The code.

As a journalist, I’ve educated myself to work ethically and to preserve and deliver the facts (substantiated by no one other than myself) on any particular issue directly to the public. That will never change no matter who I work for. Watching social media flood with opinions and arguments on ISIS and how the media is inciting fear into Australian’s disturbs me. So before the uninformed rants ensue, I have some suggestions from the other side of the fence.

The first thing the general public should do is reach outside the mainstream spectrum and research all news media projections. There is a multitude of news out there that isn’t just breakfast television or the late night wrap on the radio. There’s also this thing called the internet (potentially your best friend in this), where most people don’t even utilise advanced searching and even more extremely, the deep web.

After you’ve opened your mind to the idea of news as a whole entity, decide whether it’s the media that are systematically ‘brainwashing’ the public on this topic or whether, in fact, it’s the government. You need to remember that journalists have to substantiate their research from an authoritative source in order have an ethically sound story, and in the case of the conflict happening in the Islamic State, that’s the government. After that, decide where you continue to get your news from…

As regular people trying to make a living, there are journalists who conform to heavyweight media corporations and their ‘policies’ which can be backed by wealthy enterprises or political campaigns. But as a consumer of news, they can be avoided or considered contextually if you’ve done the research.

The foundation of study as a journalist in Australia is based on the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and the Journalists’ Codes of Ethics. So before you go slandering that journalist who wrote that story which rubbed you the wrong way or challenged your opinions, consider more thoroughly who that information was attributed to, your opinions on their motives, and evidence you can find to support that. Don’t get me wrong, not all journo’s do the right thing, but we don’t all do the wrong thing either.

The code states:

Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are fundamental principles of journalism. Journalists describe society to itself. They convey information, ideas and opinions, a privileged role. They search, disclose, record, question, entertain, suggest and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They give a practical form to freedom of expression. Many journalists work in private enterprise, but all have these public responsibilities. They scrutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be accountable. Accountability engenders trust. Without trust, journalists do not fulfil their public responsibilities. Alliance members engaged in journalism commit themselves to

Honesty
Fairness
Independence
Respect for the rights of others

Journalists will educate themselves about ethics and apply the following standards:

1. Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply.

2. Do not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.

3. Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.

4. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.

5. Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism. Do not improperly use a journalistic position for personal gain.

6. Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.

7. Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.

8. Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice.

9. Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.

10. Do not plagiarise.

11. Respect private grief and personal privacy. Journalists have the right to resist compulsion to intrude.

12. Do your utmost to achieve fair correction of errors.

Food for thought…

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Eurotips

Everyone, stop panicking! I’m not dead, I haven’t been kidnapped and I haven’t forgotten about you. I have however been navigating my way through Europe (jealous?). Since my return I’ve taken about three weeks to recover and unpack and I’ve been trying really hard not to kill myself (post-holiday depression is as real as Iggy Azalea and Dr Michael Baigent agrees http://www.smh.com.au/travel/traveller-tips/how-to-beat-the-postholiday-blues-20120123-1qd0v.html) You see, suicide watch is a serious concern when faced with the actuality of having to return to work and start remembering what day it is.

Europe has way too much to offer than can be condensed into one comical blog post. So for those of you who stayed home this summer, tormented by timelines filled with suntans and senselessness, let me give something back to you. Here’s a few tips I could have used as a first-timer planning my Eurotrip…

1. Avoid typical tourist attractions

I know this is a broad statement to make and it might seem obnoxious, but take this advice into context… You don’t need to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Big Ben or the London Bridge anytime in your twenties if you’re on a time limit – unless that creams your cheese, of course. On arrival into Europe we aimed to hit the attractions hard and get them out of the way so relaxation could ensue. It never occurred to me that these antiquated monuments have been nestled in the same spot for hundreds of years and no doubt will continue to be there in another thirty years when I’m older, more dignified and less concerned with laying on a beach and trying every Pina Colada off the coast of the continent. I mean, it’s cultural and you can’t argue with the experience, but a European summer is about one thing – SUMMER! Hit the Balearic Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea and every other sea in between. If you aren’t in a bikini, on a beach or on a quad bike, you’re doing it wrong!

2. Don’t pack anything

Well, pack some things. But remember, almost everyone else in Europe is doing the same thing as you. There’s no need for eleven pairs of high heels, every hot hair tool you own, or even workout gear. HOT TIPS: A wedge is the closest form of high heel you’ll see while partying your way through Europe, your hair will have way too much sea salt in it to look anything but mermaidesque, and if you want to work out… just don’t. I have no shame in admitting that I’ll take the road more glamour at every chance. But the fact is, Euro-glam is having a tan as black as Dijmon Hounson, wearing the least amount of clothes you can manage and slapping a smile on that temporarily carefree face!

3. If you’re booking in advance, book flexi everything

When tallying up the costs and working out the damage, it can be overwhelmingly tempting to book non-flexible flights and accommodation to save pennies and lock-in a solid plan of attack. After all, who ever told you to be disorganised and unconcerned with the concept of saving money? Well, the tables of adulthood take a turn when an impending Eurotrip is on the agenda. I guess that’s why people surrender to slave labour for the majority of the year! So that as winter approaches, they can throw maturity out the window and discover what real freedom is while chasing summer on the other side of the planet! You’ll discover destinations you overlooked, places you wish you could’ve stayed in longer and cities you wish you could get out of sooner all in the space of a day. So give yourself flexibility, or even go in blind! Euro summer accepts impromptu, irresponsible and unconstrained everything!

4.Forget the concept of time

It surprised me to discover there’s so much more daylight in Europe, especially during summer. This is actually something I really struggled with. Depending on where you are you’ll find that breakfast isn’t until about 11am, lunch isn’t until 4pm, and dinner is anywhere from 10pm onwards when the sun sets. As for hitting the town, clubs won’t open until 1am and they won’t turn up until about 4am. That means you’re heading home at about 8am in the morning. By then you’re skipping breakfast and sleeping through until lunch at 4pm. This is a hectic agenda, to say the least. So my best advice would be to stop looking at the clock and just roll with it. Don’t try and stay in routine, that’s not what holidays are about! And actually, I shouldn’t call it daylight, because it’s more like a violent beaming sunshine that seeps into every crevasse of your body that just.. never.. fades. Needless to say, sunglasses are a must, especially if you’re waking up slightly hung and creeping out of a blissfully dark hotel room on a mission to reboot your body back into mortality.

Hopefully these tips save you some sanity when your Euro-time comes! Stay tuned for recaps of the most intoxicatingly awesome places I visited on my 2014 Eurotrip.

AJE xox.

Posted: 28th August, 2014 @ 5.03pm

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Wilfull ignorance

AJE xox.

Posted: 9th July, 2014 @ 5.12pm

 

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