Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

Zones of silence: Forensic patients, radio documentary, and a mindful approach to journalism ethics

Volume 21, Issue 2

October, 2015

From page
11
to page
32
Morton, T., Pearson, M. (2015). Zones of silence: Forensic patients, radio documentary, and a mindful approach to journalism ethics. 21(2), 11-32.
Author(s): Tom Morton, Mark Pearson
Publication date: 
October, 2015

This article explains a collaborative and critically reflective journalism research project stemming from the wish of an incarcerated forensic mental health patient to be named in public communication about his case. The authors are academics and journalists who embarked upon a combination of journalism, legal processes and academic research to win the right to name Patient A in a radio documentary and in academic works—including this journal article and research blogs. As a case study, it explains the theoretical and ethical considerations informing the journalism and the academic research, drawing upon traditions of documentary production, the principle of open justice and the ethical framework of ‘mindful journalism’. It concludes by drawing lessons from the project that might inform future practitioners and researchers embarking upon works of journalism and research involving vulnerable people and a competing set of rights and public interests.