The news story that I have written is based primarily in state government. The story is based on grants given to transportation within the Victorian state budget this year. Although the story is based in the Victorian state Government the local Governments are greatly affected by these changes and my interviews were primarily based in the Cardinia Shire Council. The Victorian budget is also effected by the federal Government in regards to some of the projects that they are funding. The Melbourne metro rail station project was funded along with rural train upgrades in the Victorian budget without the approval of the federal Government. The Turnbull Government has refused to fund this project as it believes the money should be spent on other projects. The Victorian Government is still able to go along with this project but not with as much funding as it would like, due to this opposition by the Federal Government. The State and Federal Government have different budgets that can overlap, although they still work as seperate Governments they still have influence over each other.
Politics in a country must be reported on in the definition. This is because in a democracy such as Australia we believe that all citizens must be involved in politics and know what is happening in government. By default this means that political reporting becomes in the public interest. Democracy in practice, like many political theories, is not executed as perfectly as it is described which also calls for the public to be informed when something is not as it seems.
Political reporting is important because of the influence that it has on the average viewer, reader or listener of the news. As journalists we must take care in the way that we report political news because of the effect that it will have on the audience. In the example of my news story the news had to be careful not to ignore any negative impacts of the budget’s investment into the Victorian Government or people because of the way that this could effect the audience’s opinion of the government in the future.
Politicians are very public figures, and this makes it even more important to consider things that would be considered defamatory. Due to this fact journalists must be very careful when reporting on things that may happen in their personal lives, and make sure that things published will not do anything to ruin their reputation in the eyes of the public. This is overruled by the public interest into the news story, but when dealing with a politician this means that journalists must be especially careful. When reporting on politicians, whose lives are very open to the public, that nothing defamatory is implied in a news story.
Journalists must be careful when reporting politics because of the bias we may have toward certain political views or parties. As Australian citizens we are required to vote, we live in an area which has a state and local government and representatives of this which means that we automatically are associated with politics. Journalists must therefore take extra care not to show bias when reporting political news and events. I currently live in the city in Melbourne so public transport is a big part of my life. I had to make sure not to influence my news story with my personal opinion that a train upgrade in Melbourne’s Metro is very necessary. I had to make sure that all of my opinions were attached to interviews that I had and that I chose to interview people of different opinions to balance the story well. This is something that would happen quite often with political reporting as we are all associated with a particular political party or view in some way.
Court reporting is a big part of political reporting and has its own set of rules in terms of what can be reported and when. Everything must be reported during the sub-juice period if it has the potential to influence people about the court reporting. Once the trail has started, to avoid a trial by media, there are strict restrictions on what can be reported on. Journalists must then be careful not to include any prior convictions, confessions and photographs or drawings of the accused that could influence the public in one way or another.