Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.
Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, 2013.
In the spirit of having a diversity of views expressed in the public arena, I thought you would find the following of interest:
How the media likes to think it behaves
How the public believes the media does behave
Roy Morgan Research, Image of Professions Survey, May 2012.
Respondents were asked: “As I say different occupations, could you please say — from what you know or have heard - which rating best describes how you, yourself, would rate or score people in various occupations for honesty and ethical standards (Very High, High, Average, Low, Very Low)?”
Rating as high or very high: TV reporters 14% and Newspaper journalists 12% (compared with Nurses 90% and Pharmacists 88%)
How two legends suggest the media should behave
On January 8, 2006, legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, aged 90, shared his observations and opinions with NCAA President Myles Brand in "A Conversation with Walter Cronkite -- American Icon."
On the bedrock principles of good journalism:
Myles Brand: "Well you're obviously an advocate for good news and good reporting, what do you think the bedrock principle of good reporting is that maybe some of the cable stations are missing right now and the networks, CBS, have done so well in the past? What is the bedrock principle?"
Walter Cronkite: "Well, it's the old principles of print journalism - it's good journalism."
"It's honesty, fairness, truth and totality of the story; telling both sides of a controversial story. All of those things should be practised in every story that is carried on the air, as they once were in the better newspapers - even they have slipped a little bit in recent times, they have lost readership with these same various pressures to the degree that they're kind of jazzing up the news, if you please, and that's unfortunate."
"I think that the good journalists, the old journalists, the old timers in there are fighting the good fight in trying to hold on to what we know to be the principles of good journalism, and I think we're succeeding most of the time but I see a little few cracks appearing in the walls."
YouTube link here
On December 4, 2009, highly respected US journalist and broadcaster, Jim Lehrer, detailed his guidelines for what he called MacNeil/Lehrer journalism.
"People often ask me if there are guidelines in our practice of what I like to call MacNeil/Lehrer journalism. Well, yes there are, and here they are:"
* Do nothing I cannot defend.
* Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
* Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
* Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
* Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
* Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
* Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.
* Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions.
* No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
* And finally, I am not in the entertainment business.
YouTube link here.