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In the modern milieu nothing is more likely to ignite an argument than a discussion about journalism ethics and law – except maybe a book on the subject.
And ignition was certainly on the mind of Deakin University’s Dr Janine Little when she published her latest book: Journalism Ethics and Law: Stories of Media Practice.
Dr Little wants to get people thinking about the complex ways that journalists make decisions about stories, and how Australia’s ethical and legal minefields relate to shared experiences of what it means to be human – and non-human.
The book is the first journalism ethics and law study to devote an entire chapter to animal rights: a chapter that also led to Dr Little’s presentation this month of a paper at the 2nd Annual Journalism and Mass Communication Conference in Thailand.
“Animals can’t speak for themselves but Australian journalists have made important inroads into building public awareness of their treatment, and that was a special commitment of this book that the publisher Oxford University Press also valued,” said Dr Little, a senior lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts and a member of the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation’s Racism, Intercultural Relations and Diversity Research Group.
“But the book also focusses on many more of Australia's most notorious current events to bring to life the on-going conversation about journalism ethics and how the law works with today's media, such as the Jill Meagher murder, some of the nation’s worst crimes against children, and cases of cyber-bullying on social media.
“It offers readers a new way of thinking about journalism ethics and empowers future journalists to make good and ethical decisions in the field, without the doom and gloom of some discussions of journalism.”
Journalism Ethics and Law: Stories of Media Practice follows on from Dr Little’s recent co-authored book, So You Want To Be A Journaliist?: Unplugged which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.
Her latest work is also available as an ebook.