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Australian editor-in-chief’s lawsuit against journalism lecturer stirs debate

December 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

Last week Journalism.co.uk reported on a legal debate brewing in Australia, after journalism lecturer Julie Posetti was threatened with legal action by the editor-in-chief of the Australian, Chris Mitchell, for comments she posted on Twitter which he claimed were defamatory of him. The tweets related to comments allegedly made by a former rural affairs reporter for the Australian, Asa Wahlquist.

At the end of last week, Mitchell’s lawyer had sent a letter of demand to Posetti asking for an apology. While Posetti and the Australian declined to make further public comment at this stage, Mitchell was quoted this weekend as saying he wished he had pursued action against other writers, in an editorial by the Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd.

And while debate continues about Mitchell’s decision to take action against Posetti, Australia’s Crikey has a topical look at why editors “rarely sue for defamation” in this piece by Mark Pearson, professor of journalism at Bond University.

The reality is that any media outlet worth its salt is in the defamation business. The columns of newspapers, news websites and the broadcast news outlets should be laden thick with defamation every day if their journalists are doing their jobs properly.

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Australian journalism academic asked by newspaper editor to apologise for tweets

Australian journalism lecturer Julie Posetti has received a letter from the lawyer of the Australian newspaper’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, asking for an apology for tweets which he claims were defamatory of him.

Journalism.co.uk reported earlier this week that Mitchell had threatened Posetti with legal action for defamation following tweets posted by Posetti in relation to comments made by former reporter for the Australian Asa Wahlquist about working at the title.

Posetti has since confirmed on Facebook that she received a “letter of demand” from Mitchell’s lawyer. The Australian reported on its blog that Mitchell has invited Posetti to visit the offices of the paper to “observe its operations for herself”.

Mitchell’s offer is contained in a legal letter send to Posetti yesterday, as part of the defamation proceedings that have become known as ‘#Twitdef’.

The letter, which has also been published by the Australian, adds that it is “immaterial” whether or not the quotes within the tweets were said.

The fact is they were published by you on an occasion which does not attract a defence and it is obvious from the above facts and email they are patently false.

In the circumstances, our client offers you an opportunity to correct the record by publishing (in agreed manner) a correction, and perhaps meeting with him, to discuss the matter.

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kate publisher: Are journalists abandoning print media?

November 3rd, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

“The question begs to be asked – if even journalists and former journos no longer buy newspapers, how much longer will the public continue to buy them when they can access virtually the same content online free of charge?” asks blogger ‘Kate Publisher’ in response to The Australian’s article on Sunday featuring avid Twitterer and media academic Julie Posetti.

Those age and society groups who are not online should not be forgotten in discussions about print’s future, argues the post.

Full post at this link…

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#FollowJourn: @julie_posetti/journalist and academic

October 22nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#FollowJourn: Julie Posetti

Who? Journalist and J-academic interested in people, politics and the future.

What? Researching social media; public broadcasting; reporting race and culture; and talk radio amongst other things. Former news reporter and regional news editor for Australian broadcaster ABC.

Where? Read her J-Scribe blog.

Contact? Via Twitter or Facebook.

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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MediaShift: How Australian journalists are using Twitter

In part one of two, Julie Posetti writes a very thorough piece on how Australian journalists are using the microblogging tool – from breaking news to personal marketing and even getting a job.

Full article at this link…

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