I am one of the few freelance writers in Australia who focuses on occupational health and safety (OHS). As a result, my presence is often uncomfortable to those who organise conferences and seminars, even though I operate under the Journalist Code of Ethics. People have had to accept that there is now a media interest in OHS-related events where previously there was very little. This has caused a couple of problems and challenges.
Chatham House Rule
Recently, one seminar organiser suggested I not attend an event because the “Chatham House Rule” was to be applied. They said that as I would not be permitted to report on anything said in the seminar, it may not be worth me attending. This is a corruption of the Chatham House Rule which is best described by Chatham House itself as:
“When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”