Thursday, June 14, 2012

Transparency of commitment

It’s going on a year ago, but I’ve only now seen this Media Diary Blog post on The Australian’s website.

It’s relatively short and sweet, so I may as well post the entire thing:

12 July 2011

Margaret Simons at Crikey has been carrying on like a pork chop about the News Ltd Code of Conduct. Apparently, nobody can find it anywhere.

The point of Simons’ raving is, of course, to try to smear local reporters with the same brush as that of the UK journalists who stand accused of phone tapping, paying off cops, and all manner of other criminal behaviour.

As part of the campaign, Simons has also been linking to Tweets that say criminal behaviour is rampant at News Ltd in Australia, and it’s surely only a matter of time before it’s uncovered, the evidence for which is zilch.

It’s as nasty a campaign as Simons has run against News for a while, and it’s also dead wrong. The News Ltd Code Of Conduct is available to all employees on the Intranet — and despite her carry-on, it’s on the Internet, and has been for years.

Simons was all big threats yesterday: “Post the code, or I will!”

Let’s save her the trouble. The New [sic] Ltd Code of Conduct is here.

What’s interesting is that the ‘here’ link points to a pdf copy of their Code of Conduct buried somewhere on the ABC’s Media Watch website.

Thus, we have a splendid illustration of News £td’s commitment to transparency — itself buried on a blog post that hardly anyone could have read, given the number of comments on that post (exactly nil).

Still, the News £td Code of Conduct makes for illuminating reading:

1.1 Facts must be reported impartially, accurately and with integrity.

1.2 Clear distinction must be made between fact, conjecture and comment.

1.3 Try always to tell all sides of the story in any kind of dispute.

1.4 Do not knowingly withhold or suppress essential facts.

And so on.

Maybe next someone could get News £td to publish the protocols for compliance with their Code.

And yes, if they really must, they can use the ABC’s bandwidth for that too.

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