Reflection C: Objectivity

Introduction

Objectivity is one of the main values every journalist should have. Especially nowadays a journalist needs to be careful that he is not just a puppet of PR or gets too emotionally involved in his own opinion so he can’t be objective anymore. This may have happened when the American journalist Glenn Greenwald – who revealed the NSA scandal in 2013 – held a speech towards the audience at a congress of the Chaos Computer Club in 2013 and said “we” instead of “they”. This indicated that he as a journalist identified himself with the issue of the hacker and activists against surveillance and took a side. This caused an outrage for some German journalists claiming a journalist should stay objective and present a balanced view and Greenwald violated this basic value. From this example we can see that the discussion about objectivity is still a current topic.

What is objectivity?  

One of the significant principles of journalistic professionalism is journalistic objectivity. It requires that a journalist is not on either side of an argument. It means not having prejudice or bias, the presence of full understanding, honest, just and free from improper influence. Only the facts should be reported by the journalist and there should not be a personal attitude toward the facts. For a journalist to be as objective as he can is essential since it’s one of the things that make a journalist a journalist (according to MEAA):

  • Fairness
  • Balance <- including objectivity!
  • Accuracy
  • Truth-telling
  • Eye-witnessing
  • Independence
  • Respect for Rights of others (“Do no harm”)
  • Transparency
  • Full disclosure

So it’s one of the duties of a journalist to report news without being biased in order to assure that the public can form an own, independent opinion. That said communication and media scientists argue if it is even possible for a journalist to be objective. One of them is from the German journalistic professor Siegfried Weischenberg who is the inventor of the “Zwiebel-Model” (Onion model) from 1992. The model says that it is impossible to be 100 percent objective because every journalist is subject to restrictions. Weischenberg includes:

1. Social surrounding conditions, historical and judicial fundamental, ethical standards of the journalist (“Normenkontext”)
2. Economical, political, organisational or technological terms (“Strukturkontext”)
3. Sources, choice of display format, news values (“Funktionskontext”)
4. The own experience, values of the journalist (“Rollenkontext”)

Enlightenment and ethical dilemmas as a journalist

Some say that the ideas that formed the beginnings of journalism as we know it today was born from the Enlightenment (others believe journalism was the basis for Enlightenment). The theory of Enlightenment says that humankind is inherently “good” and reasonable and can be trusted to make appropriate decisions about who holds power. Enlightenment allows freedom of choice, opinion and speech. Also it rules for the people, by the people meaning no group can oppress any other and those in authority can be revoked peaceably by the people.
In some cases there can be a dilemma in journalism how to be transparent, truth-telling, accurate, full disclosed, freedom of public sphere versus “do no harm”, sensitivity and public good. One example where this can cause problems is to protect victims. If there was a suicide on the one hand a reporter is supposed to be accurate and not to leave out any detail in order to the value of full disclosure. On the other hand if he does this he might do harm, for the relatives of the person who killed himself as well as to people who might copy the suicide. In cases like this a journalist would have to reconsider his ethics and decide what weighs more: privacy of the people involved in the news (especially in such a sensitive situation) or the public interest. It’s hard to satisfy both.
An example in hard news where objectivity was not given can be found at recent news coverage of “The Sun”. As Media Watch reported on 11th May 2015, the Sun newspaper was not objective when reporting about the upcoming election in the UK. While “The Sun” praised David Cameron’s win of the election, it also disgraced the competitor Ed Miliband from the Labour Party before the election took place (Bacon Title page). “The Guardian” wrote “The Sun” published 102 leader articles deemed to be anti-Labour compared with just four that were critical of the Conservatives. As Media Watch host Paul Barry said it’s not new for “The Sun” to take sides, but in the 2015 election it went further than ever. By taking sides so obvious “The Sun” has breached several ethical values of journalism and caused not just harm to the Labour Party, but also harms the audience that reads the articles. It’s not full disclosure and not balanced news reporting and for that the harm is done because the audience can’t form a proper opinion about the political topic anymore.

