Dr Margaret Simons, Director, Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne

On April 9, 2014 people from the Arts, Business, Community services, Health, Media, Sport, Psychology, Theology, Economics, Science and Ethics heard a very informative keynote address by Margaret Simons on the subject Assessing the impact of media’s values on Australian society!

After the keynote address, Margaret answered a number of insightful questions by well-known Melbourne journalist Shaun Carney and other participants.

This is the first subject in an AMEP series that will run through 2014 – 2015. The others in the series are (1) “Estimating the benefits to Australian society, if journalists consciously valued relationships”, and (2) “Describing pathways towards more relationships-friendly journalism”.

The series will run in Melbourne and Sydney.

The purpose of the series is to engage Australian leaders, social advocates and media watchers:

1.1.   And, through lens of your sphere of activity, e.g. business, health etc.:

1.1.1.      See beyond words and images of media affecting their area of interest

1.1.2.     Inform AMEP of social implications of ethical frameworks being used in their area of interest by dominant media

1.1.3.      Challenge ethical frameworks being used by media in their area of interest

Prior to the event AMEP had evaluated some Australian media content and developed two hypotheses concerning the ethical framework generally driving media in Australia.

  1. Australian media seems to value “rights” (individual) and, to lesser extent , “fairness or justice” over other approaches, and—
  2. If so, media will affect Australian society in important ways, including the impact on key relationships that underpin society

—Our aim is to evaluate these hypotheses across the various areas of interest that drive Australian society, E.g. business, education, sociology, theology etc.

Two direct outcomes from this Melbourne event were to (1) seek funding for more credible research on ethical frameworks, and (2) agree the goal of AMEP. We are also preparing to consider the impact of “market-driven” policies on the ethical framework of Australian media, and more importantly, the independent role of Australian journalists in a civil society.

We hope you enjoy the video presentations and give us your comments.

Keynote presentation by Margaret Simons

Interview of Margaret Simons by Shaun Carney


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