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Journalism in Australia is guided by the Code of Ethics articluated by the journalists’ union – the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance. This code has much in common with industry codes from around the world and with the Australian Press Council’s Statement of Principles.

Academic research in Australia is guided by Human Research Ethics Committees who base their deliberations of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research.

It is the aim of Research Journalism to adhere, where possible to both ethical codes, but we acknowledge that the feasability of this is contested and the challenge of developing a more workable system has been taken up by some of the academics who support the Research Journalism initiative. I have attached a few articles under this tab that explain the situation in more detail.

As editor of Research Journalism, I wholeheartedly agree with Richards (2010) – see his attached article – that we need to engage with our ethics committees and to participate in changing currents attitudes about journalism research.

Until that happens, Research Journalism is committed to the principle of transparency with regards to ethics approval. So whether you have HREC approval or not, please just state the case, and in your exegesis discuss the ethical issues involved in your research and the ways you worked with them.

If you are looking for some good academic writing about journalism ethics we recommend the work of Stephen Ward, he’s one of our advisory board members and the author of some amazing books and papers about global journalism ethics.

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