Case Studies

1. John Pilger

John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. He was a correspondent in the Vietnam War and has been a strong critic of American and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. Another topic of his work is the practices of the mainstream media.
He started his career as a documentary film maker with “The Quiet Mutiny (1970)” which he made during one of his visits to Vietnam. After that he filmed over fifty documentaries including “Year Zero (1979)” about the aftermath of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia and “Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy (1993)”. Another major area of John Pilger’s criticism is his native country’s treatment of indigenous Australians which is reflected in many documentary films on this subject including “The Secret Country (1985)” and “Utopia (2013)”. About “Utopia” the Sydney Morning Herald wrote John Pilger “wrings the heart but objectivity is not his forte”.
The American novelist, journalist and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn said that „[John Pilger] has taken on the great theme of justice and injustice… He documents and proclaims the official lies that we are told and that most people accept or don’t bother to think about“. In an interview with David Barsamian for “The Progressive” in 2007 John Pilger said “It really grieves me that so many of my fellow journalists can be so manipulated that they become really what the French describe as functionaries, not journalists”.

2. Neil Davis

Neil Davis was one of Australia’s most respected combat cameramen who worked as a photojournalist during the Vietnam War and other conflicts in the region. He was killed in Bangkok on 9th September 1985, while filming a minor Thai coup attempt. Neil Davis chose to film the war from the South Vietnamese perspective which was unusual among foreign correspondents. He was well known for his neutrality, crossing, on one occasion, to film from the Viet Cong side. His neutrality not with-standing, Davis earned the ire of United States military authorities.

3. Wilfred Burchett

Wilfred Burchett was a journalist from the last century who supported communism especially during Korean and Vietnam War. While most of the Australian journalists covered stories supporting the idea of capitalism, Burchett took the other side. Although it’s clear that Wilfred Burchett was in fact a journalist (he fulfilled all the other criteria of a journalist e.g. fairness, accuracy, truth-telling, eye-witnessing), he was not objective since he sympathised with communism, but why did he take this unusual position?
He was born in Australia in 1911, he lived  during the depression of 1929 and therefore he had lost his faith in capitalism. He also was the first western journalist who saw Hiroshima with his own eyes after the atomic bomb dropped (and wrote the famous story “The atomic plague”). He believed Hiroshima happened as a result of capitalism and he also believed that capitalism is a democratic ideal. Because of these two major events in his life he truly assumed that communism would generate peace in the world which caused him to be not objective by taking the side of communists  but he also claimed that he has never been a member in any communist party.

Conclusion: Can a journalist also be an activist?

The German journalist and journalism professor Lorenz Lorenz-Meyer from Hochschule Darmstadt held a speech at the conference “re:publica” in 2014 about how close a journalist can be to activists. Lorenz-Meyer starts his speech with the famous quote of the German journalist Hans-Joachim Friedrich who once said “a good journalist doesn’t make common cause with anything, not even with a good cause” (“Ein guter Journalist macht sich nicht mit einer Sache gemein, auch nicht mit einer guten”). In the end of his talk Lorenz-Meyer comes to the conclusion that as long as the journalist has an independent opinion (meaning he is open to other opinions and willing to change his own opinion) and has clear values and dedication there is nothing wrong with alliances with activists. He also says the journalist with a clear point of view should make it transparent so the audience is well informed and can make their own judgement.
In my opinion there is nothing wrong with journalists having a position on a certain topic. There is room for their beliefs, not in hard news, but in other journalistic forms like commentaries.

Reflection B: Hard news

What is hard news?

There are two different types of news stories: hard news and soft news. Hard news are current events that need to be reported up-to-date while soft news are background information and stories of human interest. Typical topics for hard news are politics, war, economics, business, crime or international news and they are mostly on the front page of a newspaper respectively the first news in television news reports. It can also be investigative news that deals with serious topics or events. Hard news have to have local, regional, national or international significance and is all about facts, facts, facts. Hard news answer following questions: What happened? Who was involved? Where and when did it happen? Why did it happen? How did it happen?

