My professional goal is to find answers to the question of how, in a digital age, we can shape a more ethical media landscape. My expertise and qualifications are inter-disciplinary, spanning ethics, media and law.
In January 2018, I joined the Centre for Media Transition at UTS as a postdoctoral research fellow. In an era of fake news, AI news aggregators and declining trust in news media, journalism is under threat - and so too democracy. At the CMT, my research (and teaching) areas include digital privacy and trust in news media.
In 2017, I finished a PhD applying Kantian ethics to internet privacy. One examiner described it as, "an outstanding contribution to the scholarly literature on internet privacy, one that deftly merges philosophical and legal approaches to a highly complex and rapidly evolving social phenomenon." I am adapting the thesis into a book for New South Publishing. Since 2012, I have been teaching Global Media at NYU Sydney. The course covers the broad sweep of media developments from #metoo to #privacy, from sousveillance to slacktivism.
From 1994 to 2012, I worked at The Sydney Morning Herald and smh.com.au as a reporter, blogger, editor, reviewer and, for most of my career, as a senior features writer. It was far too much fun to qualify as a real job. It also gave me a front row seat for the disruption of traditional media by the internet. Previously, I obtained law and arts degrees (with first class honours in English Literature), from UNSW, where I procrastinated by practising free throws.
With a love of words and storytelling, I aim to blend the best of journalism (accessibility, nimbleness) with the best of academia (rigour, substance).
Papers for conferences and workshops:
- Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2015
- Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference 2015
- NewMac, 2014
- Australian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference 2014
- Media-Based Addictions, Fact or Fiction Workshop 2013
Media and public appearances:
- Convenor of Q&As, panels, seminars and workshops
- Regular appearances on radio and TV, in print and online
- Thousands of articles published in the Sydney Morning Herald
- Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) for PhD candidature (2013-2017)
- Postgraduate Research Fund (PGRF) grant to present at Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2015
- Australia Council creative writing grant 2005
- Australia Council creative writing grant 2004
My expertise and qualifications are inter-disciplinary, ranging over ethics, media and law. My current research interests include:
- The ethics of internet privacy
- How to restore trust in news media
- News standards suitable for a digital age
- Media ethics
Courses and classes I have taught include:
- Privacy Law (Media Law seminar, UTS, 2018)
- News Reporting MDIA (UNSW, 2011-2017)
- Advanced Media Writing (UNSW, 2012-2016)
- The Art of Reviewing (UNSW, 2016-2017)
- Writing Argument and Opinion Pieces (UNSW
- Professional and Business Ethics (Macquarie, 2017)
The report was commissioned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as part of its Digital Platforms Inquiry. The inquiry has been described as a world-leading investigation into the effects of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms on competition in media and advertising services markets.
To assist the ACCC, the CMT was commissioned to research aspects concerning news and journalistic content. This included the function of journalism, effects of technology and how to consider quality and choice.
Molitorisz, S 2019, 'Berkutat masalah privasi: Facebook ingin seperti WhatsApp, tapi detailnya belum jelas', The Conversation.
Pendiri Facebook Mark Zuckerberg menulis 3.000+ kata awal Maret lalu, menguraikan visi baru untuk jejaring sosial tersebut. Hanya ada satu pertanyaan kecil: Facebook, siapakah Anda?
Molitorisz, S 2019, 'Privacy pivot: Facebook wants to be more like WhatsApp. But details are scarce.', The Conversation.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg delivered a 3,000+ word post last week, spelling out a new vision for the social network. It prompts just one small question: Facebook, who are you? Zuckerberg's essay, entitled 'A privacy-focused vision for social networking', signals a radical shift. Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has encouraged openness, connection and sharing. But now, it would be 'privacy-focused', featuring encrypted services and content that 'won't stick around forever'.
The Competition and Consumer Commission is worried about the ability of the platforms we use to determine the news we read.
Wilding, D, Molitorisz, S, Meese, J & Fray, P 2019, 'Submission to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Digital Platforms Inquiry – Preliminary Report', ACCC, https://www.accc.gov.au/focus-areas/inquiries/digital-platforms-inquiry….
Molitorisz, S 2018, 'Accurate. Objective. Transparent. Australians identify what they want in trustworthy media', The Conversation.
In an age of social media and smartphones, people are accessing more news than ever. The problem is, they don't believe much of it. Three-quarters of Australian news consumers say they have experienced 'fake news' and are very concerned by it. In the US, two-thirds of adults get their news from social media, but more than half of people expect this news to be 'largely inaccurate'. This is in stark contrast to public trust in journalism before the rise of the internet.
Molitorisz, S 2018, 'It's time for third-party data brokers to emerge from the shadows', The Conversation.
Facebook announced last week it would discontinue the partner programs that allow advertisers to use third-party data from companies such as Acxiom, Experian and Quantium to target users. The data broker business model involves accumulating information about internet users (and non-users) and then selling it. As such, data brokers have highly detailed profiles on billions of individuals, comprising age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, shopping habits, health issues, holiday plans, and more.