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Ethical Australian Journalists Guide


August 29, 2003

Murdoch in the witness box

The Atlantic has a long piece about Rupert Murdoch that starts with his appearance before a US Congressional inquiry into changes to the US broadcasting ownership laws but then moves on to examine his entire career in greater detail. The piece by James Fallows calls Murdoch a "globally recognized symbol of media power". The article ( looks at Murdoch's career, at his long-lasting success in a business that has turfed out many other moguls and examines what his influence means for the media landscape as a whole. Fallows comments that Murdoch has a "long-standing determination not simply to broaden News Corp's portfolio—by diversifying, for instance, into new or unrelated businesses—but to extend his strategic control of the supply and distribution channels on which his existing businesses rely."
Posted by belinda at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

The summit for health

Papers from the recent Australian Health Care Summit in Canberra are available online at Attendees included Jeffrey Braithwaite, John Deeble, Mark Drummond, Stephen Duckett, John Dwyer, Kingsley Faulkener, Drew Fitzpatrick, Kerry Goulston, Paul Gross, Jill Iliffe, Michael Kidd, Helen Lapsley, Steven Leeder, Milton Lewis, Ken Mackay, David Malone, John Menadue, Robin Mortimer, Kim Oates, Larry Ohlhauser, Mary-Anne O'Loughlin, Jeff Richardson, Don Roberton, Russell Schneider, Fiona Tito-Wheatland, Anne Tonkin and Paul Tridgell. The summit was sponsored by health policy and welfare organisations, such as the Health Issues Centre and the Australian Council of Social Service.
Posted by belinda at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

Bye bye email, hello RSS

With people's inboxes overloaded with bank scams and penis enlargement ads, not to mention virus-carrying emails, it's no wonder that many people feel email is on the way out as a content delivery system for newsletters or news. Enter RSS where readers can get the same content without the spam or the virus risks. Steve Outing's latest Stop the Presses column gives the lowdown.
Posted by belinda at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

Paid content

Online Journalism Review has a piece called "Newspapers Want to Charge for Content, but Will Readers Pay?" at It summarises a speech that media analyst Peter Krasilovsky gave at the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism's Multimedia Reporting and Convergence Workshop in the US. According to Krasilovsky: "Paid content is a great way to make more money, but the real money is in advertising and marketing, don't ever forget it." So, better to give away your news as building subscription roadblocks to keep people out might just keep them away for good.
Posted by belinda at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2003

For, and by, photojournalists

You can browse portfolios by American photojournalists at the site. Despite the name, any photojournalist or picture editor can join, and you can store your online portfolio free for the first month - it costs a small fee after that. Lots to look at here.
Posted by belinda at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

Women in news

Newspapers need women in positions of power and influence if they are to reach out to women readers, according to the Women in Newspapers 2002 report from the US Media Management Center. The Center carries out research and education for media executives worldwide. The full text of the report is in PDF at

However, according to the report, The Great Divide: Female Leadership In U.S. Newsrooms, not many women are making it up the ranks, for a range of reasons. See the full report, a joint study carried out by the American Press Institute and the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, at

Posted by belinda at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2003

BBC Three - images

The BBC is always trying new things, it seems - now they are encouraging mobloggers to submit images from picture phones. At the recent Notting Hill carnival in London, attendees were invited to send in snaps to the BBC's London team. Full details from the PicturePhoning blog at The BBC is also asking for submissions to its Photo assignment section - this new feature gives photographers a chance to tell stories in pictures. Details at
Posted by belinda at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

Get over it

Forget charging for online news, says Ashley Highfield, director of new media and technology at the BBC. Mr Highfield told The Independent that 'news was a "commodity" on the web, where it was traditionally free. He said those organisations seeking to charge for news should "give up and move on". He said only niche content, such as specialist research, could work under a paymodel, and the BBC did not operate in these areas.' Full details at
Posted by belinda at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

Freebie Beeb

In a startling outburst of generosity, the BBC has announced plans to make all its archive content - from TV, radio, and online - available for free to anyone in the UK who wants to use it. All those media organisations out there trying to flog off their content for big bucks must be feeling ill now, as the BBC is such a marvellous source - who would pay for someone else's content when you can get BBC quality for nothing? The full text of BBC chairman Greg Dyke's speech, where the plans were announced, is at Materials from the BBC's Creative Archive, as the initiative will be called, will be "available to anyone in the UK to download so long as they don't use them for commercial purposes".
Posted by belinda at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

The Munsters

The annual George Munster Award, a $1000 prize for excellence in independent journalism, is open for nominations now. The deadline for entries is Monday September 1, 2003.

