Denis Muller

Denis Muller

Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne

Denis Muller was born in New Zealand in 1948 and emigrated to Australia in 1969. He was educated at Rosmini College, Auckland, and at the University of Melbourne.

After three years on suburban newspapers in Auckland, he joined The Sydney Morning Herald as a sub-editor in 1969. In 1978 he joined The Times, London, also as a sub-editor, before returning to take up the position of Chief Sub-editor of the Herald in 1980.

He subsequently held the positions of Night Editor, News Editor and Assistant Editor (Investigations) at that newspaper, until joining The Age, Melbourne, as Associate Editor in 1986.

At both newspapers, his responsibilities including representing the papers as an advocate before the Australian Press Council.

From 1984 until he left newspapers in 1993, he worked closely with Irving Saulwick, one of Australia's leading public opinion pollsters, in the management and writing of the Saulwick Poll which was published in The Age as AgePoll and in the Herald as HeraldSurvey.

In 1990 he was accepted as a mature-age student into the Public Policy program at the University of Melbourne. He completed a Postgraduate Diploma in 1992 and a Master's degree in 1994.

In 1993 he left The Age to take up a position as Group Manager, Communications, at the Board of Studies, Victoria.

In 1995 he established the research consultancy Denis Muller & Associates, and was appointed a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Public Policy at the University of Melbourne.

In 2006 he completed a doctoral thesis on media ethics and accountability, and was appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy, where he has taught in the Public Policy program since 1997.

He has also taught research methodology at RMIT University, and teaches defamation law to practising journalists through the Communication Law Centre.

Tensions rise on coronavirus handling as the media take control of the accountability narrative

Aug 14, 2020 15:51 pm UTC| Insights & Views

Media coverage of disasters follows a broadly similar trajectory, even though the disasters themselves might take very different forms. The COVID-19 crisis in Victoria is no exception. Although it is unfolding over a...

In publishing Tom Cotton, the New York Times has made a terrible error of judgment

Jun 05, 2020 10:50 am UTC| Insights & Views

When a newspaper with the authority of The New York Times chooses to publish a party-political essay calculated to further inflame the violence wracking cities across America, serious questions arise. On June 3 the...

Coronavirus is a huge story, so journalists must apply the highest ethical standards in how they tell it

Mar 12, 2020 15:50 pm UTC| Insights & Views

From an ethical perspective, covering the coronavirus story is really hard to do well. The reason for this lies in an inherent conflict between two ethical obligations: the obligation to truth-telling and the obligation...

Climate Change Series

Media 'impartiality' on climate change is ethically misguided and downright dangerous

Feb 03, 2020 12:31 pm UTC| Insights & Views

In September 2019, the editor of The Conversation, Misha Ketchell, declared The Conversations editorial team in Australia was henceforth taking what he called a zero-tolerance approach to climate change deniers and...

Dutton directive gives journalists more breathing space, but not whistleblowers

Aug 12, 2019 06:08 am UTC| Insights & Views Law

In light of the ministerial direction issued to the Australian Federal Police by the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on August 9, it would be a spectacular contradiction in policy if the Australian Federal Polices...

Media watchdog's report into Christchurch shootings goes soft on showing violent footage

Jul 28, 2019 11:07 am UTC| Insights & Views

Coverage of the Christchurch terrorism by Australias television channels raised serious questions about whether they had breached the television codes of practice, according to the broadcasting regulator, the Australian...

Four laws that need urgent reform to protect both national security and press freedom

Jun 19, 2019 02:06 am UTC| Insights & Views Law

In a perfect world, Australia would introduce constitutional protections for freedom of the press. But since the chances of that are next to zero, it might be more productive to look instead at what might be done to make...

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South Korea's exports up 4% in November

South Korea posted exports worth $45.8 billion in November, increasing by 4 percent on-year while rebounding from a 3.8 percent drop last month. The countrys daily exports in November also rose 6.3 percent on-year,...

