Category Archives: Arts and Media

Lies and distortions about western policies in Asia. The media and the Tiananmen massacre myth – part 2

We are told that on the night of June 3, 1989, there was a massacre of protesting students in Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Square. The New York Times story reduced Bob Hawke to tears – troops with machine-guns mowing down hundreds … Continue reading

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How the Powerhouse Museum was saved

In an extraordinary about-turn, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that she will retain the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo and build a new museum at Parramatta.

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Neoliberalism: Attacks on the ABC and academia are entirely logical.

Funding attacks on the ABC and the social sciences in academia by Scotty from Marketing: they fit perfectly with Noam Chomsky’s propaganda model.

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Media in the Asian Century

Not the cyber Pearl Harbour

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The ABC-Out of sight, out of care

This continues yesterday’s feature on ABC Australia, our underfunded and neglected TV presentation to the Asia Pacific. Look on, ye neighbours, and despair.

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ABC sending a strange message to the region.

The slashing and burning of ABC workers, their goodies and services seems to have missed the overseas TV service ABC Australia. That’s no reason to whoop. Further cuts will kill.

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Australian Soaps to the Pacific – Good Diplomacy?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched an initiative to send commercial (soaps) Australian television programs to stations in the South Pacific. This will do little to enhance vigorous and discerning projection of Australian news and values in the … Continue reading

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An open letter to the Prime Minister from ABC friends and supporters

Your recent statement “ There have been no cuts to the ABC “ sadly reminds us of Tony Abbott’s similar bold election promise in 2013, yet this was followed by major cutbacks in his first Budget as Prime Minister. Continue reading

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The ABC’s five-year plan is spin for managed decline

Ita Buttrose and her ABC board have produced a glossy five-year plan to cover up the fact the ABC is in accelerating decline through Morrison government de-funding.

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‘Get them laughing to get them drinking’ and ‘Keep them drinking’ while they’re stuck at home.

What’s the first ad you think of when someone says alcohol? Perhaps it is Carlton Draught’s ‘This is a big ad’, or the Canadian Club ‘Over beer?’ series. Chances are, it’s an amusing commercial that comes to mind. 

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Faulty reasoning in BBC purge. Dealing with art and prejudice.

How will the BBC, other media organisations and theatre companies deal with plays that are clearly prejudicial, injurious and intolerant towards a particular group of people in the future? 

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China Matters: Letter to the editor of Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun.

The article by Ms Ellen Whinnett in the 14 June 2020 edition of both The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun contained demonstrable falsehoods and defamatory insinuations about the work of China Matters, and the supporter circle of the organisation.

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JOHN MENADUE. Michael Mullins as Guest Editor

For three weeks from Monday 15 June, Michael Mullins will be Guest Editor of Pearls and Irritations. Michael was formerly Editor of Eureka Street.

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An understated and yet a most influential and famous Australian.

Rupert Murdoch aside, which Australian has had the greatest impact on US political and public thinking in recent decades? He comes from Adelaide, is unfailingly modest, was once in the news all the time, despises most politicians and has both … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Tributes | 7 Comments

SUE BUTLER. COVID-19 language outbreak

A new environment requires us to produce new names so that we can identify its elements and come to terms with it.  Every settler in a strange terrain goes through the process of naming plants, animals and geographical features.  The social landscape … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Media | 6 Comments

ROBIN BOYLE. Beethoven and the ABC Classic 100 Countdown – A not-to-be missed event

On the weekend of the 7 and 8 June, ABC Classic will be conducting its Classic 100 Countdown for 2020. Being the 250th anniversary of his birth, it is devoted to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Posted in Arts and Media | 12 Comments

JOCELYN CHEY.  Marsupial Madness and the Batty Media

Reliable sources of information on Australian ties with China do not include the ultra-nationalistic PRC Global Times when it applauds Australia receiving a “slap to the face,” or the Vision Times, which reports that people have recovered from COVID-19 after … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media | 5 Comments

JUDITH WHITE. Cultural recovery in a globalised world

With international travel at a standstill, arts organisations are grappling with the dilemma of future programming. There is no lack of local work to showcase – but what about international connections?

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JOHN MENADUE. Thanks to Ramesh Thakur

Many thanks to Ramesh Thakur who has been Guest Editor of Pearls and Irritations for last three weeks. I will be rolling up my sleeves again. Thanks also to writers and donors John Menadue

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. BuzzFeed out: So much for diversity in Australia’s media

Two years after Australia’s competition watchdog green lighted the biggest consolidation of media ownership here in more than 40 years, the withdrawal of online start-up BuzzFeed has exposed its misjudgment.

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ANTHONY PUN and KA SING CHUA. Don’t be duped by biased media, reporters and political commentators

We argue for a more independent Australian foreign policy as former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd have advocated.

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JUDITH WHITE. Trainwreck at Carriageworks

The collapse of Sydney arts and entertainment centre Carriageworks has sent tremors through the besieged arts sector; but it also shows up the deep flaws in the NSW Government’s cultural policy, and is fuelling demands to halt its disastrous $1.5 … Continue reading

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The Coronavirus Derby

And the winner is

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PAUL PERVERSI. An Open Letter to the ABC regarding its coverage of China in the recent past.

As a long-term consumer ABC services, I acknowledge its great achievements over the decades, despite the occasional skeleton in the closet, such as the Lateline story that sparked the Northern Territory intervention. I am very concerned, though, that in 2020 … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media, World Affairs | 10 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Ramesh Thakur as Guest Editor

For three weeks from Monday 4 May, Ramesh Thakur will be Guest Editor of Pearls and Irritations

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. Not the Freshest Meat in The Australian.

The Australian has become very liberal with their use of the word ‘EXCLUSIVE’.

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JOHN MENADUE. Vale Greg Dodds.

After a long illness Greg Dodds died last week in Perth. Kim Beazley will speak at his funeral  today(30 April 2020)  

Posted in Tributes | 9 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. My week with Malcolm and a faltering democracy.

Otto von Bismarck (in)famously said: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best”. It is a sentiment I abhor.

Posted in Politics, Reviews | 6 Comments

JOHN TAN. Covid-19, news media: Not enough questions.

Crisis; a virus-threat. These are causes of great concern, but not an excuse for lack of curiosity in the news media.

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DUNCAN GRAHAM Don’t cry for us,, Indonesia

Some foreign correspondents in Jakarta have done a bunk, leaving their Indonesian fixers and colleagues to confront the catastrophes they fear to face.

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