Confused journalists – Boldness; fairness; objectivity?

Help us understand factors that prevent impoverished debate about the ethics driving media in Australia! Help us develop dialogue through your comments.

A link worth studying…


Margaret Simons: Depends what you mean by fair. It is certainly the case that some newspapers (mainly those owned by News Corp Australia) campaign on issues and take a strong stance. However, it is also the case that many industry practitioners have not really thought through what they mean by terms such as “objective”. As a result the debate in Australia is impoverished and muddied and rarely gets anywhere. People also tend to think only about the last few decades, at most. If you look at the history of newspapers, many emerged from pamphleteering.

Objectivity as a concept and an aim arises around the early 1800s, and not consistently even then. However, it is one of the aspirations that has traditionally distinguished quality journals of record from the rest. Originally, it was seen as a market advantage to be moderate in tone and impartial, to mark a publication out from the rest. I think it probably still is.

About Bob Simpson

Bob is project manager of The Australian Media Engagement Project (AMEP). He believes that ethical and independent journalists are vital to the continuing freedom of Australian citizens. You could argue that In recent decades media organisations have subtly subverted journalism to their own private commercial interests, and away from an integrated sense of fairness, well being and shared prosperity in Australian society, especially for the disempowered. AMEP aims to change general media narratives towards greater fairness, well being and shared prosperity in Australia.
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