Process of writing hard news

Before we can write hard news, we have to decide what is newsworthy and what is not. Several news values are selection criteria by which journalists decide what is news and what is not:
1. Significance (meaning how many people are affected in some way by a newsworthy event)
2.  Proximity (events that happen close to us geographically and events that are close to us emotionally, culturally, historically and socially)
3. Conflict (In wars, politics, in social life, in sports, celebrities, religion, gender etc.)
4. Human Interest (based on emotion and the provoking of emotion)
5. Novelty (meaning the unusual, curiosity)
6. Prominence (people that are popular, have a certain authority or are celebrities)

I found my news story online at greenleft.org.au. I was looking for an event that I can also take something out for myself and so I went to a speech about new racism against indigenous people. One of the reasons why I came to Australia was not only to travel and see this beautiful country, I also wanted to learn about the history. So to be able to attend a speech about indigenous people and combine it with a uni assignment seemed to be 2 in 1.

The challenge for me was definitely the lack of my background knowledge. I had some idea about the Aboriginals, but I am not well informed about all the terrible things that were done to them or what the politics did for or against them. Another challenge I had to face was the language barrier. I found some parts very hard to understand especially since sometimes for me the context was missing. I did my best and I was rewarded with an inside view of an aboriginal woman.

While writing the hard news story it was hard for me to leave out any emotion. The aboriginal woman Wendy Brabham read a letter from her mother who told about the violence that was done to her family during colonisation. Mrs Brabham was shaking and it was very emotional, it moved everyone in the audience. I would have loved to write that down in the hard news, but I knew I couldn’t emphasise on feelings.
Also when I was done writing I was double over the words limit! It was tough to shorten my article since I felt everything was important. But I knew as a journalist you have to be able to shorten your article and separate the important things from the less important things. So I slept one night over it and surprisingly once I was not too much emotionally connected to the article anymore it was easy to shorten it. I definitely have to remember this trick.

Function of hard news

Some say that the ideas that formed the beginnings of journalism as we know it today was born from the Enlightenment (others believe journalism was the basis for Enlightenment). The theory of Enlightenment says that humankind is inherently “good” and reasonable and can be trusted to make appropriate decisions about who holds power. Enlightenment allows freedom of choice, opinion and speech. Also it rules for the people, by the people meaning no group can oppress any other and those in authority can be revoked peaceably by the people. The Enlightenment Theory also says that there should be an equality of Representation on the public sphere.
Form follows function – this is a common rule in journalism and means always consider before you write. The facts should be delivered quickly, in an unbiased manner. Journalism protects the public interest. It raises questions, informs and educates readers and audiences about things which affect or could reasonably be expected to affect their lives. Since hard news are all about facts, they can not deliver opinion. Also there should not be any emotions in hard news nor setting an atmosphere. These are things that are only in soft news.

Structure and form of hard news

Hard news have a special form: important information and facts come first and as quickly and easily as possible. The news always comes first and the article continues in descending order of importance. So at the end of the article are the least important facts. This form is called Inverted Pyramid or inverted triangle. Facts come quick and easy (must be clear, concise, no unnecessary words) and hard news are about information, so there are only facts, no adjectives. Also if writing hard news a journalist needs to make sure that his article is balanced. He needs sources from both sides of his story in order to be objective (Sources are everything!).

A hard news story should start with a good intro explaining in one short, sharp sentence of up to 25 words what a story is about (following all the “W”-questions that I wrote about in the introduction). Each sentence in hard news should be short, not longer than 25 words. One sentence per paragraph only (which means one thought per paragraph). In the first four paragraphs there should come at least one direct quote in order to keep the article lively and make the reader continue to read. The whole article should be written clear, concise, fast and pacey and should be easy to read. The last part of the article should contain non-essential details that might be interesting but have the weakest news value and are not essential to the story. The aim is to build interest and ensure clarity. While doing this any journalist should always keep in mind the three main values of journalism: Fairness, balance, accuracy and do no harm. It means always include several sides of the topic (not just one) and always make sure you have full disclosure, you are telling the truth and the correct facts (which is not always easy, there can be certain dilemmas, but this is the topic for the final essay).
For my article I decided the most important news is that Wendy Brabham calls out for a political change in treating aboriginal people. Also it was very nice to see that both generations – old and young – stand side by side to achieve this goal. After Mrs Brabhams speech I talked to her and to Ms Onus-Williams which was very exciting.
I was not quite sure who I should talk to as an opposite side to balance my sources. Who would publicly say anything against Aboriginals? (except your name is Tony Abbott, but well…kind of hard to reach). So I decided to just stick to the two voices that I have already had.

