Articles on Ethics

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On the ninth anniversary of the US-led Iraqi invasion, suicide attacks were used against civilians in Iraq. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Good and bad deaths: why we react to suicide bombers the way we do

Suicide attacks and car bombings across Iraq this week have killed at least 43 people and left 255 wounded. We are sadly now very familiar with the phenomenon of the suicide bomber, but the particular…

The upper class: liars and cheaters?

Rich people are more likely to engage in unethical activity, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of California…
The Coalition’s election promise controversy highlights the fraught nature of accountancy. AAP

Do accountants act in the public interest? Not always

According to the profession’s code of ethics, “a distinguishing mark of the accountancy profession is its acceptance of the responsibility to act in the public interest.” That is, not exclusively to satisfy…
Former rugby league player and convicted match-fixer, Ryan Tandy will likely not play the game again, but who’s really to blame? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Business or pleasure? Ryan Tandy and the NRL take the fun out of rugby league

I’m a relatively well-disciplined guy. In my brief time in this world, I’ve managed to complete a degree, quit smoking, and exercise thirty-odd kilos of self-indulgence away. But if there’s a TV on in…
The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks by 100 to one. Jeff Dickerson

Male infant circumcision: ‘safe, convenient, cheap and fast’

Medical circumcision of baby boys has plummeted in Australia, with only 20% of male infants now undergoing the procedure, down from 90% in the 1970s. Meanwhile, HIV infections continue to rise in the broader…
Universities need to remember why they research: to advance knowledge. Flickr/Gates Foundation

Forget profits. Universities need morals.

Steven Schwartz, vice-chancellor of Macquarie University, recently claimed that universities should break from being treated as businesses and recapture their moral purpose. He used the example of Jonas…
Rupert Murdoch holding a copy of The Times, a News International paper. AAP

The perils of trying to regulate for ethical behaviour

In little more than two weeks, the long simmering issue of illegal phone hacking at News Corporation’s British newspaper News of the World has developed into a cascading crisis, with fatal results for…
Appearing before a parliamentary committee was “my humblest day” according to Rupert Murdoch. AFP PHOTO/PARBUL

Murdochs’ defence strategy: ‘Sorry, we had no idea what was going on’

So, after a day of drama at Westminster, what have we learnt, other than the fact that Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi packs a mean left hook (future pranksters beware)? For the best part of six hours we Westminster-watchers…
An ethical journalistic culture cannot be imposed from above but must develop within a news gathering organisation. AAP

Ethical reporting after NotW phone hacking: it isn’t black and white

The handwritten sign hanging on the bereaved family’s door says: “No media”. As a reporter, do you knock? Most journalism students yell back a resounding “No”. Okay then, what if the family has a high…
The phones of victims of the London bombings were allegedly hacked by staff at the News of the World. AFP/Dylan Martine/WPA pool

‘Deplorable and indefensible’: the ethics of the News of the World

The British newspaper The News of the World is being investigated over allegations of hacking into the phones of relatives of the victims of the bombings in London in July 2005. It’s also thought those…

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