Awarded annually since 1986 by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney, the George Munster Award recognises an outstanding piece of journalism published or broadcast in any medium that year (i.e. between 1 Jul 2002 and 30 Jun 2003). Entries should demonstrate independence of mind, acuity and excellence in craft.

The presentation of the award will be made at UTS on Friday 19 September 2003, the final night of the George Munster Journalism Forums.

A series of four George Munster forums will be held during September and broadcast on ABC Radio National on Sundays at 5pm. The forums are free and members of the public are welcome.

The first forum will be held at the University of Newcastle Callaghan campus on Monday 1 September at 7pm. Journalist Stephen Long, Samaritans Foundation CEO Cec Shevels and Associate Professor Martin Watts will discuss Reporting Employment: winners and losers.

At the second forum on 8 September at the ABC Rehearsal Studios in Ultimo, Sydney, Adjunct Professor Peter Manning, former head of news and current affairs at ABC and Channel 7, and Paula Abood, community development worker and activist, will join a panel discussion on Reporting Race.

The third forum, in Melbourne on 15 September, will discuss Reporting the Asia-Pacific Region and the final forum, to be held in Sydney on 19 September, will address Reporting the Symbolic War.

Nominations for the award are invited from all Australian journalists. Application forms and details are available on the Web: The Program for the George Munster Forums is at To apply for the Award, see

For more information about the Forums or the Award, send an email to

Posted by belinda at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2003

Drowning, not waving

It's out there - a wave of news headlines, commentary, specials, story archives, breaking news and opinions - and it threatens to become a tsunami. Enter the news aggregators - sites such as Google News ( and the Columbia Newsblaster ( - that help you stay focused on your news. Reuters has a story on these services that do not produce their own news themselves but help you keep track of news from all over. The piece, "News Sites Make Sense of Web's Flood of Info", is at
Posted by belinda at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

What sort of aid should we give?

Australia needs to work out what aid it gives to Pacific nations - as the Solomons crisis has shown, things can get pretty complicated if we get it wrong. An Australian Policy Online article by Pierre Huetter opens a discussion on the matter at
Posted by belinda at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2003

Finding organisations

The online version of the YellowPages ( is a great place to identify organisations for a round. Say you are looking for a charity in Adelaide, just enter the term Charity in the WHAT box and Adelaide in the WHERE box and, when you search, you will get a local list of organisations, some of which may also publish Web addresses to assist in online research. The online WhitePages ( are also a winner as both directories allow you to search for contacts anywhere in Australia.
Posted by belinda at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

Moblog services

It was only a matter of time before some smart person decided to offer an online home to all the mobile/phone bloggers out there. mLogs ( says: "All you need is a cellphone with a camera. Take photos, add text messages and email them to your mLog email address." Get your pix online in a moment with the service. The E-Media TidBits weblog ( asks why more journalists are not already using this kind of innovation to do new kinds of reporting.
Posted by belinda at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2003

Today's the day

My book, Catch the Wave, is being officially launched in Brisbane today. It is also available in bookshops if anyone wants to get hold of it. Details of the book are at RMIT Publishing's site.
Posted by belinda at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2003

More on RSS

More info on the RSS/syndication of news and web logs is in Dan Gillmor's Ejournal on Silicon at Gillmor uses RSS reader software to get news, online information and newsletters, bypassing email and Web surfing. He suggests, among other things, that PR people use it to get their message out instead of bombarding the inboxes of busy journalists with email junk. Time to get with the program?
Posted by belinda at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

It was only a matter of time ...

Can you make a living out of blogging? The Economist has a look at the topic in its piece, Golden blogs: blogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercial, at Apparently, the small, tight-knit group of readers a blog can attract look like dollar signs to advertisers seeking niche markets.
Posted by belinda at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2003

Who's all over your computer system?

