Ethics & Mojo’s

Imagine you are in a car driving at 60 km’s per hour, when some lunatic passes at least 20km’s faster than you. The more they speed the greater the chance of a dangerous collision right? Well it’s also the same with the new age of Journalism.  Burum & Quinn (2015, p.265) explain that speed involves risk. The speed at which journalists are expected to work and produce content has increased ten fold- mobile phones and technology are making it easier and quicker than ever before to send information out to audiences.

What legal issues can arise from this?

Mobile phones can be taken just about anywhere- the problems with this is that we don’t always know when we are being filmed, and depending on where you are in the world this could be perfectly legal or completely unethical.

Paparazzi by Mike Schmid (CC BY-SA 2.0)

With the speed in which Journalists are having to upload their stories, they are bound to make some errors along the way.  Burum & Quinn (2015, p.266) reiterate the importance of knowledge and training in the field of ethics for the Journalists of today.

What is ethical training?

Many news organisations have their own code of ethics which they encourage.  One of the main unions in Australia for Journalists is the MEAA.  In their words they explain what is considered important in regards to ethics and the legalities for Journalists under their union.

Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are fundamental principles of journalism. Journalists search, disclose, record, question, entertain, comment and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They scrutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be responsible and accountable.

In the speed in which the news is disseminated- especially now for mobile journalists, it must be ensured that ethics are also considered.  It doesn’t matter if you break the story first, if you also happen to break many laws whilst doing so.


Burum, I, Quinn, S 2015, MOJO: The Mobile Journalism Handbook : How to Make Broadcast Videos with an iPhone or iPad, Focal Press, Burlington, MA.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance 2016, MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics, Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, date retrieved 2 October 2016,


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