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AAP/Mick Tsikas

A most dangerous profession

Our journalists come in for a lot of stick, what with accusations of political bias from politicians, intrusions on privacy from celebrities, or ‘dumbing down’ of the culture in general. But Peter Greste’s…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott caused controversy earlier this week when he said that living in remote Indigenous communities was a ‘lifestyle choice’. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

For the real story on Indigenous Australia, social beats old media

The furore over Tony Abbott’s 'lifestyle choices' comments both sidelines and highlights the lack of real discussion on Indigenous policy in Australia.
Today FM faces enforcement action by ACMA after a long-running legal challenge to the media regulator’s powers ended in defeat for the broadcaster. AAP/Warren Clarke

High Court rejects attempt to make media watchdog toothless

After a High Court win over Today FM, ACMA is likely to be able to deal more swiftly with this kind of case – and with less risk of incurring large legal bills.
Gillian Triggs has been subjected to sustained attacks from government MPs and The Australian newspaper in recent times. AAP/Lukas Coch

Team Australian: government’s media ally has helped stitch up Triggs

The attacks on Gillian Triggs are the latest in a series of campaigns The Australian has waged against those in public life with whom it disagrees or against whom it has a grievance.
AAP/Nikki Short

Don’t blame the media, Malcolm

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this week linked the Liberals' leadership crisis to “bullying” by journalists covering Australian politics. He was not suggesting, I don’t think, that the…
Julian Disney is preparing to depart as chairman of the Australian Press Council after five years in the role. AAP/Lukas Coch

Making media accountable to the public bolsters press freedom

Julian Disney, the outgoing chair of the Australian Press Council, made a singularly powerful argument in his valedictory speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday: that freedom of the press is strengthened…
There are ways for the media to cover stories such as the Sydney siege without committing gross ethical violations. AAP/Joel Carrett

News Corp’s siege coverage built on a ‘take-no-prisoners’ culture

AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) December 15, 2014 In one brutally insensitive tweet, Rupert…
Taking the politics out of it, what should the ABC be doing with its reduced budget? AAP/Joel Carrett

Expert panel: is there a place for the ABC in modern Australia?

In the recent ABC funding debate, many have questioned what the public broadcaster is for. What should its role be in Australia’s contemporary media landscape? Some argue that the ABC is a market-failure…
Leading Australian media organisations launched a ‘Right to Know’ campaign in 2007, citing the erosion of free speech by more than 500 laws and regulations. It’s been downhill since then. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Suppression, security, surveillance and spin: the rise of a secret state?

I am reluctant to give more ammunition to Pacific leaders who regard Australia as some kind of exemplar in media freedom – in this case a bad example. On the other hand, truths have to be told: in Australia…
The BBC, like the ABC, has faced significant pressure to change in response to repeated debates over how it should be funded. EPA/Andy Rain

It’s open season on public broadcasters as ABC joins hunt for cuts

2014 is turning into a grim year for public broadcasting. In June, Hubert Lacroix, the president of Canada’s public broadcaster CBC, announced an unprecedented series of job cuts. One-quarter of the staff…
ABC boss Mark Scott is strengthening the broadcaster’s digital offerings in response to budget cuts – a template established by the BBC. AAP/Alan Porritt

Is this the beginning of the end of the ABC as we know it?

While Australia’s elected representatives argue over what then-opposition leader Tony Abbott meant when he promised “no cuts to the ABC, or SBS” the night before the last election, directly to the electorate…
By cutting back in regional and remote areas, the ABC risks sending a message that some parts of Australia are more important to our national conversations than others. AAP/Joel Carrett

ABC cuts a tale of two Australias: Sydney-Melbourne and also-rans

ABC managing director Mark Scott undertook the unenviable task on Monday of wielding the axe to meet the Abbott government’s cut to the broadcaster’s funding. Government cutbacks to Australia’s publicly…
Malcolm Turnbull and the government have been unapologetic after breaking a pre-election pledge not to cut the ABC’s budget. AAP/Nikki Short

ABC feels pain of broken promise: prepare for cut-price broadcasting

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a further cut to Australia’s public broadcasters. The ABC’s budget will be slashed around 4.6% per year, or A$254 million in total, over the next…
Having used security as a pretext to impose an information blackout on operations involving asylum seekers, the government is broadening its denial of the public’s right to know. AAP/Quinten Jones

Five reasons terror laws wreck media freedom and democracy

The Abbott government’s latest tranches of national security and counter-terrorism laws represent the greatest attack on the Fourth Estate function of journalism in the modern era. They are worse than…
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese worries that a depleted press gallery is affecting the quality of political reporting. AAP/Lukas Coch

Quality of politics and political reporting is a two-way street

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese recently bemoaned the decline in the quality of political reporting in Australia. Albanese is not the first current or ex-politician to question the standard of reporting…
While Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews faces demands for answers from The Age, the newspaper hasn’t addressed the ethics of recording off-the-record conversations. AAP/Julian Smith

Andrews' media accusers have some explaining of their own to do

It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor Party conference. But it is an…
Are political cartoons a blunt instrument? The Australian newspaper played an important role in honing cartooning culture. Martin Cathrae

The Australian helped political cartoonists sharpen their edge

As late as 1976, in what must have been one of the last things he wrote, the poet and controversialist James McAuley asserted, in a foreword to a volume of cartoons by George Molnar entitled Moral Tales…

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