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Age editor Ramadge: It’s public interest journalism

The editor-in-chief of The Age has responded to today’s accusations that his journalists had behaved inappropriately in accessing an ALP database for a story about it.  

In a memo to editorial staff this afternoon, Paul Ramadge wrote:

OUR JOURNALISM

We share a vision at The Age – to report in the public interest.

We do this ethically and, as we said in our editorial this morning, under the rules of a comprehensive code of conduct.

Another important aspect of the way we work is that we debate ideas, we engage each other, we listen, and we are open to the ideas of others. We believe in this process because we want our journalism to be rich and meaningful – beyond narrow agendas.

This morning one media outlet gave prominence to unfounded allegations that Age reporters had hacked into an ALP database.

The reporters who wrote the ALP database story acted entirely appropriately. They were approached by someone with legitimate concerns about the database, and that source provided access. This was a story with significant public interest – a powerful, highly influential organisation collecting private information on voters without their knowledge and giving campaign workers access to it.

This is public-interest journalism.

If any staff member has any questions about the code of conduct, please see me.

Paul Ramadge

Ramadge wrote the note after the paper was accused in hypocrisy in its coverage of the News Corp phone hacking scandal.

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