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Ethical Australian Journalists Guide


November 24, 2005

Auditing democracy

We live in a democracy, right? It's probably worth checking on that, which is why the Political Science Program at ANU's Research School of Social Sciences is conducting an Audit to assess Australia's strengths and weaknesses in that area. The Democratic Audit of Australia ( is understandably looking at the Howard Government's anti-terrorism bill. Jennifer Hocking has done a paper on it at Hocking concludes: "Good public policy thrives on debate, encourages difference and welcomes dissent. Insulating the security sector from open debate, critique and alternative approaches, cannot lead to the best policy outcomes." Hmm.
Posted by belinda at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2005

Cut to the chase

Why wade through the fine print of something when you can get experts to sum things up for you? The Federal Parliamentary Library has done a digest of what's in the Anti-terrorism bill 2005 -- so now we don't have to. Bravo. See the digest at
Posted by belinda at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2005

Someone doesn't like him

Conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this. Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister of the ACT, has had his web site hijacked. Stanhope was the brave soul who recently posted the Government's draft, but draconian, anti-terrorism legislation on his web site. Is this his reward? He's all gone from
Posted by belinda at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2005

Going down

Many countries are struggling to govern themselves, and the US apparently feels more threatened by these failing states than by conquering ones. Around 2 billion people live in countries in danger of collapse -- because of corruption, poverty, famine, authoritarian government -- the causes are many. Which are the failed states? And why are they failing? has The Failed States Index if you want to find out. Ivory Coast tops the league. Haiti is there, along with Afghanistan and Iraq. Thirteen of the top 20 are in Africa. The index and related materials are at Grim reading.
Posted by belinda at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2005

Palestinian State?

The US-based RAND Corporation has written a 453 page report called Building a Successful Palestinian State. It can be found at It includes recommendations on issues such as transportation links between the West Bank and Gaza. The report is based on research conducted from 2002 to 2004. Despite its length, it doesn't address the most intractable problem -- how to get Israelis and Palestinians actually to agree.
Posted by belinda at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

European story

It'll be bigger than Ben Hur any time soon so any journalist who reports on Europe needs to know where to find the latest info, especially on the new member states who have been admitted. The EU itself is a good place to start as it has a Directorate dedicated to European enlargement at . For a fuller story and a very useful, targeted set of links, go to the feature article, Sources on EU Enlargement, by Kay Renfrew at You can take a quiz to see if you have it right. It's at
Posted by belinda at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004

Getting involved

We Media: The Impact of Participatory Media on Election 2004, a free Media Center Webcast, is freely available for viewing at The Media Center is part of the American Press Institute. Particpants include Stephen Bromberg, Executive Editor,, Dan Froomkin, columnist, and Jehmu Greene, President, Rock the Vote Foundation.
Posted by belinda at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2004

Following the leaders

A new project called electionTracker aims to connect young people with issues in the upcoming federal election. The project is being run by a non-profit youth-run organisation called Vibewire Youth Services, and can be found at It features the work of four "Trackers", who will be travelling with Howard and Latham during the final two weeks of the campaign and reporting from there via blogs.
Posted by belinda at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2004

If the Brits can do it, why can't we?

A new web log, Downing Street Says, reports the outcomes of daily 'official briefings' of political journalists (the group known as the lobby) by an 'official spokesperson' for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. The site reports these twice-daily Q&A sessions in full. The aim of the site is to report what the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman actually said in response to the lobby's questioning, rather than what he was reported as saying in pieces lobby journos write for newspapers or other media. See for yourself at
Posted by belinda at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

Parliamentary super

John Howard may have committed future pollies to a more miserly regime of superannuation (while hanging on to his own large entitlement), but no politician should really cry poor. The Parliamentary Library has the lowdown on what they get and it's a lot more than lucrative than slinging burgers. Read all about it at
Posted by belinda at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2003

Community politics

The BBC has now officially aunched its new community politics site, iCan ( The aim of the site is to get people actively engaging in politics, particularly about grassroots issues. The project is a four-month trial, and will feature stories from local people. Tools for networking such as message boards will be offered at the site. The BBC's own story on the project is at
Posted by belinda at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2003

Doing over the Senate

The Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales ( has written a piece about reform of the federal Upper House. The opinion piece, 'Beware Senate reform that seeks to only block the block', was written by George Williams, who says 'The Coalition’s proposal to limit the upper house veto on legislation ignores at least four crucial wide-ranging changes.' Read the argument at
Posted by belinda at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)