Trusting the Media

16 April, 2013

Free Event. Please see link below to register online.

Co-presented with the Department of Media and Communications, School of Letters, Arts and Media and the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights

Trust in media has become a central issue for media workers and the public. But defining trust remains difficult as it overlaps with a range of other terms such as confidence, integrity, reliability, and credibility. For all of the discussion of trust there is a dearth of discussion of some core issues; namely that trust can not only be betrayed, withdrawn and lost, but built, earned and learned. Arguably, wiithout some common understanding of the basic principles upon which integrity can be built, we cannot learn or earn trust let alone improve our situation.

What do we mean by trust in the media? At what stage of media production and consumption should we judge it? How do we measure it? And who is the judge?

In this Sydney ideas event, a panel of academics and media practitioners adopt a different approach by going back to basics and asking critical questions of the some of the core concepts that inspire and characterise the media. Their focus is on principles and the issues that arise when the media holds onto them, abandons them, or takes them for granted. Specifically, do notions of objectivity, transparency, accountability and the public interest still have force in this new media environment? 

The panel will be chaired by Peter Fray, former publisher and editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald, and now an adjunct professor in the Department of Media and Communications and the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights.


  • On Objectivity, Associate Professor Steven Maras, Department of Media and Communications and author of Objectivity in Journalism (Polity Press, 2012)
  • On Transparency, Dr Fiona Martin, Senior Lecturer in Convergent and Online Media, Department of Media and Communications, ARC chief investigator ‘Mediating the Conversation.
  • On Accountability, Paul Chadwick, journalist and lawyer. First Director Editorial Policies of the ABC (2007-12) and now a director of Guardian Australia.
  • On the Public Interest, Amanda Wilson, Director, Amanda Wilson Communications and former Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Location: Law School Foyer, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue

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