Cyber-crime - which can encompass everything from data or network sabotage, computerised fraud and theft, denial of service attacks, as well as virus infections and Trojan horse implants - will cost companies worldwide about $3 trillion a year if it continues to run unchecked. Two-thirds of all computer users will be affected in one way or another. Scary thought, and for those of us still battling the blaster worm this week, an unpleasantly familiar one. Read the full Research Note, Computerised Crime and Compromised Commerce, from the Parliamentary Library on the issue at
Posted by belinda at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

ATSIC review

The Parliamentary Library has done a Research Note on the ATSIC review. It's at They see no simple solutions to the challenges raised by the review process, and they are probably right, especially now that ATSIC chairman Geoff Clark has been removed from office by the Minister responsible for Aboriginal affairs, Philip Ruddock.
Posted by belinda at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

Boldly going ...

Mick Dodson talked to the National Press Club this week about the different forms of violence afflicting Aboriginal communities, such as violence between, and against, Aboriginal people, domestic violence between partners, sexual violence, self harm and suicide, and other forms. Read the full text of his remarlks at
Posted by belinda at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

Research and journalism - closing the communication gap?

Bridging the gap between eggheads in academia and hacks in media can be a challenge. Poynter ( has a column on the topic at Columnist Geneva Overholser suggests several ways to help the two groups come closer -

1. A coordinating body to act as a clearinghouse for and translator of complex research
2. A good distribution method for research news
3. The industry – both media owners and journalists - needs to value good research
4. A good list of research issues that journalists want to hear about

What else is needed? Have your say by clicking the Comment button below.

Posted by belinda at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

Telling stories online

A new web log called Interactive Narratives ( can help you learn to tell stories online, using all the bells and whistles the medium offers you. If you learn by looking at what others have already done (and who doesn't?), then this could be the site for you.
Posted by belinda at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2003

Staying on top

If you are a uni student, academic or just a keen researcher, you may wish to be notified when something new on your topic has been published, either in a book or journal article. A handy tool for keeping tabs on updates is the Email Alerting Services of Major Publishers / Vendors list ( Here you can keep track of new publications by registering for email alert services offered by book or journal publishers or booksellers such as Registration is usually free, and there are a range of services offered - alerts for specific journal titles, alerts by topic, new book alerts and so on.
Posted by belinda at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2003

BBC's style guide

BBC News set the benchmark for coverage in the Iraq War. Now you too can at least write as they do by following the BBC News Style Guide. It's in PDF at, and is free to anyone who wants to use it. Though written mainly for broadcasters, it would be of use to any journo.
Posted by belinda at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

Do you syndicate?

If you're a blogger, you may well allow your entries to be syndicated for news aggregator services. (If you use blogging software such as MoveableType, syndication is easy.) News sites need to be syndicatable too, so that headline aggregators can come along and suck up their content. The technology is Rich Site Summary (aka Really Simple Syndication or RSS for short). If you don't know about it yet, it's about time you did. Read a few tips at the excellent Lockergnome's RSS page ( If you are interested in what's available via RSS, look at NewsIsFree. You will need an RSS reader, such as AmphetaDesk (available from to translate the feeds into headlines.
Posted by belinda at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

Across the waters

The Journalism Education Association of New Zealand are looking for papers for its 2003 annual conference. The conference, to be held at Western Institute of Technology in New Plymouth on December 4-5, 2003, will be built around the following theme: The Odd Couple: Academic Degrees Versus Skills-Based Training. Papers on all journalism topics will be considered, but preference may be given to those that deal with the practical aspects of journalism education, or which offer an academic reflection on issues pertaining to journalism training. There is space for eight papers, with half-an-hour allotted to each. Abstracts are due with Ruth Thomas at AUT ( by Friday, October 3, with at least a well-advanced draft of the actual paper due with Ruth by Friday, November 14. To register for the conference please email Jim Tucker at
Posted by belinda at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2003

Email news

Keeping tabs on breaking news just got easier. In the wake of the New York Times's decision to start charging for email news alerts, Google has set up its own, opt-in email news alert at You can go for 'as it happens' notifications or once-a-day alerts. You can also customise your alerts to be activated by specific news sources.
Posted by belinda at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Are online advertisements killing journalism?

