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Saturday Magazine

21 Apr 2024

Saturday 20th, April, 2024: Digital Death Knocks-Media Ethics: Alysson Watson, Assoc Lecturer in Journalism, Uni of Newcastle

Current Affairs, Interview, Joy, Joy 94.9, Joy Media, Media, News & Politics, Podcast, Society & Culture

Saturday 20th, April, 2024: Digital Death Knocks-Media Ethics: Alysson Watson, Assoc Lecturer in Journalism, Uni of Newcastle

Macca and Paul talk to Alysson Watson, Assoc Lecturer in Journalism, Uni of Newcastle about  Digital ‘death knocks’: is it fair game for journalists to mine social media profiles of victims and their families?

https://theconversation.com/digital-death-knocks-is-it-fair-game-for-journalists-to-mine-social-media-profiles-of-victims-and-their-families-227784

The ethical code that binds member journalists in Australia, the MEAA Code of Ethics, also advises journalists to respect privacy and grief. It gives them the right not to intrude, but tempers this advice with a “guidance clause” about their capacity to override standards if publication is in the public interest.

The “public interest” is a nebulous concept that increasingly extends to “what the public is interested in”.

The modern-day ‘death knock’

As citizens and news consumers, we want information about everyone who is impacted, and it is the job of news reporters to feed the hungry beast that is digital news. How can they resist the intensely personal content that is shared on “public” social media accounts which gives such a human face to tragedy? Is it reasonable to expect them to?

 

Photo from:

https://theconversation.com/profiles/alysson-watson-1514581

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