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Ethical Australian Journalists Guide


December 22, 2005

From the crypt

Trivia nuts will hit a treasure trove with The Envelope: Past Winners ( which has results from entertainment awards shows going waaaay back -- in some cases as far as 1916. The database covers more than 100 American, Canadian and British awards shows such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes, and also includes TV ratings and Top 40 singles. You'll be a pub quiz hero after a trawl through this lot.
Posted by belinda at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2005

Expect the unexpected

Everyone thinks Google ( is the no. 1 site on the Web, but the surprise, surprise of Web rankings is that Yahoo! ( is. Yahoo! has really lifted its game, and it offers a lot of good destinations, not least its comparison shopping sites which take the legwork out of consuming. MSN ( is no. 2, and Google a mere third. Alexa ( has rankings. What else is in the top ten? eBay ( is for starters. Amazon ( is only 11. Blogger ( is no. 30, but mySpace ( is 14, way ahead of CNN ( and the BBC ( People obviously value personal news and contacts over hard news. See Alexa's long, long list of who's where at
Posted by belinda at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2005

Dealing with disorder

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma ( was set up by a global network of journalists, teachers of journalism and health workers to improve media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy. The site has all kinds of materials on there, including fact sheets, personal stories, special reports, book reviews, event lists, news headlines and a blog for discussing issues such as resilience. If you have to cover very sensitive issues such as suicide or genocide or murder, you should look here for tips on how to go about it the right way.
Posted by belinda at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

Growing concerns

The World Agricultural Information Centre Portal ( is a gateway to sites, documentation and facts and background about agriculture around the world. If you just want Australia, go via Oceania in the Geographical & Regional Information bit. Headings for Australia include General Information, Sustainable Development, Economic situation, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery sectors, and Technical Cooperation. Information in these sections includes reports, statistical data and noteworthy web sites. Maps, such as the Soil Degradation Map under Sustainable Development, may also feature. This is a hugely comprehensive and detailed background site for any journo on the agricultural beat.
Posted by belinda at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

Moving earth

Just about everyone online has downloaded Google Earth (, if only for the fun of seeing their own rooftop or street. Another freebie is the Earth Science World ImageBank (, a service from the American Geological Institute ( to provide geoscience images to anyone who wants them. Images include volcanoes, beaches (good if you're feeling stressed!), glaciers, landslides, fossils, waterfalls and weather -- even coral on the Barrier Reef.
Posted by belinda at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

Tradesmen on the horizon

How Young People are Faring 2005 is the seventh report in an annual series from the Dusseldorp Skills Forum ( It's at What does it say?
Not a lot has changed ...
"In May 2005, 85.1 per cent of Australian teenagers were in full-time study or fulltime work, while 14.9 per cent or 208,400 teenagers were not. These proportions have varied only slightly since the recession of the early 1990s."
But kids are learning more ...
"Educational attainment is improving: in 2004, 80 percent of teenagers had completed secondary school or a Certificate II or higher compared with 75 percent in 2002."
It's harder for girls ...
"Females are more likely to experience a troubled transition from school than male school leavers despite a higher rate of completing Year 12 and higher participation rates in post-school education."
You'll soon be able to get a plumber...
"The proportion of teenage apprentices taking up trade apprenticeships increased markedly from 2003 to 2004."
Posted by belinda at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

It's raining, it's pouring ...

... but that doesn't mean the drought has broken. In Brisbane, we've had stormy weather for what seems like weeks. Blackouts are back -- remember the fun of reading by candlelight? -- and the rain is greening gardens and lawns all over town. What it isn't doing is falling into dams -- so along with hail, winds and torrential downpours, we still have level 2 water restrictions. It's even worse elsewhere. The drought has lasted four years and the water crisis is real even if that's hard to believe when it's bucketing down outside. The Brisbane Institute has a paper on the water issue at It sets out what we need to do to avoid running out of water, and what role local government should play in getting things sorted.
Posted by belinda at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

Crowded house

Another day, another statistic. The Australian Bureau of Statistics ( has published projections of Australia's population as a whole by age and sex from 2004 up to 2101, and projections for states, territories and capital cities up till 2051. The publication, Population Projections, Australia, can be found here. For future reference, it is ABS catalogue number 3222.0.
Posted by belinda at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

It figures

How well are we doing? Who's on the dole? And why? For democracy to function, we all need information to help us make up our minds about issues. Welfare is an emotive one, so thanks to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare ( for supplying the facts -- not opinion, not hot air -- about who's getting what, where, and why in their publication Australia’s welfare 2005. See the figures for yourself at
Posted by belinda at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

Quaint, it ain't

The notion that anyone could be carted off to jail these days for sedition seems faintly preposterous -- almost in the same league as being transported as a convict to Australia for nicking someone's hanky. But we're there with the anti-terror laws. Far from taking us back to the 1950s, John Howard seems hell bent on going even further back in time -- to the 1850s, the 1750s ... back to when it was a very serious crime to rubbish the government. What has happened here, that things should have got to this point? The Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law ( provides a detailed guide to the government’s proposals in its publication "Briefing on sedition offences in the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005". It's at Be informed.
Posted by belinda at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)