A discussion of contemporary issues in media ethics, with olives and a twist. Made with only the freshest ingredients, shaken, stirred and poured over ice. I should also mention that I do like the odd, occasional martini. Bombay Sapphire gin and Lillet, dry and plenty of salty olives. Welcome to this cocktail of journalism and alcohol. A fine combination!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Neglecting the blog

Dear reader, it's been a while; I'm sorry. Seriously, I have been way too busy to bother with a blog entry for quite some time.
Lots has happened, some of it quite central to my concerns about journalism and ethics. There's been some martinis drunk too. Last night for instance the old "one martini too far".
I suffered today, but feeling better now that I'm home.

The busy part of the year is over for me, now I just have to get started on the book manuscript "Journalism in the age of YouTube". Over the next few weeks I will not be so negligent. I will attend to the blog every day and post religiously (as only a level 7 aetheist can).

Meanwhile, it's spring here and the weather's improving. So much so that before too long I'll be jumping into the blue Pacific and shedding my winter fat (he said hopefully).

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

QUT saga, last laugh for John and Garry

Ethical Martini is back after a short break that included a fun and busy trip to the USA and Canada.
While I was away the QUT saga involving my friends Garry Maclennan and John Hookham came to an end. It seems that QUT was forced to back down on every claim against the pair. John sent this message through today, which sums it up.

Dear Friends,
The saga of "Laughing at the Disabled" has now come to close (at least as far as Gary and I are concerned). As you probably all recall, we brought an action against QUT in the Federal Court. The university settled this out of court. Under this settlement we were to be re-instated, our records restored and the misconduct findings declared null and void. We were also paid $100,000 each in damages. After we accepted this offer to settle, QUT signaled its interest in settling all matters with us and we agreed to continue our negotiations. While we were considering the final offer, Garry and I decided to visit QUT to collect some personal belongings.

Unfortunately there were some ugly incidents when we attempted to re-enter the workplace. As a consequence, we decided it would not be in our best interests to return to work at QUT under any circumstances. We accepted the QUT offer which included our resignations but because of the confidentiality provisions, I am unable to discuss the terms of that settlement.

But, I have attached herewith a photograph of Gary and I with our lawyer, Stephen Kerin leaving the Federal Court building after finalising the settlement. This picture captures our joy on the brink of settlement.

I would like to conclude by once again thanking all of you for your support throughout this very difficult and very important dispute. I hope our actions have done much to further the cause of freedom of speech and academic freedom in Australia.


John Hookham