I have run through various scenarios through my head as to how I could have seen news events followed, alas, my lack of media training, chemically and emotionally affected behaviors and memories, etc. probably also contributed to the mess of news reporting I currently am in disagreement with. While I understand peoples' motivations for a clear story (definitely for my family and friends who were all surprised and wanting more information), at the time I wasn't able to give it, nor was I in a position to have my space invaded when in a state such as that. My frustration lies in not being able to communicate that properly nor there being any respect for those wishes. My morphine-addled brain was up until 4am one night trying to craft a press release on behalf of my family that called for privacy and space to only be replied with front page newspaper and Internet articles later that day emblazoned with my name and Facebook profile picture (surely that's some kind of copyright violation?), whom all had super sleuth reporters scouring the Internet for any scrap of my presence or character as something to use in the report. But where does one reliably notify a body of news media? Luckily I have a cousin who worked at parliament with experience in such matters and he was able to send it out.
Another issue was that in the reports regarding my injuries there was information that I hadn't even heard myself, so perhaps there was some private information gleaned from the hospital which we had requested (from the hospital) not to be made public. The Cairns Base Hospital media liaison was more interested in how we could make money from the story rather than informing us of our patient rights and how we could adequately express our request for privacy from the media.
How are the media supposed to get the story right, if they don’t ask the person/people involved what happened? Where are they supposed to get the “actual truth” from?
I'm not too familiar with journalism's practices, but it probably involves tracking down other people involved, asking them and verifying those facts with more people involved. If there aren't enough verified and consistent facts, I would assume that it needs more time for the story to develop and be researched and doesn't require an immediate knee-jerk article or headline based on conjecture. My immediate (probably crass) reply is to say "don't rely on Google and other journalists and do some actual journalism". The story's crux doesn't always start and end at the immediate individuals' involved. There was a time early on in the piece where I was a NZ scientist, we had been attacked by a whole tribe and after receiving two arrows to the chest we ran 20km+ through jungle to get to the hospital. Investigative journalism is now something I have utmost respect for when people do it well.
My concern is the obvious lack of impartiality shown by the television media when reporting on a story. While the media are instrumental in deciding what we think about, it is not their role to determine how we think about it. If the language used was less emotive it would hold more credibility...or perhaps it's just offensive to those of us who actually listen and then analyse.
>>"Let’s say a newspaper publishes something wrong and harmful about you: are you going to mount a defamation action?"
Yes I take your point although in an ideal world the government would be compelled to arbitrate in such matters if the harm is deemed significant enough.
>>"Or perhaps a news media organisation has breached your privacy or acted unethically in a way that falls short of a breach of criminal law."
Brings to mind the recent "Heartland Document Affair" in which Peter Gleick has effectively been put on trial in the blogosphere, found guilty of conspiring to take over the world by right wing bloggers and exonerated by liberal bloggers, having acted in the best interests of mankind. (even if he was being a bit naughty). My point is that people will lap up whichever version of the truth that they are predisposed to consuming, so a regulatory body set up by the government funded law commission will make little difference to what people ultimately believe.
No doubt the article in N&S was similarly chewed over by the likes of your good self and Colin Peacock so I would guess that the independent regulator's findings were pretty much a foregone conclusion for those in the know.
So perhaps the law commission should simply allow the increasingly interactive and increasingly partisan news media to fight it out amongst themselves and concentrate on more important matters such as abolishing juries and adversarial trials. (yes I see the irony)
The online advertisement that lead me to this blog is a bit misleading...
It states "Online discussion - Who needs the news media? - join the debate.."
I see from this page that the current discussion isn't about needing the media at all, and assumes I've read the DD, which I'm yet to do.
On the question: "Who needs the news media?"
News media is merely the other side of that great propaganda machine we call ADVERTISING. The two go hand in hand and cannot exist without each other. Even if the news is unpaid, there's advertisement funding going on somewhere nearby.
And I would suggest that we need the news as much as we need advertising...
On the question: "Who are the news media?"
I would suggest, connect the dots... is 'news' being provided? is there advertising funding behind it? does it look like a duck? taste like a duck? smell like a duck? quack like a duck?
What I'm getting at is whether much needs to be added to who or what a news media provider is anyway.
The current law suggests to me that those in the news media field, collect the news and publish the news.
And obviously, per above, the news provider is in business.
If we are targeting a group that provides news and are considering giving them concessions and privileges, but imposing responsibilities and accountabilities, I don't think it really matters what format that the news is being provided, rather, whether the provider is in the business of supplying news.
So, if the provider is not in the business of providing news, why should they be entitled to any concessions, protections, etc?
