Government Policy and Regulation

Freedom for Whom?

Freedom! Is there any word more abused than this in the debate about politics and media standards? From Rupert Murdoch, his editors and commentators and the ubiquitous IPA, the rhetoric of 'freedom' is now ritually used to forestall any examination of media power. This American style hand-on-heart eulogising of freedom reached a crescendo recently with the failure of the Gillard government's media reforms. Having gone as far as sending its own representative to make a submission at the Senate hearing into the legislation, the IPA predictably released a statement  welcoming the ditching of the reforms as a "victory for freedom of speech in Australia". (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Ethical Standards

Oh, THOSE ethics!

With the report of the Leveson inquiry into UK press ethics due within days and decisions from the Australian government on its own twin media inquiries now well overdue, get set for a coordinated rendering of garments and gnashing of teeth against the coming assault on our sacred freedoms. In fact, the hysteria-meter has already been activated by brave defenders of freedom - the lone voices speaking up for ordinary folk against the intrusions of unelected busybodies and out-of-touch elites in judiciary, academia and the so-called 'public' service. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Government Policy and Regulation

The Untouchables

They squibbed it. Given the chance to tackle News Ltd's stifling  dominance of the metropolitan newspaper market in Australia, the federal government has left ownership issues out of the remit of its independent inquiry into the media. That was really the only reason for holding an inquiry in the first place. Instead, the inquiry - to be led by former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein - will focus on print media regulation, including online publications, and the operation of the Press Council - a body generally considered to be next to useless. This is akin is calling an inquiry into the liquor licensing board in Capone-era Chicago. Until you tackle the gangsters running the show, the Keystone cops appointed to police the precinct are going to prove plod-like in their pursuit of wrong-doing. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Government Policy and Regulation

Strings Attached

Business institutions so large and powerful that they distort the democratic process; frightened politicians in the pockets of large monopolistic companies; a corrupted and constricted public debate and an ever increasing separation between the actions of those large institutions and the generally agreed standards of public decency: The grim pathology of the global financial crisis comes to mind when watching the beginning of the end of Rupert Murdoch's malignant global media empire. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago