The practice and ethics of media release journalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

'Media release journalism' involves the use of media release content without fulfilling some or all of journalists' public responsibilities to attribute sources, avoid plagiarism and disclose all essential facts and conflicts of interest that might affect independence. The resulting 'news' is not the product of journalistic inquiry or attempts to report a balance of viewpoints, but the preferred representations of the entities that issue media releases. This paper examines the substantial role that media releases play in shaping print news, and notes that codes of journalismethics and conduct generally fail to mention, or guide useof, media release material. An analysis of the ethics of media release journalism argues that the main ethical issues are deceptionand trust. The paper calls for journalists to scrutinise and attribute their sources, and for public relations officers to desist from practices designed to deceitfully obtain third-party endorsement from publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Volume28
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

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