Reflecting on the Goolding Inquiry Exercise

This reflection relates to the Goolding Inquiry exercise: Secret Talks May Lead to Change in Government.

What was your main consideration in selecting your angle? 

The angle for this story was selected based on determining what was the most newsworthy information gathered from the research process. Newsworthiness can be determined by timeliness, impact, consequence, prominence, unusualness, or proximity.

I believe the angle taken in this story is newsworthy as it is based on new information that has not been reported before. The revelation of this information has great impact because of the possible consequences (the formation of a new government).

Additionally, a major consideration in selecting an angle is to fulfil the role of the fourth estate by scrutinising bodies of power and reporting in the public interest with fairness, balance and accuracy.

What was the main legal implication in covering this story? 

The main legal implication to be wary of in covering this story is defamation. The information revealed was said under privilege in a legal setting, however the reporting of information that may damage one’s reputation in the minds of “right thinking people” could lead to a costly defamation case.

What was the main ethical consideration in covering this story? 

It is important to report consider ethical reportage when detailing Douglas Tickell’s suicide. The topic should be dealt with sensitively with the effect on his family in mind.

It is also important to consider how to report on the talks between Fergus Williams and Malcolm Tucker ethically without sensationalism or explicitly speculating about the consequences.

To take this story further, who would you contact and why? 

This story could be taken further by ensuring balance, fairness and accuracy and attempting to receive a right of reply.

I would contact Opposition Leader Dan Millar to ensure fairness and balance by allowing a response to the allegations he has been meeting with Fergus Williams.


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