Friday, March 6, 2009

Violations of the General Code of Ethics for the News Media.

Both The National Newspaper and The Post Courier have over the years printed quite graphic images of criminals who have been either critically wounded or dead and featured them on their front pages.

As a reader I am firstly shocked, horrified and then angry that such images are allowed to be printed. Almost always I am left asking what the media gatekeepers are doing to ensure that some level of decency is maintained.

I've just read through the Media Council of Papua New Guinea's Code of Ethics for the News Media and smack bang on the 6th code is the following:

6. Taste and Decency

a) Care should be taken in presentation of content
that might distress or offend a significant proportion
of the public.

Both the Post Courier and The National are members of the Media Council and I wonder why these images aren't censored.

I understand that one reason may be that they want to use scare tactics to deter others from doing the same thing. But I also think that these crimes are an indicator of a number of social issues (e.g. disparities in wealth, high rates of unemployment) that need to be properly addressed by the State.


  1. Hey Lainey!

    If your referring to the picture on both the National and Post Courier's front pages today, I knew the Post Courier was going to print it on the front page. I heard the story about the attempted hold up last yesterday afternoon, so the first thing I did this morning was buy today's Post. True enough, my thoughts were correct.

    I wonder what the Post and the National would say to defend themselves?

    I'm sure they'll be a few disgruntled letters to the editor/viewpoint sections on Monday regarding these images.

    Knowing full that News Corp (ie the Murdoch empire) do have a substantial share in the Post Courier (apparently 62.5 per cent) and other renowned newspapers in raises a few questions regarding the rule of law in Papua New Guinea as well as one you've pointed out - the media code of ethics. I mean would images such as these be printed on the front pages of other News Corp entities such as the Australian, The Courier Mail?? What's going on? I used to think that by publishing such images, future criminals would be deterred but now i just think its plain unprofessional.

  2. P.e.t.i.t.i.o.n.