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    ‘Not always in the public interest’: Covering the wedding of Brittany Higgins and David Shiraz

    Questions of journalistic ethics and the behaviour of paparazzi have been raised after Brittany Higgins and her partner David Shiraz were married over the weekend.

    Author and journalist Ginger Gorman attended the wedding, and wrote a piece for Women’s Agenda called ‘The paparazzi at Brittany and David’s wedding were predators’.

    “Despite all the warmth and the feeling of deep gratitude for the people who make life worth living – the good eggs – today I feel incandescent rage. And ashamed to call myself a journalist,” she wrote.

    Gorman went on to describe how a pre-ceremony photo with two other women in attendance led to a security guard asking whether the trio was comfortable having their photo taken in view of paparazzi, before pointing to “four people huddled in the shrubbery.”

    Gorman left the paparazzi after a brief confrontation, noting that only one person said they were with Channel Nine, despite the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s code of ethics stating you must identify yourself and your employer. 

    “I won’t lie – I looked at these four people skulking in the bushes – supposedly ‘just doing their job’  – and became even more incensed. Three white middle-aged men, one middle aged woman. I wondered: Had any of THEM experienced sexual assault?” Gorman wrote.

    “I’m also a journalist who has spent more than 20 years reporting on social justice issues. To me, it’s crucial the media works to make society better. Not more predatory.”

    On LinkedIn, MEAA’s federal media section president, Karen Percy, added that “What is OF interest to the public is not always IN the public interest.

    “Journalists and media organisations are granted a variety of legal exceptions and regulatory carve outs that allow them to carry out public interest journalism.

    “These privileges should not be abused.”

    In April, Bruce Lehrmann lost his defamation suit against Channel Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson after the media defendants proved, on the balance of probabilities, that Lehrmann raped Higgins in Parliament House in 2019.

    The judgment was 324 pages long, with more than 45,000 people tuning in to the livestream of the decision at one point.

    Top image: The wedding of Brittany Higgins and David Shiraz

    The post ‘Not always in the public interest’: Covering the wedding of Brittany Higgins and David Shiraz appeared first on Mediaweek.

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