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Ethical Australian Journalists Guide


August 20, 2004

George Munster journalism award

Print, broadcast and online journalists are invited to submit entries by August 27, 2004 for the 2004 George Munster Award, which recognises excellence in independent journalism.

Presented each year by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism ( at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), the award carries a prize of $1,000 for an outstanding piece of journalism published or broadcast in any medium.

Originally instituted as an award for freelance journalism, the George Munster Award was expanded in 1998 to include applicants who are not freelancers but are able to demonstrate independence of mind, acuity and excellence in their craft.

George Munster was a co-founder of the Nation, a fortnightly journal (later to merge with the Review to become Nation Review), and a freelance editor, journalist and writer of books. He later became an editor with Angus and Robertson Publishers and reverted to freelance work both as a journalist and book writer.

When George Munster's book Rupert Murdoch: A Paper Prince was launched in October 1985, a little over a year after his death, a number of his friends decided to commemorate his life and the outstanding contribution he made to journalism by instituting an annual journalism award.

The 2004 award presentation will be made on Friday 17 September, 2004, as part of the George Munster Journalism Forum conducted by the ACIJ in collaboration with ABC Radio National.

Application forms and further details available at

Contact: Dominic O'Grady
Phone: (02) 9514 2295

Posted by belinda at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

Digital junkyards?

A new project that might be of use to journalists and journalism students is the Open Source Media Project ( This aims to turn into an open source repository of digital media and should include all kinds of multimedia content, generally produced by ordinary people who have moblogged or photographed or videoed things that happened. The site will store the content for free (courtesy of space donated by the Internet Archive) and make it available under Creative Commons licenses. Closer to home, the Australian Creative Sources Online ( site aims to store Australian digital media content. Neither site has much of anything on board at the moment but it might be wise to bookmark them for later on.
Posted by belinda at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

It's today (and tomorrow)

The PUBLIC RIGHT TO SECURITY Vs PUBLIC RIGHT TO KNOW Media Conference opens tonight, 6pm, at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), 702 Harris St, Ultimo.

Expect hard questions about the media's coverage of the Iraq war when journalists, academics, students, and media observers gather this weekend at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) for the 2004 Public Right To Know conference.

The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) hosts this annual event. It opens on Friday night, August 20, with Media Watch presenter David Marr and UTS associate professor Wendy Bacon as key speakers. They join international guests Dr Ilan Pape from the University of Haifa and Kathleen Burns from George Mason University in Washington to discuss whether the Australian and international media failed to adequately cover the war in Iraq.

"We are particularly interested in whether the media has failed to be sufficiently critical in assessing intelligence and government assertions about the nature and causes of the threats in the 'war on terror'," says ACIJ director and conference chair, Chris Nash.

"This is relevant in light of the performance of intelligence agencies in the US, UK and Australia. While the question of political doctoring of the more-or-less adequate intelligence advice has been addressed, the adequacy of the media in reporting a lot of the intelligence and political spin has not been probed," Nash says.

Over a dozen presentations will address the conference themes during the weekend event. These include How to Make Defamation Backfire, Photography, Censorship and Public Policy, and No Time for Silence: the deceit behind the legislative silencing of Australian citizens in the name of national security.

Conference presenters include Professor Liz Jacka from the University of Technology, Sydney; Jack Herman from the Australian Press Council; professor Mark Pearson from Bond University; Truda Gray and Associate Professor Brian Martin from the University of Wollongong; Genevieve Rankin from the University of Western Sydney and the Social Justice and Social Change Research Centre; and Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The opening night session starts at 6pm on Friday August 20 with welcome drinks in the Guthrie Lecture Theatre at UTS, followed by presentations from 7pm. The Guthrie Theatre is located on Level 3, 702 - 730 Harris St, Ultimo, next to ABC Sydney.

Full conference details are online at Registration is free.

CONTACT: Dominic O'Grady. Phone: 02 9514 2295.

Posted by belinda at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

Covering the stricken

Talking to people who have been victims of trauma or to those who have suffered the loss of a family member is hard going for many journalists. Writing sensitively about such issues takes care. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has published a tips and tools page to help journalists figure out how to handle this kind of stuff. If you have to cover a murder or suicide or write a story about a sex crime, a disaster or a tragic anniversary, the site may be handy for you - even if only as a refresher. It's at
Posted by belinda at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

Everyone loves a freebie

Blogger and writer Dan Gillmor has released a freely accessible version of his book We The Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People which you can find at The aim of the book is to examine where journalism is going, in a world where email, mobile phones, camera phones and blogs enable all kinds of people to be reporters.

Gillmor talks about the changes that September 11 has wrought:
"... news was being produced by regular people who had something to say and show, and not solely by the “official” news organizations that had traditionally decided how the first draft of history would look. This time, the first draft of history was being written, in part, by the former audience. It was possible—it was inevitable—because of new publishing tools available on the Internet.
Another kind of reporting emerged during those appalling hours and days. Via emails, mailing lists, chat groups, personal web journals—all nonstandard news sources—we received valuable context that the major American media couldn’t, or wouldn’t, provide.
We were witnessing—and in many cases were part of—the future of news." Gillmor's talk to the UK Guardian about his book is here.

Posted by belinda at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004

On yer bike

Brisbane roads don't need to be congested -- with a mixture of timeshifting, better public transport and road-use charges, it could all flow very freely in Brissie, according to John Nightingale. He says: "The idea that congestion can be resolved by more roads has been disproved by long experience in genuinely congested cities elsewhere. Over 50 years of freeways, ring roads, arterial bypasses, bridges and tunnels has demonstrated that none of this works in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Birmingham, London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, the list is endless. There are no 'build your way out' success stories. Not one. The only success stories are where alternatives to more roads have been chosen." His piece for the Brisbane Institute is at
Posted by belinda at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)


With the government determined to get shot of ATSIC, what lies ahead for indigenous services in Australia? The Parliamentary Library has done a brief on the topic entitled The end of ATSIC and the future administration of Indigenous affairs. It trawls through the history --how ATSIC was set up, how it worked -- and then examines the post-ATSIC future. Will services to Indigenous people be 'mainstreamed'? Or will Indigenous people still have services developed and targeted specifically for them? Read all about it at
Posted by belinda at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

Free trade or a free kick for America?

Now that John Howard has swallowed the Latham amendment on drugs, the US–Australia Free Trade Agreement looks set to pass. With so much momentum behind it, the deal looks unstoppable. Yet why the lemming-like rush to sign a deal that is not in Australia's best interests? Various commentators have pointed out the problems with the deal, but no-one in government appears to be listening. In a piece on Australian Policy Online today, economist John Quiggin says Howard was so keen for a deal that he would have signed anything the Yanks put in front of him. Other APO members and contributors weigh in at
Posted by belinda at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004

Flick mania

I will be returning to the journoz blog soon but am writing a movie blog, Flick Knife, for fun in the mean time. I'll be writing about movies currently in the cinema or ones I've just caught up with on DVD. So many reviewers just tell the story of the film -- I'll try to do something different.
Posted by belinda at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)