Media Guidelines

Media Guidelines for Journalists

18 February 2020

Overview

  1. The Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry recognises that the media has an important role to play in informing the community about the Inquiry.
  2. These guidelines provide details of the arrangements for media access and reporting at hearings.
  3. The Commission may vary or depart from these guidelines.


Background

  1. The Commission seeks to work cooperatively with news media organisations to facilitate fair and accurate reporting of the work of the Inquiry.
  2. The Commission may release information it holds subject to legal and privacy considerations, confidentiality obligations and non-publication orders made by the Chairperson.


Hearings

  1. The Commission’s hearings will generally be open to the public and live streamed via its website.
  2. Hearings will be conducted in court buildings, as indicated in the hearing schedule. Established protocols for media working at Queensland courts should be observed.
  3. Representatives of news media organisations attending hearings are to ensure that their work is unobtrusive and without interruption to the proceedings.


Use of electronic devices

  1. During hearings, representatives of news media organisations may use electronic devices for the purposes of reporting on proceedings, subject to the conditions below. This includes laptop computers, tablets and mobile telephones, used for note-taking, text messaging, tweeting, and filing or publishing reports from the hearing room.
  2. Electronic devices may not be used in hearings:
    1. in a manner that interferes with the decorum of proceedings or with the recording system;
    2. to make or receive audio or video calls; or
    3. to take photographs or video footage.


Live streaming

  1. Journalists attending hearings may access a media split audio feed of the live stream.
  2. Hearings will be streamed live through the Commission’s website.
  3. The Commission has power to direct that evidence not be published where that is in the public interest for reasons relating to the subject matter of the Inquiry or the nature of the evidence. In that event, the live stream may be muted or suspended by order of the Chairperson.
  4. The Commission plans to make live stream downloads available to the media through a digital video network.


Filming and photography

  1. Media representatives are not to film or photograph the public gallery in the hearing room.


For journalists covering hearings

  1. An area will be reserved for journalists reporting, in person, at hearings.
  2. If the live stream is suspended in the interests of non-publication of that part of proceedings, the media is to comply with any directions made by the Chairperson.
  3. The Commission will manage confidential information and documents in accordance with any relevant practice guidelines.
  4. Contact with witnesses, legal representatives or members of the public will not be facilitated by the Commission.


Media relations
contact

  1. For media enquiries about the Inquiry, please write to or call the Media Relations contact, Jo Clark, on 0417 133 791 or (07) 3096 6442 for more information. Email: info@paradisedaminquiry.qld.gov.au.