Experienced reporters from the ABC reiterated the importance of impartial and accurate news reporting at Macleay College’s first International Reporting Conference.
Senior reporter and anchor Tracey Holmes, and Gaven Morris, head of news at ABC, offered their insights on where the world of international reporting was heading.
Ms Holmes, who reported from Russia for last year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, said it was imperative not to mimic the criticism of other reporters.
“[It is] the job of an international journalist not to fall into the trap [of thinking] because I’m from the west I’m supposed to criticise Putin and I will,” she said.
Ms Holmes said journalists needed to look “in the peripheral” for other stories by seeking out other elements that made up the complex picture.
The Macleay College lecturer also stressed the growing relevance of marketing quality journalism in today’s media landscape.
“The audience is not stupid,” Ms Holmes said.
“People recognise quality when they see it and there is a way to market this.”
Mr Morris said the key to international reporting was to be honest; not to pretend to know what was happening. But to always look for the truth.
“The essence of international reporting is seeing something with your eyes and telling people something they didn’t know, and providing the context around that,” he said.
“People of power will tell you lies, misdirect, blocking you or by distorting the truth, if people know they can tell you a lie and that you will report it.
“You can see through the stunts – that’s what you need to do as an international reporter.”
Mr Morris explained the world of international journalism had changed a lot in recent years. With more news being readily available online, there is more pressure on journalists.
“More and more people are wanting news for free,” he said.
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Top photo by Daniel Walker.