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When ‘off the record’ becomes ‘I am secretly recording’

August 2, 2014

I agree: “We continually hear that the future of the legacy media is in the trust capital they have earned with audiences over centuries of fair and accurate reporting.”

journlaw

By MARK PEARSON

We heard this week that Victorian Labor Party staff destroyed an Age reporter’s dictaphone earlier this year after listening to its contents and hearing secretly recorded conversations.

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 7.58.49 PMAs I blogged in NoFibs, The Conversation and Mumbrella this week, it is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources.

That newspaper’s editorial thundered at state opposition leader Daniel Andrews:

Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.

The journalist involved – Sunday Age state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went even further in her account:

It is…

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