On ethics

John Richardson writes: Re. “Ethics questions for News as Martin Bryant’s sister quoted without consent” (yesterday). The simple, straight forward answer to Myriam Robin’s question: “when is a discussion an interview?” is NEVER.

An interview consists of a mutually agreed exchange, either on the record or off the record, where one party poses the questions & the other responds. Pretending that the edited comments made by a person refusing to engage in an interview are responses offered in an interview, is simply dishonest, cowardly and fraudulent, with those guilty of such despicable behaviour not worthy of the title of journalist.

Of course, neither journalistic standards or ethical behaviour are essential requirements for success in the upside-down, inside-out worm-hole world that is Rupert Murdoch’s media machine.

On offence

Joe Boswell writes: Re. “Oz defends ‘racist’ Bill Leak cartoon: critics didn’t get the joke” (Tuesday). The controversy over Bill Leak’s cartoon that showed some unfortunate Indians foolishly trying to eat solar panels seems to be missing the point. If only, in place of solar panels, those Indians had a nice nourishing bowl of good Australian coal, with or without the mango chutney! Perhaps Leak could be persuaded, as a small service to starving humanity, to eat some coal and show how it’s done.


Peter Fray

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