Friday, October 24, 2008

Public stories, private lives

The Walkley Magazine
October  2008


Moving from journalism into public relations in the welfare sector, has put me on the other side of stories and more aware of a minefield of ethical and privacy issues.

I owe a debt to those advocates who moved mountains, and fast, to find people with personal stories who made my copy come to life.

I can now appreciate the minefields those people have to navigate. Now I’m the one fielding calls from impatient reporters wanting a case study when a deadline is looming.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Losing our religion

The Canberra Times, October 20, 2008

The decision to axe Radio National's Religion Report came as a shock.

Twice I have worked on the program, first as its producer, and then as its presenter. It is put together by only two people, but it is able to draw on the wealth of experience and history in the ABC's religion department to create a gripping specialist current affairs program that subjects religion to the same sort of journalistic scrutiny as other programs subject other parts of life.

And there's no doubt that religion is a terribly important (if little-reported) part of life, lying behind so much of the news we regard as “political” or “diplomatic” or “social”.

Where else in prime-time radio or television have you been able to hear the people who matter quizzed about their interpretations of Judaism, Christianity or Islam and the way in which they plan to act on those interpretations?

Some of these people will be happy about the decision to axe the program. They didn't welcome its scrutiny.

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