Impact of Social Media on the hard news Journalism

News writing has changed over the last couple of years since now we have Social Media. In Twitter you have only one go and you have to be short within 140 characters to tell the story. The journalist has to be concise and accurate (even though he has not long time to check accuracy). Social Media also means that the journalist has interaction with the audience that he has not had before. On Twitter, he has the Follower, on Facebook he has the comments of the audience. This can sometimes be helpful, because there is always someone who knows more about the topic and can provide helpful information or corrections. But sometimes it can also be very tiring to have endless discussions with readers and not all of their comments are helpful – sometimes they are just rude.
When using Twitter any person, especially a journalist should be extra careful what he puts out to the world. Scott McIntyre, SBS presenter, tweeted inappropriate things about ANZAC and as a consequence he got fired. Another example is Justine Sacco, senior director of corporate communications at IAC, who flew to Cape Town in Africa and before boarding the plane she tweeted this macabre joke: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” She must have had the worst turning-the-phone-on-moment ever once she landed. She was the number 1 worldwide trend on Twitter trends and she has lost her job.
So what do we learn out of this? Don’t make macabre jokes, always think twice what you are tweeting – it could cost your job and your reputation.

Reflection A: Contact Book

About the community

For my contact book I chose the city where I live and study in Germany:  Darmstadt. I have worked in the online editor office of the main newspaper in Darmstadt – “Darmstädter Echo” – and I might be able to work as a freelancer once I will be back. That’s why I decided to make my contact book about important sources of a Journalist working in Darmstadt.
Darmstadt is located about 30km south of Frankfurt/Main and has around 150,000 residents. It belongs to the state Hessen, which is in the south-west of Germany. Darmstadt also has the title “Wissenschaftsstadt” (science city) because of all the universities and universities of applied sciences (Technische Hochschule, Hochschule Darmstadt, Evangelische Hochschule Darmstadt). But there are not only 41,000 students in Darmstadt, there are also more than 30 institutes which do some research for example the European Space Operations Centre (Europäisches Raumflugkontrollzentrum) and three Fraunhofer-Instituts. As a fun fact: the chemical element “Darmstadtium” is named after Darmstadt.
The mayor of Darmstadt is Jochen Bartsch who belongs to the green party (Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen). There are lots of schools in Darmstadt of all different types. Besides of the daily newspaper “Darmstädter Echo” there is also another one which is called “Darmstädter Tagblatt”. Compared to Echo the Darmstädter Tagblatt is a weekly newspaper and is for free.

