Banerji and the Threat to Free Speech

14/08/2019

The High Court has ruled that Michaela Banerji’s sacking from the (then) Department of Immigration and Border Protection – Home Affairs sounds much nicer for the PR – was legitimate. This ruling has (to borrow the frequently used phrase from everywhere) rather chilling effects for democracy and free speech, and also has implications for other areas as well.

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Unconscious Bias: Why Perspective Matters

04/08/2019

Everyone has some form of unconscious bias, and most of the time it’s not necessarily the fault of the person who was unaware. But many of them are, at times, damaging stereotypes, or can be hurtful or exclusionary (inadvertently or blatantly) towards whichever demographic or group it’s targeted at. Understanding perspectives other than your own – particularly those that are the opposite of your own – is incredibly important.

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Consumerism Vs Participation in Politics: The Silent Majority Exists

20/07/2019

For an upcoming university unit, I have two books as prescribed core reading: An Introduction to Political Communication by Brian McNair, and Reporting Elections: Rethinking the Logic of Campaign Coverage by Stephen Cushion and Richard Thomas. While I have, I’d say, a reasonable knowledge and understanding (as well as some strong opinions) on those topics – I have, obviously, written (much less professionally) on them myself – it’s always enlightening to read more about the things you think you know. Even if many of the conclusions match previous ones, the difference each time is perspective.

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Democracy for Sale: Donations

14/07/2019

It is the unfortunate truth that nowhere in the world has democracy been properly and fully implemented, and that under the current system it is unlikely that it ever will. Even in the apparent birthplace of democracy – Ancient Greece – participation was limited to very strict demographics. Today in Australia, while things have improved on the participation front – although some demographics, such as prisoners, are unable to vote, and the debate about dropping the voting age to 16 continues – true democracy eludes us. As it turns out, you can just buy it.

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Australia Could Learn from Costa Rica

08/07/2019

When I think of Latin America, the first thing that comes to mind is the political turmoil infecting most of the continent. That’s a large step away from many of the people I know who would say they’ve never heard of Nicaragua, or my brothers who know Peru because they’re big fans of llamas. But it’s the small country between Nicaragua and Panama, surprisingly devoid of most of their neighbours’ strife, that all of us could learn a few things from – Costa Rica.

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The Right to Protest: Adani

07/07/2019

Along with the recent string of protests against the Adani coalmine in Brisbane, there has been a call from a number of people – generally supporters of the mine – saying that protesters should be locked up, fined, or punished in some way. That sort of rhetoric should alarm you for a few reasons, not least because Queensland has been there before.

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Education Should Be Free

02/07/2019

Of all the industries that can be privatised for profit, war is the most despicable. That being said, while all privatisation is something that should be fought against – from public ownership of vital services to the democratisation of the workplace – I believe education is the most important field that must be kept free and in the public domain.

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Institutionalised Racism in Australia

11/06/2019

The new series on Netflix, When They See Us, has taken America and the media by storm. I have not watched it myself, but have read into it and watched an interview the director of the series did with Democracy Now!. There really is very little to say other than take the time to look into and understand it, because the clips I have seen, and details of the story, are damning proof, if anyone was still in doubt, about the rampant institutionalised (or in some cases blatant) racism that exists in Western societies. Australia is not exempt.

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Accusations of Fake News: The Hostile Media Phenomenon in the Modern Media Landscape

I apologise for not having posted here for a few days – I’d make an excuse but it has been a mix of university work and just being slack. This piece is, however, one of my university assignments, which I am posting here as one of the requirements is to post it online with multimedia elements. This piece is different to the others as it is a half-half analytical/reflective assessment, and seeing as the topic fits the website’s theme it is both convenient and fitting to post it here. Feel free to read it, and seeing as I now know how to add images and videos (it’s simple enough but never saw the need to do so) I may begin to incorporate them more often in future posts.

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Can We Blame Queensland?

20/05/2019

As a Queenslander, my first response to that question would probably be a defensive retort – as a Greens voter it most certainly was not my fault these corporate con artists won again. But I am almost an anomaly here, the bluest state of our country, in one of the safest LNP seats in SEQ. While I can understand the vitriol being thrown at QLD, and don’t doubt there are some who can directly be blamed, this goes beyond what the individual voter can be accountable for.

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