This is the second of two short pieces written for my Communication Law and Ethics unit. They aren’t anything particularly special, with only 750 words to try explain some current issues in media law, whether the current laws are effective, and the prospects for reform. Still thought it worth sharing given the drought of content on this site recently. This one covers protections for journalists reporting on matters of “national security”, a rather vague phrase used to shield the government from public inquiry and embarrassment – or accountability for criminal activity.Continue reading “National Security and Press Freedom”
The Australian had a headline saying that there was havoc in the CBD. Pauline Hanson called protesters ‘serial pests’, and Lord Mayor of Brisbane (Adrian Schrinner) said they were ‘worse than the CFMEU’ and doubled down on his ‘extremist’ comment. Even friends sent me annoyed messages. That’s it everyone, they caught us, civil liberties are just too inconvenient a responsibility to have laying about.
- As if anyone cared what her opinion was, Pauline Hanson has pitched in on the Uluru climbing debate. She doesn’t see the ‘cultural sensitivity’ seeing as people ‘have been climbing’ it for years. Reality check – yes, it has been a culturally sensitive issue all those years too, but finally Indigenous voices are being listened to. Just don’t climb Uluru – it’s that simple.
- Can the media please stop asking Hanson what she thinks?
- For Australians talking about ‘raiding Area 51’, we have a perfectly good US intelligence base near Alice Springs that could do with some dismantling.
As the last couple of weeks have been quite busy with university assessments, admittedly the frequency of my posts here has dropped considerably. Equally as regrettable, or perhaps worse, is the lack of time I’ve set aside to read the books I have literally piled around me. So this week I plan on getting back into the swing of things to catch up on the missed days. The big news this week is the AFP raids, but how much does ‘national security’ really play into this?
The AFP raids on journalism this week have brought widespread criticism from much of the media (including News Corp), the Unions, GetUp!, and even the international press, like the New York Times. I found the NYT comment about Australia being the most ‘secretive democracy’ rather funny – it inadvertently implies that the US is not a democracy. But this is not the first time the AFP has been used as a political tool, and that should concern everyone.
For a number of decades now, the Democrats in the US have been referred to, along with the Republicans, as ‘neoliberal’, ever plodding along to the ‘right’ to slowly normalise the inequalities that plague Americans each day, and which was one factor that led to Trump’s successful election. The term “inauthentic opposition” has been used to describe this slow but obedient drift, which most certainly leaves many people disillusioned about how their system works, when the flawed two-party system functions as one corporate body. Here in Australia, the Labor Party is definitely earning themselves this abysmal title.
The AFP have been used as political tools before, notably when raiding Union offices with a media entourage and shady Minister that tried to hide from her blatant abuse of power. Now, this week, the AFP have raided the home of a News Corps journalist and the ABC for chilling reasons. Both of them are related to ‘national security’. Shout out to Assange, who our government has abandoned completely.