sensitive reporting is required when reporting suicide. Tracey Nearmy/EPA

No one is censoring the media about suicide, we’re just asking for sensitivity

The death of much-loved improviser extraordinaire Robin Williams at his own hand seems to have given some newspapers a green light to “go off on one” – delving into his psyche with gay abandon, detailing…
How to cover suicide has always been a contentious issue for journalists. How to cover suicide has always been a contentious issue for journalists. EPA/JANOS MARJAI HUNGARY OUT

Public health, private grief: how should journos report suicide?

While fans were in collective mourning over the untimely death of Robin Williams, American TV channel Fox News’ Shepard Smith was making profuse apologies for calling the comedian a “coward” after his…
The ethical questions raised by publishing material from WikiLeaks are not new, but can come with heightened stakes in the digital age. The ethical questions raised by publishing material from WikiLeaks are not new, but can come with heightened stakes in the digital age. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

WikiLeaks, journalism ethics and the digital age: what did we learn?

The journey of whistleblower website WikiLeaks was traced by, among others, Professor Gerard Goggin, chair of the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. In an analytical narrative…
The Guardian and ABC’s case to publish information about Australia’s phone tapping is a defensible one. The Guardian and ABC’s case to publish information about Australia’s phone tapping is a defensible one. EPA/Adi Weda

To publish, or not to publish? The ethics of reporting spying

Were The Guardian Australia and the ABC ethically justified in publishing leaked classified material showing Australia tapped the telephones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife…
If a comet was heading for earth, would you just go about your life? If a comet was heading for earth, would you just go about your life? Mark Mathosian

A question of ethics: journalists and climate change

Breaking news: scientists have discovered a comet that will collide with Earth in 30 years. Its impact will be devastating, killing millions, flooding coastal cities and disrupting civilisation as we know…
How much of a role did the media play in the political demise of Julia Gillard as prime minister? How much of a role did the media play in the political demise of Julia Gillard as prime minister? AAP/Tony McDonough

Ethical lapses by journalists contributed to Gillard’s demise

An integral power of the media is that of portrayal: the act of determining how people, events, ideas and organisations are described to the public, and therefore how they are perceived by the public…
The sensationalist coverage of the domestic violence inflicted in public on celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has the potential to normalise the behaviour. The sensationalist coverage of the domestic violence inflicted in public on celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has the potential to normalise the behaviour. EPA/Sebastien Nogier

The media ‘spectacle’ of Nigella Lawson’s domestic abuse

There is something concerning about the media coverage of Charles Saatchi’s violence against his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. It is the willingness of the news media to reproduce images of Lawson’s…
Covering school shootings raises ethical dilemmas for much of the mainstream media. Covering school shootings raises ethical dilemmas for much of the mainstream media. AAP/Andrew Gombert

From copy cats to child witnesses – the ethics of reporting school shootings

As Newtown tries to come to terms with the execrable, it isn’t clear if television news has been a help or a hindrance. According to the New York Times, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer has acknowledged the challenges…
There has been an outpouring of grief over the death of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha. There has been an outpouring of grief over the death of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha. EPA/Andy Rain

Did 2Day FM break the law? And does it matter?

When you make money by being infamous, as 2DAY FM does, the odds are that eventually your infamous behaviour will land you in serious trouble. That has now happened with the hoax phone call to the King…
Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rys Holleran has expressed “sorrow” at the death of Jacintha Saldanha, but who is to blame? Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rys Holleran has expressed “sorrow” at the death of Jacintha Saldanha, but who is to blame? AAP/Joe Castro

Between guilt and innocence: 2Day FM and the moral blame game

This past weekend, we saw the media – old, new, and social – trying to digest the indigestible. The death of Jacintha Saldanha, the British nurse who apparently took her own life after being caught up…
2day FM is in hot water after a prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital went terribly wrong. 2day FM is in hot water after a prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital went terribly wrong. AAP/Warren Clarke

Jacintha Saldanha is the latest victim of a media saturated world

The dreadful death of Jacintha Saldanha after she transferred a prank call from 2Day FM to a fellow nurse is a harrowing example of the hurt that can be caused when ordinary people get caught up in media…
2Day FM hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian must be held to account by ACMA. 2Day FM hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian must be held to account by ACMA. AAP/Southern Cross Austereo

ACMA among those responsible for hospital prank fallout

Sadly, few of those outraged over the Kate Middleton hospital prank will understand that the presenters responsible are not journalists but entertainers. For that role they are covered by the Australian…
Julia Gillard has repeatedly answered questions about her role with the AWU, but it’s not enough for some journalists. Julia Gillard has repeatedly answered questions about her role with the AWU, but it’s not enough for some journalists. AAP/Alan Porritt

AWU ‘scandal’ says more about the media’s ethics than the PM’s

Every time Prime Minister Julia Gillard repeats statements that she’s “done nothing wrong” in the AWU slush fund scandal story, it seems another journalist joins the fray. No one covering the story has…

Research and News (3)