Saturday 5 September 2009

And again they name and shame

My expose yesterday about the Cairns Post naming and photographing a local couple, yet in the same paper the editor decried their publicity saying they should be entitled to privacy.

In today's edition, they yet again name the couple.

The Post has also published a series of photos on their website, after chasing the couple down the street following their court appearance.

Don't their journalists even read their own bosses editorials? Does the editor read the rest of the paper? Is he in charge? Does he give a toss? Is he brain dead?

Media Watch should hear about this continuing appalling behaviour.


Lillian at Yorkeys said...

I think it would be a great one for Media Watch, Mike. Also, whilst you're at it, perhaps you could send a copy to John Hartigan, who's the CEO of News Ltd, & (in "The Oz" at least) a fair champion of free speech & journalistic ethics.
Whilst we're at it, how about an e-petition to Hartigan asking for another editor, maybe someone who can actually edit a whole paper & keep it together as a contextual whole.
Last week they were advertising a concert on at the Tanks on the "What's On" page of the newspaper, & on page 2 had that the concert was all sold out!! Same paper, 16 pages apart. Crap.
This stuff happens all the time, but for the poor kids involved in the abortion case, it's absolutely abusive.

Syd Walker said...

My suggestion is that Rupert comes here and edits the rag himself.

Cairns is a nice place to hang out if you're an aging plutocrat with a young family. It's said that Murdoch snr loves a challenge, still enjoys 'hands-on' editing - and I suspect some of his most pesky critics are found in this neck of the woods.

If Rup edits the Cairns Post himself, I'll even take out a three month subscription to the CP online edition, thereby proving his latest brilliant business model for News Corp can be made to work with a little extra effort.

Can't be fairer than that.

Mark Davis said...

Are you people idiots? First of all, Rupert would be the last guy you'd want editing a paper if you're interested in ethics. Hartigan wouldn't fare any better, you're talking about the guy who runs the company that puts out the Daily Telegraph for christ's sake. Second, as a former journalist I can tell you it's editorial policy for every media organisation to name someone who is the subject of a court case. The only reason you wouldn't name someone would be if there was some risk of identifying the victim of a sexual assault. An open judicial system is one of the great bastions of a free and democratic society. It shouldn't be up to a particular editor to decide when to apply the principles of a free and open society and when to ignore them. Finally, every media outlet ran this couple's name, including the Australian and the ABC who you people hold up as examples of ethical journalism. You lot need to do a bit more research before commenting on issues like this.

Syd Walker said...

Mark, my suggestion that Rupert Murdoch edits the Cairns Post was flippant (in simple English, that means it was a 'joke').

I didn't think anyone (including Rupert) could possibly take it seriously. But I didn't count on a journalist reading this. It's a useful reminder to take more care in future. :-)

On the more substantive matter, you make some reasonable points about publication of names in court cases. However, if you re-read Mike's article, I think you'll see his key complaint is hypocrisy. He even summarizes the argument again in his latest article (above):

My expose yesterday about the Cairns Post naming and photographing a local couple, yet in the same paper the editor decried their publicity saying they should be entitled to privacy.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

I think Mark Davis, that in the young couple's case, there is also the issue of discretion.
One - they did not commit any offense against a member of the community. They have simply been caught foul of a ridiulous, outdated law which badly needs overhauling.
Two - a pregnancy is an extremely private matter, between the two people involved. I take your point re not publishing names in sexual assault cases, and I think this case falls in to a similar category. The media coverage of this matter in general has become salacious.
Three - they are extremely young to be facing such a media barage, in fact 'media rape' I would call it, over such a delicate matter.
Four - and as Syd pointed out above, hypocrisy in the ComPost publishing one thing on one page, & the reverse on another page, in the same edition.
Five - the Editor is clearly not properly overseeing the publication of 'his' paper. If he had bothered to read through all of the assembled pages before printing (or whichever of his minions is supposed to do this), then such a ridiculous anomaly would not have occurred.

KitchenSlut said...

Interesting to see the story from Gavin King in todays Sunday Mail