Chosen Sources

For the contact book I used all relevant sources a Journalist working in Darmstadt would need. This includes the local politicians (councilors, CEO, managers, state and federal government representatives, opposition counterparts) as well as hospitals, schools (vocational, grammar etc) and church groups (protestant and catholic). Also in my contact book there are the representative of the local Chamber of Commerce (IHK), lobby groups, community groups (for example Historical club for Hessen in Darmstadt) and other institutions like employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit). I have included the different ministries that are in Hessen (state chancellery, economy, interior, finance, justice, culture, science, social, environment etc) and the fiscal authority of Darmstadt in case there are any news about the budget.
What I didn’t write in my address book are the contact details of every single member of the parliament of Hessen since I found a website online where they are sorted by alphabet and I can look them up very quick and efficient.
I have ESA (European Space Operations Centre), all the universities and Fraunhofer-Instituts in my contact book, because as mentioned Darmstadt is a famous city of science. Also I wrote in my contact book the contact details of the local media centres (Echo Medien, Radio FFH Studio Darmstadt etc.) and the main public transport companies (HEAG mobilo, RMV, Deutsche Bahn). Since the international airport of Frankfurt/Main is close nearby I also wrote down those contact details.
Darmstadt has a state theatre (Staatstheater) which stages operas, musicals, theatres and concerts. So for every local Journalist it is important to have some contacts details of this theatre as well which is why I included it in my book. I also included the most important spots clubs of Darmstadt (for example soccer cub called SV Darmstadt 98 that has games in a stadium in Darmstadt).
So I basically covered all important areas of interest that can come up in terms of Journalism in Darmstadt: politics, science, public transport, sports, entertainment, community, clubs, lobby, media, institutions, religion etc. But I am sure there are some addresses that still need to be added in the future so my address book will continue to grow and expand.

Importance of sources

There are different types of sources: People, letters, books, files, films and tapes can be sources of information. So anything that Journalists use for news are sources. It’s important for Journalists to have true and reliable facts, so the source the Journalists use should be accurate.
According to Josie Vine for Journalists “sources are everything”. In the subject “Understanding Journalism” of RMIT University she also said the students should never use an anonymous source “unless it’s worth going to jail for”.
Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance – Journalists‘ Code of Ethics says a Journalist is supposed to “aim to attribute information to its source”. If a source wants anonymity a Journalist should not agree without thinking about the motives of the source and if there is an alternative attributable source. Also the Journalist’s Code of Ethics recommends to respect confidences when agreed on them.
Eric Jensen, editor from The Saturday paper said at RMIT University sources are “fundamentally important”.  “All Journalists should have background sources,” Mr Jensen said. A professional Journalist should always have at least two sources that are not related to each other.
Stephen Lamble says in his book “News as it happens” when reporting news “it is safest if you interview official sources, qualified and experienced experts, and those in authority.” Official sources can be representatives of an institution for example the spokesperson of a company or a government spokesperson. Stephen Lamble continues in his book saying it’s “extremely unwise to allow yourself to become too close personally to a source, protected or otherwise.” Mr Lamble says a journalist’s relationship with sources and contacts should be “professional and at arm’s length”. Also Journalists should be careful to not lose their objectivity and therefore becoming “an advocate instead of an impartial reporter”.
So sources are a tremendous part of creating news and there are a lot of things to consider when dealing with them which will be discussed in the next chapter.

Ethical expectations of Journalists when dealing with sources

As shown in the SBS documentary “Fine Line” from 2005 it can be hard for a Journalist to stay objective. When filming and interviewing people the Journalist spends a lot of time with sources. This might cause the thought of the source that the Journalist is on “his” side. But the Journalist should always remember that it’s his job to report whatever might be in the public interest. He should never be too close to a source nor become a tool of a source.

Journalists are not friends with sources

Sometimes it might be hard for a Journalist to find the balance of Seduction and betrayal. On the one hand the Journalist is trying to get as many information as possible from the source. This might be possible if the Journalist does some seduction and does a lot of small talk. On the other hand the Journalist is not a friend of a source! He should always keep in mind what his job is.

Journalists are not a political instrument

Especially when working with politicians the Journalist should be aware of the fact that a politician may use the Journalist to get his own message out there. He may use certain phrases knowing that this might cause a headline and pushing his own public appearance.  “Journalists need to make sure they will not get used from a source to run their agenda”, Eric Jensen said to RMIT Journalism students.

Balance of sources

A good Journalist should always make sure that he balances his sources. Not only that he has at least two sources that are not related to each other. For example if a Journalist covers a story about the recent discussion about vaccination of children he would have to talk to representative groups that are pro and contra. This could include doctors, a club of worried parents, a representative of a religion, several politicians, scientists et cetera. So Journalists have to be fair and show the arguments of both (or more) sides of a story.

