See my previous two posts if you are coming in to this late. It is all about whether I am right when I claim that awareness and knowledge of the News Limited Code of Professional Conduct is low in News Limited newsrooms. News Limited CEO John Hartigan’s statement claiming that it lay at the heart of what the company expects of its journalists was published widely in News Ltd titles today.
See the comments thread on previous posts for some views both ways.
Meanwhile, I have just received the following from a News Limited journalist who has worked for community newspapers, and who now works as a journalist and editor for a major News Limited masthead.
Now in relation to News Ltd and the code of conduct; the claim that it is included in the new starter induction material or whatever they want to call it, is simply not true.
Now, I can only comment in relation to News Ltd community papers in NSW and [major masthead name] where I now work as [title of position].
Being an organised creature I still have my induction pack from when I started with [masthead name] a year ago. I just went through it and lo and behold – no code of ethics.
As one of the biggest News Ltd newsrooms this is quite revealing.
I am also certain I also never got a copy of the code when working at News’ community papers either. In fact I only learnt of its existence during one of your news writing courses.
The code is on the intranet, but not easy to find and it’s never mentioned or considered in the course of a normal day in the newsroom.
It’s an inconvenient piece of window dressing from News’ point of view.
The way news in Australia has approached the NoW scadal is really interesting. There was a moment on Friday morning of near hysterical panic as editors tried to guess what they were expected to do about coverage of the scandal – how would we cover a massive story we knew was not really welcome on our sites. In the end they played it fairly straight but tended to focus on the individuals involved rather than News as a media organisation.