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

Prince Harry at war

When should the media exercise self-censorship? Reporting when the British Royal Prince Harry was posted to his army unit in the Gulf sparked an international debate about media responsibility when lives might be put at risk. It also contained some useful lessons for the spin doctors on how they should relate to journalists when trust is required from all parties. Read More

Journalists killed on duty

Journalism is a dangerous business. As many as a hundred have been killed a year just doing their job. But for all the glamour attached to the dangerous lives of war correspondents from the western media, most journalists are killed reporting in their own countries. And the toll increases each year. Read More