Week 5 – 2. Inquiry: Find and discuss an article

Find an article that has impact on you because of the sources, speech and reporting, and discuss why it is an example of good journalism or media writing.

The article that I have chosen to discuss is ‘Sex abuse royal commission: single national redress scheme recommended by commission‘ by Jane Lee and Rachel Browne for the Brisbane Times.

The reason that I have selected this article is because I believe that it is an excellent example of good journalism because it uses a variety of source types and methods of quoting that makes it reliable and an interesting, well-informed read.

The combination of excellent and reliable primary and secondary sources makes this article seem reliable and therefore I feel as though I can read it without being too skeptical.

Primary sources, according to Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, p. 163), are people who were directly involved in an event. Ames (2015, p. 1), also states that primary sources can be documents that contain new, original information.

In this article, Lee and Browne frequently refer to the 589 page REDRESS AND CIVIL LITIGATION REPORT released by The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,  which is a Primary Source.

The article also contains quotes from Nicky Davis, who is the leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and therefore would be considered a primary source due to her involvement in the previous events (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2012, p. 163).

Quotes from Francis Sullivan from the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, and Leonie Sheedy, the chief executive of Care Leavers Australia Network would be considered to be secondary sources as they are providing background information, making comment on and drawing conclusions from the event of the report being released (Ames 2015, p. 2).

The other aspect of this article that I believe makes it an example of good journalism is the combination of direct quoting, indirect quoting and paraphrasing. The journalists have managed to use a good balance throughout of these methods.

However, one criticism that I would have is the combination of direct and indirect quoting which is considered to be bad practice according to Ames (2015, p. 5).

The second final aspect of this article that I consider to be a strength is the link provided at the top to a secondary source that is an opinion article, ‘Royal commission forces sexual abuse ‘bystanders’ to consider their inaction‘ by Sonia Orchard. I appreciate that they did not quote this article directly as it is not the most reliable source due to the subjective nature of opinion pieces, but they have still included the link to it for readers to use if they wish.

I also liked the summarisation at the end of the article of the 5 key recommendations of the report, so that readers were able to gain some background information of the report even if they did not choose to read the whole thing.


Reference List 

Ames, K 2015, Week 5 – Voice, Attribution, and Acknowledgement, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Lee, J & Browne, R 2015, ‘Sex abuse royal commission: single national redress scheme recommended by commission’, The Brisbane Times, 15 September, viewed 15 September 2015,

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/sex-abuse-royal-commissionsingle-national-redress-scheme-recommended-by-commission-20150914-gjlubh.html

Orchard, S 2015, ‘Royal commission forces sexual abuse ‘bystanders’ to consider their inaction’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September, viewed 15 September 2015,

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/royal-commission-forces-sexual-abuse-bystanders-to-address-their-inaction-20150909-gjj4u8

Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast, and Public Relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.

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