S. Korea's carmakers suffer 5% sales dip in November

South Korea five carmakers sold a combined 674,040 vehicles in November, down 5 percent from the 710,466 units a year as the coronavirus outbreak continued to sap global demand. A series of strikes added to the...

Zimbabwe's cannabis earnings forecast of $1.25 billion is 'ambitious': economist

Zimbabwes export earnings projection from cannabis to reach $1.25 billion in 2021, three times more than tobacco, was called ambitious by an independent economist based in Harare, John Robertson. The economist said...

US legislators to vote on bill that may delist Chinese firms

The US House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill threatening to boot Chinese companies, including behemoths like Alibaba and Baidu, out of American stock markets. The bill, entitled Holding Foreign Companies...

Japan, China hope travel restart would boost economies

Japan and China are hopeful that the easing of border controls and compulsory 14-day quarantine requirements to expedite their economic recoveries. The two countries started accepting visa applications for business...


Barack Obama joined by Bill Clinton and George Bush in volunteering for coronavirus vaccination

Barack Obama and the other former presidents of America, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush agreed to receive the coronavirus vaccine to prove to the people that they are safe to use. The trio is aiming to promote...

Donald Trump fury: POTUS reportedly has not ruled out possibility of dismissing Attorney General Barr

Despite Donald Trumps refusal to concede and accept defeat, his days in the White House Oval Office remain numbered. Another one of Trumps allies has spoken out against his claims of voter fraud. During a White House...

Melania Trump mocked: Comedian pokes fun at FLOTUS' final White House Christmas decorations

First lady Melania Trump previously unveiled the White House Christmas decorations for this year. However, the decorations were met with mixed reactions and some celebrities have poked fun at the first ladys final attempt...

Joe Biden backs bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill

Millions of Americans remain infected with COVID-19 and over 250,000 have perished while the country suffers an economic collapse. As lawmakers scramble to put together a bill to relieve many Americans at this time, they...


Mars mission: Study suggests life on Mars may be found under the surface

Many space agencies are on the lookout for what may be found on Mars that has yet to be discovered in upcoming missions to the red planet. A study has suggested that scientists may have to dig deeper into the Martian soil...

Mars mission: Elon Musk, SpaceX seek to transport humans to Mars within six years

Having already landed on the Moon a few times before, space agencies are now looking into the Mars missions to get to the red planet. Among those agencies is the privately-owned SpaceX, and Elon Musk seeks to be able to...

NASA discovery: Massive black hole 13 million light-years away discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope

Black holes are among the most elusive of space entities as these can also be quite hard to spot. NASA has recently reexamined an image of a distant galaxy taken by the Hubble and discovered a massive black hole in the...

Asteroid news: Scientists say 2020 SO may be a piece of rocket from NASA

Astronomers as of late are keeping tabs on the activity exhibited by a supposed asteroid known as 2020 SO. Not long after its flyby with our planet, scientists now have an idea as to what it actually is. Given its name,...


Xiaomi Mi 11 is reportedly launching at the ‘end of December’

Xiaomis product announcement plans for 2020 might not be finished yet. The company could end the year with the launch of the Mi 11 series, a reliable leaker reported. Xiaomi Mi 11 release date: Announcement happens...

MacBook Pro 2021 to sport Mini-LED displays, new form factor, and Apple Silicon

Apple is expected to have big plans for its MacBook Pro line in 2021. Well-known TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuos recent prediction suggests there will be two new premium laptops from the tech giant that will sport new...

‘Cyberpunk 2077’ devs will go after spoiler-filled content uploaded before game launches

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has a message for online content creators about posting videos that would spoil the gameplay and its plot. The studio warns it will send MAX-TAC to anyone who will do it way before...

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 to launch in mid-January 2021, report claims

More evidence recently appeared online suggesting that Microsoft is going to update its 2-in-1 tablet computer line. It appears that the company gearing up to launch Surface Pro 8, and it could be happening much sooner...
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