When the news is the news

By Barry Tucker                    17 March, 2013

News headlines during the past week have been about the news media itself.

In the UK and in Australia, the news media empire of Rupert Murdoch has been making news, for all the wrong reasons. It all centres on proposed legislation to regulate newspapers and, in Australia, other matters as well.

The ABC television program Insiders is presented by one of the country’s best journalists, Barrie Cassidy, and often features journos on the couch, or a mix of journos and social commentators.

This morning, the mix was all journos and — when they got to the subject of Press freedom — it became quite explosive. The main protagonist is Piers Akerman, veteran Right-wing columnists on News Limited’s The Daily Telegraph.

Watch the spirited exchange on the ABC’s YouTube channel.

Incidentally, Mr Akerman’s stridency on this occasion would appear to put him in conflict with the ABC’s Code of Practice and Editorial Guidelines, based on recent decisions concerning radio journalist Jon Faine and ABCTech & Games journalist Nick Ross.

Mr Akerman is not an employee of the ABC as such, but neither are sub-contractors, who are also bound by the ABC policies, which extend to employees’ private websites and Twitter accounts.

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