Journalism tainted by conviction

By Barry Tucker                    10 May, 2013

If you have been thumbing through this resource centre for the past few months you will be aware of the discussion that has been going on about bias, balance and freedom of the Press, and speech, in and about the Australian news media.

Recently, the Right has focussed on the apparent absence of any Conservatives in the lead position of the mainline public affairs programs of ABC TV, in particular.

The long-running debate has been warming up on the back burner and may just have boiled over with a frank, precise and scathing article on the ABC’s online commentary site, The Drum, by its former editor Jonathan Green. He makes points like the following:

“… if journalism were a polemic, if it became a cynical exercise in the promotion of any or various propositions, then it would cease to fill any laudable social function. At best it would be entertainment. At worst, propaganda. In either case, it would hardly merit the range of privileges we accord the worthier work of the fourth estate”.

Mr Green goes on to describe a bleak future, including perhaps the disappearance of journalism, but he does not say what might replace it. That exact possibility has been exercising my own mind lately. My solution (Stop the Press! Long live the Press!) is an appeal to journalists to get back to sticking to their Code of Ethics.


Jonathan Green (@GreenJ) hosts Sunday Extra on ABC Radio National and is the former editor of the The Drum, an online offshoot of the ABC TV program of the same name. ABC picture




Read what Mr Green has to say, and the 691 comments that followed before comments were closed.

There’s a fiery response to Mr Green’s article in two separate articles by mother and daughter writing team Kay and Victoria Rollison in Australian Independent Media Network.

In a piece entitled Tainted Journalism, Victoria argues the case for “conviction” in journalism. In The Journalism of Conviction, Kay challenges the concepts of objectivity and impartiality.