Oct 28, 2011

Media soft-pedals approach to murky world of disclosure

I think in this saga the Herald Sun has been more clueless than culpable -- although sometimes deep cluelessness can itself be culpable.

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

“How do reporters find news? Mostly people tell them. It is as simple — and as complicated — as that.”

So says Sally White’s classic Australian journalism text book, Reporting in Australia, so good that it is still in use in many journalism courses despite being out of date. It fails to mention Google, and recommends that reporters keep encyclopedias, almanacs and yearbooks to hand. It was a simpler world.

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5 thoughts on “Media soft-pedals approach to murky world of disclosure

  1. Mark from Melbourne

    What I dont get is how that The Australian and others can continually argue that Mullet and Ashby were setup or innocent or “not guilty”and use that as an argument as to why Overland and the OPI is “on the nose”.

    I guess technically they were not guilty but my recollection was that Mullet and Ashby got off on a legal technicality and that the 3rd leg of their troika admitted to what they charged with and plead guilty.

    Actually technically they weren’t found “not guilty” they were just never tried.

  2. Ilona

    brilliant margaret, thanks

  3. crissene

    Most illuminating, thanks, the government mustnow be considering putting of its independent authority even longer. I agree with you about what Nixon and Overland achieved. Neil Mitchell when recently interviewed in the Age’s Green Guide portrayed own his role in Overland’s demise as a highpoint in his journalistic career.

  4. Neil Walker

    Curiouser and curiouser. Towards the end of a live on-air interview on Friday, Peter Ryan asked Neil Mitchell on 3AW what Tristan Weston told Mitchell when he met him.

    Mitchell was not amused. He asked Ryan whether he would like him to reveal all “private conversations” with all politicians because “that changes ‘every game’ in this country”.

    Mitchell then criticises the OPI for allegedly not understanding media or politics and for showing “massive ignorance in that area”.

    Listen here:

  5. Edward James

    Margaret Simons I have popped up here after this string of yours was mentioned on Media Watch. People like me driven by self interest are often the seed of so many stories which professional reporters earn their living from. Unfortunatly those same reporters are always mindful enough to consider where their next story may come from. Being hooked into the leaky government loop is important to earning your income. I believe that is why so many “professional reporters” are frightened to pick up on my often published allagations about corrupt conduct which contimues to be accomadated by politicians sitting on both sides of government. Journalist can’t be fair dinkum when they tell me, what I publish is defamatory. Because allagations of injurious language or defamation remains exactly that until a court makes its ruling when it is called on. I believe it is self evident that what I have published over many years here and in our local papers The Peninsula News and the Gosford Central Community News is both instructive and politically damaging. My photograph of AG John Hatzistergos in a two page spread, caught reading another double page story about Gosford City Council misleading the State Coroner during his inquiry into the death of five people at Piles Creek Somersby may have influenced his desire to walk away from public life. But the facts are still out there Margaret waiting… Edward James 0243419140

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