Different sources hard news and soft news

There are two different kinds of news: hard news and soft news. According to the online platform “britannica” hard news relate to a recent event or incident that can be important on a local, regional, national or international significance. This can include politics, economics, international relations, welfare and scientific developments. Soft news focuses more the lives of individuals and are mostly  not urgent.  Topics of soft news can be human-interest stories and stories about celebrities.
Since hard and soft news focus on different topics there might be different sources for the Journalist depending on which kind of news he is covering. Usually sources for hard news are experts, politicians and important official people, while sources for soft news are people who experience the news rather than make it.

Chequebook Journalism

A real dangerous path a Journalist can choose is if he pays for information, called chequebook Journalism. Although this is very common in USA and GB, it is not ok in Australia. Paying for information can cause trouble, because the source might tell anything – including lies! – just to get the money from the Journalist. Since it is a manipulation of the truth and makes information less free Journalist should not practise chequebook Journalism.

Perks

Another unethical situation Journalists may have to face is being offered gifts from a source. Journalists should think twice if they accept those gifts since it might come close to bribery. It also might cause wrong expectations of the source who gives the gift of how the outcome of the story might be. A Journalist should make clear that he is not on the side of anyone. The only side he is one is the side of truth.

Conclusion

As my essay has shown, sources are one of the most important things when it comes to Journalism. Journalists have a big responsibility to find reliable, true sources. Journalists should make sure that they act ethical correct. This means not being on any side, covering all sides and different point of views in their story and not to pay for any information they get. Journalists need to know when a source wants to use them for their own reasons and should always try to be as objective as they can. This includes whilst getting close to a source to get the information that a Journalist wants, still not come too close so everyone still knows what their role is and what to expect in this crazy little thing called Journalism.

Hard news story: Fight against racism unites generations of first nation people

The First Nations activist Wendy Brabham has called out for political change in Australia to fight against racism in a speech at Melbourne Resistance Centre.

Wendy Brabham is an Aboriginal academic and traditional owner from the Wamba Wamba, Wergaia, Nyeri Nyeri and Dhudhuroa first nations.

Wendy Brabham spoke about new racism against aboriginal people in society.

Wendy Brabham spoke about new racism against aboriginal people in society.

She gave the audience a personal view of how her ancestors experienced the colonisation when she read a letter from her mother who was born on Ebenezer Mission.

“When we were kids, terrible things were said to us, racist things,” Mrs Brabham quoted.

Her ancestors have suffered violence, shootings and rapes during the colonisation.

As well as in the history there is still racism against aboriginal people nowadays. Wendy Brabham has experienced institutional racism in her career.

“Institutional racism comes in many forms,” she said, “it is so interesting when you start talking the educational language with the hierarchy or with the equal lecturer and the language that is used to put you into place, to remind you that after all you are an aboriginal person”.

She was the director of the Institute of Koori Education at Deakin University and has been an aboriginal teacher for 35 years of which she is “very, very proud,” she said.

“I love living in two worlds and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Difference is perfect, difference shouldn’t be feared,” Wendy Brabham said.

Old and young generation standing together in the fight against racism against Aboriginal people: Wendy Brabham and Tarneen Onus-Williams.

Old and young generation standing together in the fight against racism against Aboriginal people: Wendy Brabham and Tarneen Onus-Williams.

Mrs Brabham gets support in the fight against new racism from organisations like the Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) which consists of young Aboriginal people.

“WAR rejects colonialism and capitalism,” Tarneen Onus-Williams said, a Gunditjmara woman and member of WAR.

WAR organised several events in Melbourne this year to protest against racism against indigenous people including the Invasion Day march and the protests against the forced closure of Aboriginal communities.

A big audience listened to Wendy Brabhams speech.

A big audience listened to Wendy Brabhams speech.

“Tony Abbott has become the face of racism. He represents a large percentage of people who oppress aboriginal people,” she said, “The war against First Nations people has never ended”.

Ms Onus-Williams said: “Just because we are not being called racist names on the street, doesn’t mean that racism isn’t alive.”

