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Clouds of war gather over the Internet

Clouds of war gather over the Internet

The Internet is approaching a crisis. Authoritarian regimes censor and manipulate it to suppress dissent, western governments pursue online whistleblowers and Wikileakers, big business wants to track consumers’ every move. Supposedly liberal governments from the United States to Australia have proved as eager as their conservative predecessors to constrain it. And the media? They have largely been silent, uninterested, distracted or disempowered by the rapid collapse of the “free Internet” dream. Government of any kind has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media, Society

A circus, the Tank Man and a dead pop star

A circus, the Tank Man and a dead pop star

Irony is one of the guilty pleasures of many journalists and never more so than when it reflects badly upon opponents of a free media, especially those who try to limit our ability to expose the kind of doublespeak upon which irony itself feeds. While few governments around the world can escape accusations of hypocrisy – which is irony with boots on – journalists in Western democracies take special delight in exposing it in countries where … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media

Cheers or tears for SBS?

Cheers or tears for SBS?

The champagne corks have been popping at SBS in the wake of Tuesday’s Budget to celebrate what the multicultural broadcaster says is “the most significant funding boost SBS has ever received”. But will there be a hangover once all the bubbles have burst? By any reckoning, SBS receiving $158 million in extra funding has to be great news. Admittedly it is spread over five years and it is tied to some hefty non-discretionary commitments, but in light of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media

Trust me, I’m the Minister

Trust me, I’m the Minister

As SBS makes its final preparations to absorb the National Indigenous TV channel in July, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have to take it on trust they’ll actually get a place on the SBS Board. Expressions of Interest for two Board vacancies close on Friday (11 May) and although the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy have their fingers crossed that good Indigenous candidates will apply, there is no guarantee one will be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media, Society

Endless war between newsroom and classroom

Endless war between newsroom and classroom

There has long been hostility between media academics and conservative journalists, but the Finkelstein review has opened up a new and bitter war of words between the two camps. Why has it come to this and can they both be wrong? The story so far: Acting on growing complaints and spurred on by the News of the World phone hacking scandal in Britain, an Australian inquiry chaired by former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein recommends, among … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Journalism, Media, Society

Others in the schoolyard created this radio bully

Others in the schoolyard created this radio bully

Sydney radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands shows all the signs of being a classic bully, but it is hard to argue he is an entirely self-made one. For although he’s bright enough to be a successful bully – just bright enough to be dangerous, as the saying goes – he has had considerable help along the road to being a thoroughly unlikable tormentor. One does not need to probe his childhood, ask whether he was picked on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media, Society

Suffer little children

Suffer little children

People in most walks of life suffer moments when they wish they were doing something else. Sometimes it is because they’re bored or they want more money, they are not achieving or their job no longer excites them. And sometimes it is because they are utterly ashamed of the behaviour of others in their particular field of work. In journalism, these moments come more often than in most professions. In the annual Ipsos MORI survey of trustworthy professions … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media, Society

Man overboard!

Man overboard!

The much anticipated shake-up of Australia’s multicultural broadcaster SBS may have started, with the departure of one of former managing director Shaun Brown’s closest underlings. Less than a week after Brown officially left the corporation’s Artarmon headquarters, the head of SBS television and online content, Matt Campbell, announced he is quitting to join Shine, the TV production company founded by Elisabeth Murdoch and then purchased from her by father Rupert’s News Corp. After the acquisition was announced, … Read entire article »

Filed under: General, Media