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Australia – (F4) Internal rules for practice of newsroom democracy

Score in short:

There are no written rules for newsroom democracy in the Australian media.

Score in detail:

All interviewees confirmed that there are no written newsroom rules which would state the rights of the journalist, nor are there newsroom councils in the selected media outlets. However, the Australian journalists union does have ‘house committees’ of journalists in the various media companies which meet regularly to discuss industrial matters as well as professional and ethical issues. Most interviewees pointed to the news conferences, held twice daily in the print media and once daily in the broadcast media, as a forum of discussion and consultation. While all interviewees agreed that Australian newsrooms follow a hierarchical structure in which the editor is the boss, several mentioned the fact that some editors work in more collegiate ways than others, and that it depends on the seniority of the journalist as to how much direction s/he needs to take.