Exemplars

14/03/2017 – This commentary by Jill Stark published by SBS highlights the critical thinking that is required by journalists who cover Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) issues. She highlights the need for a change in drug policy because what we are doing is not working and points to the political gridlock that is precluding progress. Jill has a demonstrated history of trying to understand various AOD issues through good investigative journalism. She has demonstrated balanced reporting, publishing a number of articles on the issues of alcohol in Australian society, not just focusing on the problems associated with other drugs.

14/2/2017 – This opinion piece from Sam Biondo, CEO of VAADA, highlights that the government have been turning a blind eye to evidence-based harm reduction strategies. He is critical of the Victorian Police’s rationale for not releasing the information they had about the toxic drugs involved in the Chapel Street incident and calls for pill testing. Further, he calls on the government to support the Safe Injecting Facility in Richmond, citing international evidence that shows the many benefits gained through the delivery of such services. Overall, a great call to arms for harm reduction in Victoria.  

6/2/2017 – Following from our story on the incident in Chapel Street, 9 News have published a piece highlighting the dangers that people might face in using reagent testing when drugs such as those implicated in the Chapel Street incident contain low levels of MDMA. This only further highlights the need for proper pill testing in Australia.

2/2/2017 – This story news.com.au by Joe Hildebrand touches on harm reduction in smoking. It is a crime to use e-cigarettes in Australia despite compelling evidence from overseas that it can reduce harm. The story provides smokers with a sense of humanity despite them often being portrayed as social pariah, and highlights the the failure of the TGA to consider the evidence for e-cigarettes reducing harm (Submitted by Dr Alex Wodak)     

19/1/2017 – This story in the Age by Sarah Gill highlights how the political gridlock on implementing drug checking services could be avoided if politicians listened to advice from AOD experts. This would lead to evidence-based drug policy instead of politicians playing the game of politics. The story headline says it all “Step aside, politicians, and let somebody who knows what they’re doing take charge”  

4/1/2017 – This Editorial in The Age demonstrates that opinion pieces can be factual and evidence-based by highlighting that while more Victorians die from drug overdoses than road accidents, the Victorian Government’s budget for Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment is less than half that for road safety.  It also calls for decriminalisation and drug checking services to reduce harm and overdose deaths – and are all supported by strong evidence.

6/12/16 – The Frankston Leader demonstrates how to report evidence-based information about Alcohol and Other Drugs (AODs) rather than focusing on local opinions and anecdotes

20/10/16 – The Age journalist Chloe Booker for published this response to the recent stigmatising and inflammatory coverage of welfare payments and methamphetamine use in the Herald Sun that was described on AOD Media Watch by Laurence Alvis, the CEO of Regen.