To integrate the aboriginal people some major changes would have to be made.

“We want equality and to be recognised as first nations people in this country and to be a part of all the decisions that are made, not only the services, but the wealth that is generated so that we don’t have to live off the welfare,” Mrs Brabham said.

Exercise #9: Football team Ankh Morpork United accused of cheating

The football president of Unseen University Academicals Mustrum Ridcully has accused opponent team Ankh Morpork United of cheating at the final match.

I think we can agree that no man can get as big as certain members of Ankh Morpork United without ingesting some sort of function-augmentation chemicals,” Mr Ridcully said yesterday.

Mr Ridcully who spoke at the annual awards night at the pub “The Mended Drum” gave the award for the best and fairest football player of the Unseen University Academicals to Trev Likely.

Trev played with fortitude and skill. Without him we would have no team at all,” Mr Ridcully said.

Exercise #8: Ban of headscarves offends female Muslim Netball player

The State Netball Association (SNA) has banned Muslim girls from wearing headscarves when they play, effectively forcing them out of the competition.

The President of SNA, Sharon Ball, said the ban was about having a dress code.

It is a question of equity – one rule for all,” Ms Ball said.

The mother of one girl affected by the ban, Mona Samander said she believes the ban adds to the feelings of alienation and victimisation in sections of the Muslim community.

List of other people to interview for this topic assuming in happens in Maribyrnong:

  1. Community Representative, Tim Watts, http://www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/Directory/Agency.aspx?Mkey=234&S3Key=208

  2. Someone from the Netball team (if they are underaged, guardian or a parent should be present while the interview takes place), depending on which team is affected, but could interview this team: http://sportsacademy.maribsc.vic.edu.au/netball.html

  3. Opposition to the State Member, Bill Shorten, http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=00ATG

  4. Sports Governing body (Ms Ball)

  5. Local Government (Local Sports and Recreation Representative on Council), one of those: http://www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/Directory/AgencyList.aspx?S3Key=105

  6. Darrin Lee (Local Member of Parliament)

Exercise #7: Mothers protesting against re-registration of day care

Three women have protested against the re-registration of the day care centre their kids attend.

The mothers are concerned about the mental illness of the applicant.

Community Welfare Spokesperson, Ms Anderson, has confirmed the Welfare has received an application from an individual in relation to the day care service presently operated by Joan Smith.

“All I can say at the moment, is that no decision has been made,” Ms Anderson said.

The applicant’s mother who currently runs the day care confirmed the application and the mental illness of her daughter who has been helping out in the day care centre in the past 10 years.

Ms Smith said her daughter having schizophrenia was terrible, but she takes medicine and “hasn’t had any problems in years”.

The protesting mothers acknowledged Debbie Smith’s good work, but were angry no one told them about her mental illness.

“We should have known about her so that we could decide whether or not we’re going to risk it,” one mother said.

The Welfare Community checks the application very carefully, said Ms Anderson, but “we don’t screen those who assist in family day care services, only those who actually apply to run them”.

Psychiatrist Dr Phillips said Schizophrenia can’t be cured, but people can recover and lead reasonably normal lives.

“Between 25 and 40 percent of people who have a psychotic episode recover and never have another one,” Dr Phillips said.

The most common symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations, wearing or seeing things that aren’t there, and confusing thoughts.

“There is a slight increased risk of violence. But, there’s more risk of violence with drug or alcohol abuse than mental illness,” Dr Phillips said.

People of schizophrenia are more likely to harm themselves than anyone else, though they are unlikely to harm themselves if they have proper care, said Dr Phillip.

“I can’t guarantee that a person with schizophrenia will not become violent,” Dr Phillips said, “but you have to remember we can’t predict violent behaviour in anyone whether they have a mental illness or not.”

If you believe to have a mental illness please consider to contact the Adult Specialist Mental Health Service. Visit their Website on http://www.health.vic.gov.au/mentalhealth/services/adult/index.htm to find out who takes care of your area. They can provide confidential emotional support.