Political and Financial Reporting
1. Are speeches and comments made in Parliament protected by different common law and statutory actions, which are open to other citizens? Do state and territory parliaments have similar measures?
2. Should speeches delivered in any parliament be subject to different protections to non-parliamentary speech and comments? Do you think the existing situation enhances or inhibits the principles of a) transparency and accountability, b) national governances, and c) democratic freedoms?
3. You have a parliamentary round. You’re walking into parliament one day and you overhear two MPs discussing aspects of an issue involving the Australian military’s involvement in Afghanistan. The two MPs are on the lawn outside the House. You wait around the corner and listen. The discussion covers a topic not yet in the public domain, although there were non-specific references to it in the previous question time. After making hurried notes, you discuss the issue with the bureau chief who tells you to contact both MPs for further comment because it will make a great lead story for the next edition. The chief says: ‘Listen, it’s a great yarn and it’s got legs. Don’t worry about what they reckon you can and can’t do. The yarn’s bigger than that’. What would you do? What factors would you have to consider? Do any other issues arise?
4. The media treats the financial industry exactly the same as any other industry: true or false? Explain your answer by addressing the key issues involved.
5. Do you think financial reporting considerations are an equity issue, a political issue or an issue of freedom of speech and good governance? Explain your answer by referring to one high-profile example.

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