The four "defining characteristics of the new media" you set out above, are not fulfilled by corporate-controlled mainstream media. These criteria will only be met by corporate-controlled media when they align with the profit-motivated interests of the business elite that run the show. Legislation will not ensure that readers or consumers of mainstream media receive balanced information on matters of importance.
Back in 2005, I signed up to be a citizen journalist on a San Francisco Bay Area community news website called Bayosphere, which was started by a former San Jose Mercury News journalist. After a very short life, Bayosphere was locked off from the World Wide Web, surviving only as Dan Gillmor's personal blog, but I still have the pledge we were asked to make:
Here is the text of the pledge:
Citizen Journalist Pledge
By submitting this form, I agree to be accurate, complete, fair and transparent in my postings on Bayosphere. My work will be my own, created by me and/or in collaboration with others. I will operate with integrity.
I work in the community interest.
As a citizen journalist, I report and produce news explaining the facts as fairly, thoroughly, accurately and openly as I can.
0 Fair: I'm always listening to and taking account of other viewpoints;
0 Thorough: I learn as much as l can in the time l have, and point to original sources when possible;
0 Accurate: I get it right, checking my facts, correcting errors promptly and incorporating new information I learn from the community;
0 Open: I explain my biases and conflicts, where appropriate.
I may also provide reviews (such as a critique of a movie or book) and commentary with a point of view based on facts, but I will have no significant financial or otherwise direct connection (membership, affiliation, close relationship, etc.) with an interested party.
If I do have such connections, I'll disclose them prominently, and my work may be labeled and/or categorized appropriately.
I agree, as an active member of this community, to help uphold the integrity of this pledge by challenging and reporting inappropriate postings or abuse.
The issue is extremely badly posed. It is not "who are you" but "what are you doing". If you are publishing or reporting something factual that is not at the time public knowledge and making it public knowledge you are publishing news.
I see no reason to make distinctions as to who is doing that. We should all be treated equally under the law based on our actions, not our status.
On looking back I see my above comment is a fairly common theme. I would just repeat my earlier note that the proper response to misinformation is more information - namely the right to reply and correct with equal prominence, promptness and accessibility as the original. This should be a universal requirement across all news media to avoid other legal liabilities.
There once was a code of ethics for journalists when there was a functioning NZ Journalists' Union. But there never has been a code of ethics for owners or operators of media outlets.
There once was a code of ethics for journalists when there was a functioning NZ Journalists’ Union. But there never has been a code of ethics for owners or operators of media outlets.
The EPMU inherited the Journalists’ Union role upon merging, but currently its role in the Press Council seems token. And the Council itself was formed in 1972, before the Murdoch Age of Big Media. The same thing has been said about the Aussie Press Council too, as part of the Finkelstein Inquiry.
It's OK our press like our banks may be foreign owned, but I am sure they are owned by nice responsible people...cue Winston.
the Council itself was formed in 1972
The Press Council is in urgent need of a new set of dentures.
Wisdom teeth? :)
Fangks for that.
John Roughan senses the barbarians are at the gate, in the wake of Leveson and Finkelstein. Translation: he laments the curtain call of the Murdoch Age.
And this... Fire rips through Kaitaia dryboard mill There is no such place, it is the Kaitaia TRI-Board mill FFS. How hard is it to check these things?.
The story came from NZPA, I have dropped them a missive by the new fangled medium of Vmail. (that is what it's called innit?)
no longer exist
Roughan is on the Press Council? That's hardly reassuring.
...'He is a Muslim, in a so-called Christian country, and that makes me uncomfortable'."
NZPAno longer exist
Now that... was embarrassing.
But at least they did exist... right?
Now that really was embarrassing. If there is room for this clown on NZ TV then why do we have to lose TVNZ7?
I was back in NZ a week or so back and was stunned to realise some of my family listen to Deaker... how's he still on the air? I guess I shouldn't be surprised, shock-jocks are omnipresent on Australian radio too (and are probably worse, forget Alan Jones, John Laws sets the standard for bigotry).
Because that is exactly the TV they want for us.
why on Earth can't I take notes while sitting in the back of a court? Or while seated in the public gallery of the House of Representatives? Why should these things be limited to any class of persons at the whim of a Judge or the Speaker? It is difficult to believe these limits can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
I endorse these sentiments. There are occasions I have desperately wanted to record court proceedings (Dakta Green's trial in the past, Billy McKee's impending trial). However, I am forbidden from doing so for no good reason.
While I have no love of regulated speech as this thread intends, as a blogger I would appreciate the courtesy of bearing witness, even if it is in the third person.