Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

Help at hand to navigate legal minefields

Volume 19, Issue 2

October, 2013

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Harrington, Stephen (2013). Help at hand to navigate legal minefields. Pacific Journalism Review, 19(2): 237-239. Review of: The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law, 4th Edition, Mark Pearson and Mark Polden. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2011, 480 pp. ISBN 9781742370385; Blogging and Tweeting Without Getting Sued: A Global Guide to the Law for Anyone Writing Online, Mark Pearson. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2012, 222 pp. ISBN 9781742378770
Author(s): Stephen Harrington
Reviewed books by Mark Pearson & Mark Polden
Publication date: 
October, 2013

Over recent years in Australia we have seen a number of big stories emerge which highlight the difficult legal positions in which journalists too often find themselves. One of the biggest was Gina Rinehart’s attempts in Western Australia to have journalists reveal their sources for stories which were published regarding the legal battles she had been fighting against her own children. Another involved the 2009 counter-terrorism operations in Victoria that were apparently reported, somewhat controversially, on the front page of The Australian several hours before they had occurred. While, a third case was what Australian Twitter users dubbed the #TwitDef saga, where The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell claimed that he had been defamed by Australian journalism academic Julie Posetti, who had simply tweeted what a former News Corp journalist had said publically during the 2010 JEAA conference.