Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:10 am Post subject: 'West Australian' Journalist Vaccination Scandal
The West Australian offers more 'trolley folly' as consumer advocates cry out for ethics amongst West Australian journalists.
Evidence revealed this week by Consumer Protection, WA shows that a prominent West Australian journalist, Cathy O'Leary, is taking stabs in the dark at vaccine information consumer group, the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN).
On Saturday, 4 November, the newspaper published an article titled 'Anti-Vaccination Group Under Scrutiny'. In this piece, O'Leary says, "Consumer Protection is investigating whether an anti-vaccination group breached charity laws by seeking donations at a series of meetings in WA in the past two weeks."
Consumer protection confirmed on 6 November that:
1. There is no investigation. A complaint has been received and information has been requested of the AVN, but at this time, there is no investigation.
2. The complaint which engendered this article, was filed by none other than Cathy O'Leary of the West Australian.
"The Australian public deserves to receive the honest truth about the news, not what journalists, through their own bias, have chosen to tell them. When it came to my attention that Ms O'Leary had done this sort of thing before (see Media Watch, 'Trolley Folly'), I knew it was time to let the public know the same media scandals that occurred in Britain may very well be happening on our own turf", says Meryl Dorey, consumer watchdog advocate.
An ABC Radio Journalist who has asked not to be named has suggested that this may comprise a serious breach of the Australian Journalists Association Code of Ethics. Complaints have been filed with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the Australian Press Council (APC). A further complaint against the newspaper has been filed with ABC's Media Watch.
It is because of such unethical behaviour at Murdoch newspapers that Australia has convened an independent inquiry into the media and media regulation. People who read newspapers need to know that the news is being reported rather than created. It is hoped that the appropriate authorities will take action to stop these random shots from poisoning the public.
The clauses of the AJA Code of Ethics which it is alleged Ms O'Leary has breached are:
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.
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.
If found to have breached the code by the MEAA, West Australian can face fines, censure and potential expulsion from their membership of that organisation.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum