Can the ethnic lobby save Australia’s multicultural broadcaster?

The likely merger of the ABC and SBS was the elephant in the room during a senate estimates hearing in the Australian Federal Parliament. But is the threat of losing an independent multicultural broadcaster enough to galvanise renewed support from the ethnic lobby? In 1986 such a threat brought thousands onto the streets in protest but can ethnic leaders rally their supporters today? Or is it too little too late? … Read More

Women and war reporting

War was once almost wholly the domain of male journalists but increasingly women journalists and female crew are reporting from the front lines. So is it time more women got to tell the stories behind the bombs and bullets? And can the media improve the way women are portrayed in conflict zones? … Read More

Who will blink first?

Fiji’s military dictator and recently re-elected Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama wanted to be remembered as a man who implemented reform. But it is the very journalists he is now bullying who will be writing his legacy. Almost 10 years have now passed since this article was first published, but has anything really changed in the Pacific islands state? … Read More

Vultures or doves? When journalists can do harm in covering tragedy.

There is often a fine line in journalism between reporting tragedy and making it. Society’s seemingly insatiable emotional appetite to see, read and hear of fellow humans in trouble can lead reporters into thinking they’re just doing what the public wants when they intrude into the grief of victims and survivors. But how far can that justification really stretch? Tragedies like the Victorian Bushfires in 2009 brought out the best and the worst in the media. … Read More

Can journalism survive modern media warfare?

The management of the media by people who have power over information is not new, but is it getting more clever and insidious? The conflict in Gaza in early 2009 showed how difficult life can be for journalists reporting from the front line of conflicts. It’s not just a matter of dodging bullets and shells but trying to avoid the public relations spin too. Read More

Who is killing SBS?

Why did Mary Kostakidis really quit? What made Stratton and Pomeranz flee to the ABC? How many millions did SBS really spend on Top Gear? Sorry, but you won’t find your answers in “The SBS Story”.

Read More

Why media freedom is important to us all

It is a sad truth of journalism that we are often liked best when we are at our worst, and disliked most when we are at our best. Or, at least, that seems to be so in the often rocky relationship between the media and those in authority, whether in government or big business. Very few governments like… Read More

When campaigning journalism backfires

A decision by an Australian court that an accused paedophile must be set free because he cannot get a fair trial sends yet another clear warning about the limits of campaigning journalism in free democracies. The accused man, Dennis Raymond Ferguson is, according to many people in Queensland and in that state’s media, the kind of man who… Read More

Dilemma of receiving lost documents

Finders keepers? A highly-sensitive, controversial, confidential document found on a train seat or cafe table is every journalist’s dream, presenting the possibility of a scoop of a lifetime. But it’s not yours, right? Should you give it back unread or publish and be damned? The choices – and the consequences – are intriguing. Read More