Sunday, 4 March 2012

Journalists' code of ethics - not for "our" ABC.

Bill Leak
The code is detailed below. Senator Bob  Brown says that the Finkelstein report (FR) goes no further than this code. If that was so, why was there any need for the report and why are there draconian measures in the FR? 
Greens leader Bob Brown also welcomed the report and urged the government to take action to establish the proposed News Media Council to regulate news across all mediums before the end of the year. (link)
“I think we have an inadequate system of serving the public interest in truth,” he said. 
The FR is a 400 page report which calls for a Big Brother Super-Regulator to 'regulate' political speech and - among other things - impose new laws with the power to stop climate change realists from speaking up. (link
4.1   Most newspapers steadfastly maintain that there is no need to strengthen the means by which they are to be held publicly accountable for their performance. The accountability mechanisms that are in place are sufficient, they say.
Should the ABC be allowed to continue on its own way, outside the tent, pushing its own agenda on AGW? Oh, but wait! Although the ABC journalists have told their chairman that they want to push their own line (link) The Finkelstein report alleges " the ABC is perceived to be the least biased media organisation in Australia." (4.25 Bias). How should we treat an organisation pushing its own line.
  • Honest?  No
  • Fair?  No 
  • Respecting the rights of others?  No
Are they allowing - "personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine" their "accuracy, fairness or independence?"   Yes.     Do they have a conflict of interest?  Yes.    
Every time ABC Television (and often their commercial rivals) does a story on CO2 emissions (generally inaccurately called carbon emissions), they show a picture like this:
Is this an accurate depiction of colourless carbon dioxide? The code says that they show present pictures that are true and accurate.
 The code also says: "Do your utmost to achieve fair correction of errors."  Will there be an apology from the ABC for all the untrue and inaccurate depictions of colourless carbon dioxide?  Will the Finkelstein reporters correct the inaccurate description of the ABC? Perhaps we need the new body after all. But just for the ABC and biased preparers of independent reports to Parliament.   
AJA Code of Ethics Without trust, journalists do not fulfil their public responsibilities. MEAA members engaged in journalism commit themselves to
  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Independence
  • Respect for the rights of others
    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.

Ministry of Truth

Orwell based the MoT on his
own employer-
the Ministry of Information
In Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell wrote of the Ministry of Truth. The real truth was that it was the Ministry of Lies. The purpose of the Ministry was to misinform the populace.
The Ministry of Truth, Winston's place of work, contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below.
The Ministry of Truth concerned itself with Lies. Party ownership of the print media made it easy to manipulate public opinion, and the film and radio carried the process further.
The primary job of the Ministry of Truth was to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes, plays, novels - with every conceivable kind of information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary.
Reminds TCSblog of the IPCC. Reminds TCSblog of "our" ABC.

The IPCC constantly promoted the idea that all their supporting documents were from peer-reviewed papers. In The Delinquent Teenager, Donna Laframboise exposed this bit of misinformation and its head, Rajendra Pachauri. Donna recently wrote:
Pachauri’s record is a gruesome one. His claim:
  • that IPCC reports rely solely on peer-reviewed literature is demonstrably false
  • that the IPCC carries out its work with “complete transparency” was repudiated by the authors of the above-mentioned report
  • that the IPCC’s “review process is very robust, very vigorous” was also shot down [113-page PDF here, short version here]
  • that there is no better process “on this planet” than the IPCC’s was thoroughly chopped and minced
  • that IPCC reports are written by the world’s top experts appears increasingly unfounded (see here, here & here)

"Our" ABC has also outed themselves as being a biased pusher of their own point of view. See here and here.
Since his speech I have been contacted by a number of Media Alliance members from the ABC’s news and current affairs team who have interpreted Mr Newman’s remarks as an attempt to influence the ABC’s line on climate change.
On Friday, former judge of the  Federal Court Ray Finkelstein QC released a  REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE MEDIA  AND MEDIA REGULATION.

This report challenges the freedom of the press. It also affects all bloggers. Tim Andrews (Stop Gillard's Carbon Tax) writes - It is clear from the report, in particular paragraphs 4.31-4.42, that silencing climate realists is a major reason for these regulations.

He finds that, based on a 1966 report,  the ABC is the only media organisation free from bias.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Business Certainty or Disorganised Choas

PM's lips are sealed on list of 500.
There will be no carbon tax list of emitter under  any government I lead......

The Green Gillard Government had a mantra that tax emissions of carbon dioxide would create business certainty -
Julia Gillard argued the bills would create certainty for business and unlock billions of dollars in clean energy investments. (link)
Also, dreadful for the businesses that have made investment decisions on the basis of a carbon price, particularly in our energy sector where we need to see investment.  (link)
With four months to go until the tax starts, she has not yet released the list of the 500 greatest emitters of carbon dioxide. If a company does not know if it is on the list or not, how can they plan? How can they have business certainty?

If, after being slugged with the tax and the necessary adjustment to pricings etc, a company's trading contracts and therefore their emissions fall, do they then come off the 500 list?

Does another "aspiring" company then get elevated to the list?

Is there a supplementary list that needs to be released for the next group of emitters or do these businesses live with the uncertainty of possible promotion.

Prime Minister, for the sake of certainty, PLEASE release the list.