2024-05-21 14:37:35 #MEAAMedia MediaRoom Releases

Award-winning journalist and author Paddy Manning has been appointed as the new Chair of the MEAA Journalist Ethics Committee.

Manning, who has had a 25-year career in the media, takes over from Greg Miskelly, who has stood aside as Chair after serving five years in the volunteer role.

Manning has been a member of the 13-person committee for five years.

First established in 1944 by the then-Australian Journalists’ Association, MEAA’s Journalist Code of Ethics is the oldest in the world. All members of MEAA agree to be bound by the Code when they join the union.

A major role of the Ethics Committee is to oversee the Journalist Code of Ethics via investigations of potential breaches of the Code. If a breach is found, a range of sanctions are possible, including expulsion from the union.

The committee is made up of nine financial members of MEAA and four members drawn from the general public.

Manning was appointed Chair of the committee earlier this month by the MEAA National Media Section committee, which is made up of working journalists elected by their peers.

An award-winning freelance investigative journalist and author, Manning has worked at the ABC, Schwartz Media, Crikey, Fairfax publications and News Corp, and was founding publishing editor of Ethical Investor magazine.

He has written six books, including unauthorised biographies of Lachlan Murdoch, Malcolm Turnbull and Nathan Tinkler, a history of the Greens and an investigation into the fracking of coal seam gas. His Body Count: How Climate Change is Killing Us won the non-fiction prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for 2021 and was long-listed for the Walkley Book Award.

He has a Master’s in Journalism from University of Technology Sydney and is currently completing a PhD in media history at Macquarie University.

MEAA Deputy Chief Executive Adam Portelli said Manning was amply qualified for the role of chair of MEAA’s Ethics Committee.

“Paddy brings to this role a vast weight of lived experience as a journalist and the ethical dilemmas we face in our jobs every day,” he said.

“Given the intense scrutiny on journalistic ethics and the issues of trust in the media which dog the industry, this role has never been so important.

“MEAA is the proud custodian of the most enduring Code of Ethics for journalists in the world, and we are determined to take a leading role in educating journalists about their ethical obligations and ensuring that they are front and foremost in the way journalists approach their jobs.

“We want the public to know that when they are reading, seeing or hearing work by a MEAA member, it can be trusted as being fair, balanced and produced ethically.

“The Ethics Committee has an important role to play in upholding the Code of Ethics and ensuring it is understood and followed by MEAA members.”

Portelli also paid tribute to outgoing Ethics Committee chair Greg Miskelly, a former ABC journalist, for his outstanding service over a number of years, which has included overseeing the development of new guidelines for reporting on LGBTQIA+ issues.

“Greg’s leadership has been exemplary, fostering a culture of integrity and accountability. We commend Greg for his tireless efforts and invaluable contributions during his tenure. He has shown exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to ethical excellence.”

Manning said he was honoured to be appointed Chair of the Ethics Committee.

“The MEAA Code of Ethics is the gold standard for journalism in this country and it is something every journalist should aspire to follow every day,” he said.

“As a journalist, our most valuable commodity is trust and performing our job ethically is the surest way of winning the trust of the public.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Ethics Committee and with the staff and elected officers of MEAA to uphold the Code of Ethics and contributing to the national conversation about ethics and trust in journalism.”

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Paddy Manning takes over as Chair of MEAA Ethics Committee

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Last update: May 22, 2024