National Security and Press Freedom

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.

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2021 Reading List (Part 3)

This is part 3 of my 2021 reading list, following on from parts 1 and 2, and the final one reaching a total of thirty books for the year. Given that last year I only read twelve, I would call that quite an improvement, and I somehow doubt I’ll read quite as many in the coming year, fingers crossed. Part 1 was fairly good, part 2 was hit and miss, but the last ten books I read this year were all great reads that I’d recommend, for the most part. Enjoy!

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My 2020 Reading List

30/12/2020

As this rather wretched and exhausting year comes to a close, I looked back at my list from 2019 and laughed sadly at my optimistic plans to read more in 2020. Perhaps I did when you count news, analysis, etc. online, but in terms of books it was disastrously minimal. However, the books I did read offered brilliant insights or just fascinating bits of knowledge. So, in no real order:

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Did Gough Whitlam Play Us or the US?

13/12/2020

It has been generally accepted that the Dismissal of Gough Whitlam in November 1975 was a “soft coup”. It was the culmination of various tensions between Whitlam and the United States, namely its intelligence communities (and, by extension, our own). One of the oft cited reasons was Whitlam’s purported opposition to the US’ bases within Australia, perhaps the most infamous of which is Pine Gap in Alice Springs. But did Australia’s arguably best Prime Minister actually oppose them as public perception believes?

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Who Cares About Trump’s Taxes?

12/10/2019

The answer to that question appears to be just the media and a bunch of Americans tutting over financial records that Trump won’t release. Also, something about Russia destroying their shit democracy and a rich white guy’s own financial and political interests are under threat, so that word impeach actually means something now. But who actually cares?

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Silencing Powerful Voices

07/07/2019

When I say “powerful”, I don’t just mean people in positions of actual political power. I mean powerful in the sense that the words of these individuals, or groups of people, have immense weight. Whether it is a single person or a population, many powerful voices are being silenced, and it’s up to the rest of us to ensure they are heard again.

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Disavowing Trumpism Now

05/07/2019

As the days, months, years tick by, more and more people supposedly realise that support for populist movements like Trump in the US is not the greatest image. This can be seen through the seemingly constant stream of GOP members jumping ship and/or standing against whatever recent crisis the President has sparked. But this proffers a few curious questions, not the least of which is, why it has taken so long for people to come to this conclusion?

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Australia’s “Inauthentic Opposition”

06/06/2019

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.

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The Precedent Is Set, Again

05/06/2019

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.

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Quick Quips: Blame America – I Do

03/06/2019

Having been busy with university work the last two weeks, I have regrettably let my daily post spree falter yet again – although dare I say the 2000 words in the previous post counts for three or four standard posts? I think not, but I should have more time in the coming weeks. There’s no real limit to the number of things to talk about these days – mostly due to the US, as always.

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