media

media

media August 17, 2019

Press freedom and Hastie words on China

Whoever chose the venue for the first day of the federal parliamentary inquiry into press freedom had a sense of humour. At least, it tickled the funny bones of journalists assigned to the story when they learnt the inquiry was to be held at the New...

environment July 20, 2019

The Robbins Island wind farm debate

The Australian moved in for the kill last week. Back-to-back front pages, on Monday and Tuesday, after I sounded the alarm about the impact on endangered birds if the Robbins Island wind farm in Tasmania’s north-west goes ahead. Backed up by the...

immigration June 15, 2019

All quiet on the Morrison front

Scott Morrison is assiduously doing nothing much of consequence. In fact, this week he appeared to have taken a leaf out of the opposition leader’s book and, like Anthony Albanese, is doing a lot of listening. He has apparently decided this is the...

law & crime June 15, 2019

Free speech, censorship and media raids

One of the first political books I bought was a faded copy of Australia’s Censorship Crisis , edited by Geoffrey Dutton and Max Harris. I picked it up more for its cover than its contents, and this turned out to be serendipitous. Though it was then...

defence June 8, 2019

Morrison goes from royals to rate cuts to raids

As it was for his many predecessors, Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, were ushered into the Buckingham Palace parlour the Queen reserves for meeting her prime ministers. The antique two-bar electric heater was not turned on in the fireplace but...

immigration November 24, 2018

The Victorian election and the politics of fear

Today, Victoria votes. It marks the end of a long, brutal campaign – the “law and order” election, as it has been called. A “referendum on who can fix violent crime in Victoria”, according to shadow police minister Ed O’Donohue. In the past year,...

media September 8, 2018

Speaking for freedom

Online, in forums around the world, at the United Nations and beyond, the Australian government is quick to point out how important free speech is to a functioning democracy. The Liberal Party’s own website proudly proclaims, “We believe in those...

religion August 18, 2018

Fraser Anning and racist politics

Oh, but doesn’t Australia have a lot of them? These watershed moments of lines crossed and politics forever changed, where the bar set for public discourse is not so much lowered but dispensed with altogether. This week it was crossbench senator...

immigration August 11, 2018

Pushing the limits of acceptable debate

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory, many people sought to persuade themselves it wasn’t as dramatic a result as it seemed. If only a few thousand votes in a few forgettable states had gone the other way, they posited,...

immigration July 14, 2018

How racism diminishes humanity

I remember the last time “African gang crime” was front-page news. It was a warm summer’s day in January – just after New Year – and I decided to take my daughter to a park close to our home. There was no one around, just the two of us, and we sat...

media June 16, 2018

Murdoch and Trump, sons of oligarchy

Fans of Rupert Murdoch will be relieved to know he and wife Jerry Hall enjoyed a date night at Scott’s in London’s Mayfair this week. Looking like Stanley Tucci’s benign granddad in a bright blue suit and trainers, friends were relieved to see the...