Is the Fairfax empire doomed as job ads move increasingly online? The Murdoch Press have rolled their advertising into CareerOne, and Kerry Packer is supposedly buying into major Aussie job site Fairfax has used income from classifieds to subsidise its journalism. Now Eric Beecher is questioning what will happen in the changing market. See more of this issue at Crikey's forum at
Posted by belinda at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2003

Powerhouse of ideas?

The annual Ideas at the Powerhouse festival is on again in Brisbane from 14-17 August at the Powerhouse at New Farm. The four-day program features more than 50 national and international speakers and commentators presenting their ideas for the future. Sessions include panels, lectures, discussions and debates. Many of the sessions are free, while some are ticketed at $25 or $15. To book for ticketed sessions, phone the Powerhouse on 07 3358 8600, or visit the Powerhouse box office, open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm and Saturday 12 noon to 4pm, or book online. The site is at
Posted by belinda at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2003

Three medical resources

Journos researching medical stories might find the following of use:

- The Cochrane Collaboration
This international organisation collects evidence about the effectiveness of medical and surgical interventions and publishes the findings in an online database called The Cochrane Library.

- The Monash Institute of Health Services Research
The Institute provides teaching and research into evidence-based medicine.

- The Australasian Integrative Medicine Association
This peak body of doctors tries to integrate evidence-based complementary medicine into mainstream practice. .

Posted by belinda at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2003

Long lost buddies

British journalists can now find former colleagues online, according to a story from PR Newswire (registration required). The new site, MediaBuddies (, is for journos to track down old colleagues to share war stories with. The site will officially launch in September but has already signed up 400+ members. You can search for people by industry, job function, and employer (past or present), and you can also specifiy full-time, part-time or freelance.
Posted by belinda at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

McJobs - soon to be done by robots?

According to an article in Wired News by Marshall Brain, the creator of the excellent HowStuffWorks web site, many low-skilled jobs will be done by robots by 2030. (In some jobs where people are trained to parrot "have a nice day" insincerities ad nauseum, I'm not sure I'd even notice the difference - and you wouldn't have to smile back at a robot.) The story, which makes a persuasive case, is at,1367,59882,00.html/wn_ascii and quotes from Brain's article, Robotic Nation.
Posted by belinda at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Best of the best

Compiled by a programmer at Yahoo!, the Lists of Bests gathers all those 'top 500', 'best of' lists that abound on the net. It covers books (e.g. Random House Modern Library 100 Best Books of the 20th Century: Fiction), movies (e.g. AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time) and music (e.g. Q Magazine's Greatest 100 Albums of All Time) and it's at These could be handy fillers for newspaper spots, or column ideas. If nothing else, the lists will give you something to argue about with your friends.
Posted by belinda at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

The insurers' lobbyist?

The Insurance Council of Australia represents the interests of the Australian general insurance industry. Find their annual reviews, mission statements, codes of practice, consumer information and other background at the site which also links to their own special site on the HIH Royal Commission at
Posted by belinda at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Insurance figures

As insurance business goes increasingly global, facts and figures need to be centralised for ease of access. The International Insurance Fact Book does this job and is relatively easy to use - go in by individual country or use the world overview or rankings. It's at There is a lot of information there which should be handy for any journo writing this kind of news.
Posted by belinda at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2003

Amnesty International's latest report

Amnesty International's latest report documents human rights abuses in 151 countries and territories during 2002. Alas, Australia hardly comes out smelling of roses. AI states: "The government continued its controversial policy on refugees and asylum-seekers and sought international support for its restrictions on the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers under international law. Under the "Pacific Solution" approach, so-called boat people seeking asylum in Australia were arbitrarily detained and transferred between detention facilities in Australia, Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.". See even more for yourself at
Posted by belinda at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

Health reporting award

If you are a health journo, you might be in line to nominate for an international award for reporting. The Boehringer Ingelheim COPD Communication Award Elqouium will recognise journalists who extend public awareness and understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eloquium is open to journalists from any media: print, broadcast or online. Get more information from the award site at The site also links to web sites dedicated to COPD research, information and treatment as well as to scientific articles and studies on the topic.
Posted by belinda at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)