Aiia Conversations: Journalism Ethics In An Age Of Global News

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Aiia Conversations: Journalism Ethics In An Age Of Global News
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Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) - Queensland Branch says
A panel discussion with Associate Professor Roger Patching, Nance Haxton, Professor Mark Pearson, Danielle Cronin

It seems the news is increasingly filled with stories of journalists who have crossed an ethical boundary. Several journalists were arrested and many more resigned after the News of the World phone hacking scandal broke in 2011. After the Charlie Hebdo shooting in early 2015, media outlets had to decide whether to publish contentious cartoons from the French satirical newspaper. The New York Times published a photo of Pope Benedict XVI made of condoms, yet did not publish Charlie Hebdo’s provocative cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. More controversy arose from the same incident, as four French news outlets were sued for reporting the attack and where people were hiding as the shooting occurred.

In September 2015, a Hungarian camerawoman was fired by N1TV for tripping refugees as they ran past her, while in the same month there was debate over publishing photos of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian child who had washed up on a Turkish beach. Various media outlets ran the photos despite their graphic nature, while others chose not to publish. The UK Daily Mail retracted a photo they had published of an ISIS execution in 2015, after stating the photo was recent when it was initially published by World Affairs in September 2014. Earlier this year, a 60 Minutes crew were jailed in Beirut while filming a botched child recovery operation. And last month there were over 700 complaints made to the Press Council of Australia regarding The Australian’s editorial cartoon depicting indigenous Australians.

In an era of 24-hour news, journalists are under intense cost and time pressures to publish stories at an increased rate, yet are still expected to maintain the highest possible degree of accuracy, fairness, objectivity, impartiality and public accountability. With the added pressure of capturing the attention of an ever distracted and indifferent audience, it is not surprising the news is increasingly filled with stories of journalists who have crossed ethical boundaries. In addition, anyone with access to the internet is now able to publish journalistic material, but may not be bound by the same ethical guidelines as career journalists. From the protection of freedom of speech, to citizen journalism, to the use of emotive language and photographs, the ethical dilemmas faced by journalists today are many.

Join Dr Roger Patching, Adjunct Associate Professor at Bond University, Dr Mark Pearson, Professor at Griffith University, Danielle Cronin, Editor of the Brisbane Times and Nance Haxton, radio current affairs reporter at ABC Radio, as they discuss current ethical guidelines in a time when the impact of a journalist can be global.
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By: Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) - Queensland Branch

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