Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Ananian-Welsh on Who Is a Journalist: A Critical Analysis of Australian Statutory Definitions @ananianwelsh @uqlaw @FederalReview

Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, University of Queensland School of Law, is publishing Who is a Journalist? A Critical Analysis of Australian Statutory Definitions in the Federal Law Review. Here is the abstract.

This article provides the first comprehensive study of statutory definitions of journalist and journalism in Australian law and proposes a preferred definition of journalist by reference to statutory aims, bedrock legal principles, and broader scholarship. It begins with a review of existing literature on the meaning of journalist in the modern media landscape, before turning to Australian law. A qualitative survey of legislation identified 11 textually different definitions of the term ‘journalist’ across 18 separate statutes, and a single definition of ‘journalism’. Examination of the statutory contexts, purposes and framing of these definitions reveals they are comprised, broadly, of six ‘approaches’. These approaches are critically analysed against a novel five-part thematic framework, with particular attention given to whether journalists should be defined by reference to ethical codes and responsibilities. The article concludes by identifying a preferred definition of journalist capable of informing law reform across a wide variety of areas of law, including: protections for press freedom, journalistic access to information, shield laws and whistleblower protections.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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