[csaa-forum] ABC's Kerry O'Brien - Responsible Journalism - UQ 15 April

Andrea Mitchell a.mitchell at uq.edu.au
Fri Mar 18 13:49:41 CST 2005

Adjunct Professor Kerry O'Brien, ABC 7:30 Report

Date: Friday 15 April 2005 
Time: 2:00-5:00pm
Venue: The Innes Room - Bldg 21 
UQ Student Union Centre 
University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus Brisbane

Presented by the School of Journalism and Communication, and the Centre for
Critical and Cultural Studies, at The University of Queensland.

Responsible Journalism

This keynote address by Adjunct Professor Kerry O'Brien  will be followed by
a discussion moderated by Professor Michael Bromley, the School of
Journalism and Communication, UQ, with:

Lee Anderson, Director, Channel Nine News
Bruce Grundy, Journalist-in-Residence, School of Journalism and
Communication Amanda Newberry, General Manager, BBS Public Relations

Members of the university community and the general public are invited to
attend this free seminar with refreshments to follow.
Please scroll down for further information or visit the CCCS website at 

This is not an exercise in painting all journalists as white knights and all
the media minding industry as the black knights. There is a legitimate and
practical interface between the two that can facilitate good, honest
journalism. Equally there is legitimacy in the various institutions of
society-public and private-in protecting themselves against incompetent,
inaccurate, lazy, or dishonest journalism. But I believe the balance is
increasingly and unhealthily out of kilter in the way the game is played
today; weighted towards the information managers and away from the
information gatherers. 
This isn't just about journalists gathering basic, practical information and
disseminating it in a way that helps keep society going. At the heart of
what we're about is the burning need to scrutinise. It has been said many
times before: Power corrupts. The more power accrues, the greater the
temptation and opportunity for corruption of one kind or another. It's often
a subtle process, and as the wisdom goes, absolute power corrupts
absolutely. That's not some kind of warped prejudice or paranoia on my part:
History is littered with examples, including recent history. 
The bottom line is that we do need to remind ourselves from time to time
that there really is a noble cause along with the excitement; the adrenalin;
the travel if you're lucky; the glamour if you can find it; the meeting of
all those interesting people. It's telling the stories of our society; it's
plotting our path through history; but importantly, it's keeping the system

In a 39-year career Kerry O'Brien has worked in newspapers, magazines, wire
service, and television, as a reporter, feature writer, political and
foreign correspondent, columnist, documentary maker, program presenter, and
interviewer. He has also experienced politics from the inside as a media
He has covered a multitude of major national and international events
including the Whitlam dismissal, state and federal elections, U.S.
Presidential elections, coups in the Philippines and the Soviet Union, South
Africa's first democratic election, the Hong Kong handover to China, and the
September 11 anniversary from New York. Kerry was a prime mover in
establishing ABC TV's issues-based, discussion program Lateline, one of
Australia's most respected current affairs shows, which he anchored for its
first six years.
Since December 1995 he has been National Editor and Presenter of the ABC's
flagship current affairs program, The 7.30 Report. He also anchors the ABC's
election telecasts.
He has interviewed many world leaders including Mandela, Thatcher, and
Gorbachev, and a diverse range of other top international figures. He has
won many awards including the top award in journalism, the Gold Walkley. 
Kerry O'Brien has recently been appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of
Journalism and Communication, at The University of Queensland.

For further information, please contact:
Ms Jennifer Poulter, School of Journalism and Communication
ph (07) 3346 9564
fax (07) 3365 1377
email j.poulter at uq.edu.au
Website: http://www.uq.edu.au/sjc/events/
Ms Rebecca Ralph, Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies
ph (07) 3346 9764 
fax (07) 3365 7184
email admin.cccs at uq.edu.au http://cccs.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=16196

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