BA, Dip Ed (Syd) 

MLitt (UNE) 

LLM (Bond) 

PhD (QUT) 

Professor Mark Pearson PhD is a journalist, author, educator and researcher. He is
Professor of Journalism and Social Media at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. 

He is a former section editor of Australia’s national daily newspaper The Australian and
has since produced freelance journalism for a range of publications, including The
Australian, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Otago Daily
Times, and the Gold Coast Bulletin. 

He is Australian correspondent for Reporters Sans Frontières, for whom he contributes
material for the World Press Freedom Index, annual reports and releases on media freedom
matters. Professor Pearson’s fields of expertise are journalism practice, press freedom,
media law and online journalism. He is co-author with Mark Polden of The
Journalist's Guide to Media Law (4th ed, Allen and Unwin, 2011) and was sole author
of the first three editions of that work in 1998, 2004 and 2007. He has conducted media
law training for Fairfax Media, APN News and Media, Australian Associated Press, and the
Commonwealth Press Union. 

In 2005 Professor Pearson was awarded the Australian Press Council’s inaugural research
grant which he used to investigate the rise of privacy at the expense of press freedom
and to explore solutions for the news media. 

From 2001-2002 he was Editor of the Australian Journalism Review, the primary journal for
journalism education in Australasia. 

He is co-author with Jane Johnston of Breaking Into Journalism - Your guide to a career
in journalism in Australia and New Zealand (Allen and Unwin, 1998) and co-author with
Jeff Brand of the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s Sources of News and Current Affairs
Project (ABA, 2001). 

He is a collaborative academic researcher working on a range of projects, including the
impact of the law upon journalists, restrictions on reporting mental health matters, the
interaction of journalists with vulnerable sources, censorship and the media, government
spin, and the impact of new technologies on journalism. He tweets from @journlaw and
blogs from 


A poor fit for journalism research, Australian Journalism Review (2011)


Excellence is a worthy goal. It is testimony to human progress that every generation has...


From shorthand to cyberspace: Journalists' interview records as evidence (with Jasmine Griffiths), Media and Arts Law Review (2011)

Journalists have traditionally used established and time-proven methods of recording and storing their interviews, whether...



Mental illness, journalism investigation and the law in Australia and New Zealand, Pacififc Journalism Review (2011)

Mental illness, its terminologies, definitions, voluntary and compulsory treatment regimes, and its interface with the...


Suppression orders: Reskilling journalists and the judiciary (with Caroline Graham), Australian journalism review (2010)

Journalists, media organisations and industry bodies have long complained about the number of suppression orders...



Quantifying government media relations in Queensland (with Hamish Mclean), Public communication review (2010)

This article draws upon historical and contemporary data to attempt to identify key issues in...



Blogging and tweeting without getting sued: A global guide to the law for anyone writing online, Blogging and tweeting without getting sued: A global guide to the law for anyone writing online (2012)

What you post on a blog or tweet to your followers can get you arrested...


The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law. Dealing with legal and ethical issues, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (2007)

Mark Pearson's widely used introduction to media law takes a journalist's perspective. Writing in a...



Sources of News and Current Affairs (with Jeffrey E. Brand, Deborah Archbold, and Halim Rane), Humanities & Social Sciences papers (2001)

Stage One of the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s (ABA’s) Sources of News and Current Affairs project,...


Book Chapters

Researching journalists and vulnerable sources: Issues in the design and implementation of a national study (with Stephen Tanner, Kerry Green, and Joylon Sykes), Advances in communication and mass media research (2010)

Censorship through spin: How democratic governments attempt to control the media, with a focus on Australia (with Roger Patching), Changing media, changing societies: Media and the millennium development goals (2009)

In the midst of amazing discoveries, inventions and scientific advancements that we have achieved today,...


Postcards from the coalface: Journalism graduates’ transition to the newsroom, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (1994)

Like many offices, news rooms can be cold and heartless places, staffed by disillusioned people...


Unpublished Papers


Defamation and privacy: The view from Down Under, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (2005)


Australia is about as far from Oxford as you can get, so why...


Conference Papers

Multimedia journalism as a research method - A new approach (with Roger Patching), 19th AMIC Annual Conference (2010)


Learning to value media freedom in an age of spin, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (2007)


It is time for those who genuinely believe in the value of press...



Look who's talking: A pilot study of the use of discussion lists by journalism educators and students, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (1996)

This paper analyses postings over a week-long period to two electronic discussion lists to position...



The media and the Internet: Threat or opportunity?, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (1995)


I’m a great fan of newspapers. My whole career has been built upon...


Journalism education and the Internet: Conferring in cyberspace, Humanities & Social Sciences papers (1995)

This article analyses postings over a week-long period to two electronic discussion lists to position...




Australia Day and National Identity (1990)

This dissertation argues that the scope and substance of the celebration of Australia Day this...