Category Archives: Media

MARK BEESON. What it is to be popular

At a moment when the world needs informed responses to complex problems that transcend national borders, a retreat to nationalist tub-thumping is the last thing we need. Yes, there are important questions about who ‘we’ are and whom national public … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. How independent is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

ASPI’s oft-repeated claim of independence – immunity from the influence of the corporations who help fund the organisation – does strike one as rather naive for experts who might otherwise be seen as “hard-headed realists” in a tough world. Corporations … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Even in Malcolm Turnbull’s own terms, it is a fizzer.

Well it wasn’t what was hoped for, and certainly not what was required; but it was better than nothing.  

Posted in Economy, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

TOM BURTON. Data rights for all.

A proposed new legal right for consumers and businesses to control and access the data created about them is set to be one of the major reforms of this decade. Not everyone is supportive.  

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Free speech, Newscorp and Mark Latham.

What a craven capitulation to political correctness. What a surrender to the great values of Australian democracy, the most important of which, it needs hardly be said (although it has been incessantly by the free speakers of The Australian) is … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Wilful ignorance and the courage to explain

The role of committed journalists, whether in a functioning democracy like Australia, or a country under a kleptocracy, totalitarian or politburo governance, is to tell the public what is really going on. 

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MICHAEL D. BREEN. Bullying Documentary on ABC Television March 14 & 21

Bullying is an epidemic. Bullying is a complex social matter. Systemic problems need systemic remedies. There is a wealth of international research available. Good will and enthusiasm are insufficient treatment qualifications; even if the presenter is a national good guy. … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Media | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

GILES PARKINSON. How AEMO’s new boss will reform Australia’s energy vision.

Audrey Zibelman, the new chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator, has been in the job for little over a week, but is already making her mark, signalling the biggest shift in energy management philosophy in a generation.  

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Australian does it again, and again, and again.

Media Watch on 27 March 2017 described the unprofessional behaviour of the Australian and journalist Graham Lloyd  over the reporting of the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. The Media Watch story follows.  

Posted in Climate change, Media | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. The NBN – Another Inconvenient Truth

‘The nbn network is Australia’s exciting new landline phone and internet network. It’s designed to give you access to fast, reliable phone and internet services, no matter where you live’. NBN Connect Kit.  

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Let’s amend 18C to say what it means

The debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (18C) has gone on for far too long. I welcome the Turnbull government’s attempt to amend the provision, while being disappointed yet again at the petty politics played on both … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. From Imbroglio to Fiasco: Malcolm Turnbull Loses the Plot on S.18C

The argument about the terms of Sections 18C and 18D of the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) began with the case brought against the journalist, Andrew Bolt, now some six years ago. The temperature of the debate has risen and … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. A tale of two cities: Aleppo and Mosul.

The double standards of the western media are clearly demonstrated in the different treatment accorded the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces and the ongoing battle for the liberation of Mosul by ‘coalition’ (i.e. US) forces in northern … Continue reading

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PETER WHITEFORD. ‘Them’ and ‘us’: the enduring power of welfare myths.

Despite the evidence that deliberate fraud is a tiny fraction of social security spending, it remains a mainstay of much reporting of welfare in the Australian media. The Daily Telegraph is a repeat offender.  

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LAURIE PATTON and ROBIN ECKERMANN. Time for rational, informed debate about the NBN

We believe it’s time for the Government and the Opposition, and their respective sword carriers, to put down their weapons and strive to agree on a bipartisan NBN strategy that will deliver all Australians fast and affordable broadband – using … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The terrorism threat here is because our troops are over there.

Compared to other risks, we have little to fear from terrorism. In the last two decades only three people in Australia have died from terrorism. But there is a ‘vividness’ bias in terrorism because it stands out in our minds. … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Opponents of political correctness have had a ball.

The elitist couch crusaders of the far right have had a busy but productive week – so many pesky lefties to sneer at,, so much political correctness to whinge about. It was almost an embarrassment of carnage, which was just … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Further developments in MH17 case ignored by our media.

In January 2017 Ukraine issued proceedings against Russia in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. The claim has barely been covered in the international media and not at all in the Australian media.  

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Will Malcolm Turnbull seize the opportunity?

One Nation also copped a hiding, largely as a result of the Faustian bargain on preferences struck between Barnett and Pauline Hanson and her sinister adviser, James Ashby.  

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JOHN MENADUE. A little bit of honesty would go a long way in energy policy.

We really do need some honesty from the media on energy policy. The fact is that Coalition policies have failed for at least eight years and are largely responsible for our pending crisis. Media cover-ups for failed Coalition policies will … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

IAN WEBSTER. The need for more balanced media reporting of alcohol and illicit drug problems.

  To those who work in the health system, ‘ICE’ is but one problem among many and pales into the background of the prevailing problems of addiction and misuse of alcohol and drugs.  

Posted in Health, Media | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

PAUL BUDDE. Australia needs a proper NBN.

Regrettably it appears that on both counts – proper infrastructure plans and the need for affordable services – the government and the nbn company, despite spending something like $50 billion, have failed to come up with the right solution for … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Media, NBN, Politics | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

WALTER HAMILTON. Fake news triumphant

Japan’s Shinzo Abe, US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have a great deal in common, particularly their aversion to being exposed to a free press. 

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

TONY SMITH. Media ignorance of disrespect for parliament and people

It is a shame that at a time when government is so hollow, only a handful of journalists can escape the cliché and find a basis for critical analysis of policy, which ought to be the basis for judging a … Continue reading

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Local boy makes good!

Michael Kelly SJ, a regular correspondent for Pearls and Irritations, met with Pope Francis on February 9. In the photo below Pope Francis greets Father Michael Kelly SJ, executive director of on the occasion of receiving the English edition … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Religion and Faith | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives set the rules but they keep breaking them.

Many people around the world are concluding that the system is rigged in favour of powerful insiders who bend the rules. The populists – Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Hanson are adept at tapping into that disempowerment and the sense … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Just whose news is fake?

The term “fake news” has gained a certain currency in recent months, perhaps reaching its apogee with the Washington Post’s notorious list of alleged fake news sites.  

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. The pact of silence.

The death of Dr David Kelly in 2003 has not been explained to the satisfaction of everyone in Britain. Investigations suggest the Government of Tony Blair still has questions to answer.  

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TONY KEVIN. Trump, Putin and the priming of the impeachment trigger.

A game plan is now evident for the possible expulsion of Donald Trump from the US presidency by impeachment, unless he toes the line of Washington’s established bipartisan national security agenda. Putinophobia is central to this dark Shakespearean drama. Trump … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Australia and the US: Truth Time.  

There is an extraordinary amount of deception and lying around current US policy. The Republican establishment will need to work out where it stands on Trump’s agenda. This is precisely the time for truthful discourse in Australia about our relationship … Continue reading

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