A lot of students worry about their opening sentence s. Admissions tutors are less concerned with your ability to write a fancy or wacky introduction and more interested in your passion and enthusiasm for the course. Jonathan Hardwick is a former head of sixth form and now a professional development manager at Inspiring Futures, a provider of careers information, advice and guidance to young people.
Media coverage of important issues of public interest has already been damaged by the thousands of experienced journalists who have left mainstream media over the past ten years.
With newspaper industry revenues still declining at more than five per cent a year, this decimation of tradition media is likely to continue. New media has taken up some of the slack in exposing matters of public interest but coverage is disparate, often unreliable and regularly subject to manipulation.
While supply is challenged, there is significant demand for quality independent journalism. There is as yet however no reliable business model to fund journalism and my personal experience is testament to this. I was in the fortunate position of already having a rusted-on audience, 20 years of experience as a journalist and a redundancy cheque to plunge into a start-up venture.
Others are not so fortunate. There are serious disincentives to pursuing public interest journalism. Meanwhile, lobby groups acting for powerful corporate interests have never been more numerous or better funded.
In Australia journalists can be sued whether a story is true or not. The costs of paying lawyers and defending lawsuits are prohibitive. Law firms are shutting down bloggers. Even the threat of litigation is often enough to deter journalists from writing the truth. In the US, it is far harder to sue journalists.
The bar is higher and requires evidence of malice on the part of the journalist rather than claims of reputation damage. The Inland Revenue Service in the US presently provides tax deductibility for not-for-profit media organisations.
If lobby groups can attract tax deductions via Deductible Gift Recipient status DGRit is fair that independent media enterprises — which have no political affiliations but act in the public interest -also merit DGR status.
These two multinational companies now soak up the bulk of the advertising dollars which used to fund the mainstream media, yet they pay very little tax.
The Tax Office is now clawing back revenue from these companies which has been previously funnelled offshore, yet more needs to be done to capture revenue and perhaps reallocate revenue into public interest media.
Government and corporate transparency measures. Freedom of Information laws need to be improved to make it easier for citizens to hold public institutions accountable. Political donations disclosures should be made when the donation is made. Political parties should file detailed General Purpose financial statements so the public can see how politics is funded.
It is vital to public confidence in government, and therefore the effectiveness of government, that there is visibility about the influence of corporations and wealthy private individuals on pubic policy.How to write a personal statement All the tips you need to write a CV personal statement that makes you stand out from the crowd.
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Opening statement to the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Public Interest Journalism by Michael West, principal of independent journalism website urbanagricultureinitiative.com Media coverage of important issues of public interest has already been damaged by the thousands of experienced journalists who have left mainstream .
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