Chilling Effect: The law, lawyers, journalists, and editorial processes

Presented by: Dr Richard Murray

Date: Friday 27 August 2021
Time: 12–1pm
Location: Online via Zoom 


Abstract

This paper seeks to make sense of the role of the law and lawyers in editorial processes in Australia. Orthodox views within journalism studies vastly overestimate the role of journalists and journalist agency within editorial processes. This comes at the cost of accurate and informed analysis into the pressure facing journalism and where those pressures come from. Combining expert legal analysis and interviews with leading journalists, editors and media lawyers, The Chilling Effect reveals the scope of the problem, and reveals the multi-step process by which law stifles free speech in the form of public interest journalism. This new understanding of the chilling effect as a process, points to towards key reforms capable of enhancing democracy, freedom and security. Based on more than one hundred hours of interviews with leading editorial staff, legal counsel and barristers from Australian news organisations and law firms, this paper breaks down the laws that slow, and sometimes cripple, editorial processes in Australia. It also sheds light on the complex interaction between journalists, legal counsel, and the law in a deeply disrupted media environment, and what this means to the public interest, the right to know, and Australian democracy. The presenters have been able to draw on a vast network of leading figures in Australian journalism and law to offer the first authoritative analysis of the chilling effect in Australia journalism. These include media lawyers from Banki Haddock Fiora, Gilbert and Tobin, and MinterEllison as well as journalists, editorial figures and legal counsel from the ABC, SBS, News Corp, Nine Entertainment (former Fairfax), and The Guardian Australia. A book under the working title Chilling Effect: Australian journalism, lawyers and the law is due out through UNSW Press at the end 2022.


Presenter

Richard Murray is a lecturer in journalism in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland. His current research focuses on editorial processes in journalism, regional journalism in Australia, trauma and reporting sexual violence, and journalism practice.


 

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

 


School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Friday, 5 March
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - What Has Streaming Done to Television? Platform Interfaces and Contemporary Viewing Dr Elliott Logan

Friday, 5 March
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Building cultural citizenship through drama: A study of The Community Theatre in Singapore Dr Natalie Lazaroo

Friday, 23 April
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Passing as White (Collar): Jim Crow’s Typewriter and the Harlem Renaissance Dr Tamlyn Avery

Friday, 7 May
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - HDR Roundtable: Ethical or exploitative? The representation of violence and trauma in literature and screen media  Bonnie Evans, Taryn Bashford, Jasmine Sandes, Meg Vann

Friday, 21 May
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Converging Professions or Practices? Shifting Dynamics in a Digital Communication World Toning Down the Antagonism Between Communication and Journalism Dr Franzisca Weder

Friday, 4 June
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Facilitating co-innovation towards sustainable livestock systems in Timor Leste – pulling out all the (communication) stops A/Prof Elske van de Fliert

Friday, 18 June
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar -  Holograms and (Dis) Embodied Intimacy in an Era of Ubiquitous Computing Dr Samantha Lindop

Friday, 6 August
1-2pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - All Scripts are Adaptations? Michael Eaton MBE

Friday, 27 August
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Chilling Effect: The law, lawyers, journalists, and editorial processes Dr Richard Murray

Friday, 10 September
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Mrs America’s Prosthetic Feminist Memory: The ‘Discovery’ of a Cool Feminism for Postfeminist Times Dr Marg Henderson and Dr Anthea Taylor (USyd)

Friday, 24 September
1-2pm

Online via Zoom

In coversation with Laura Elvery A/Prof Stephen Carleton

 

Venue

Online via Zoom