Media

Profit, not free speech, governs media companies’ decisions on controversy

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For decades, U.S. media companies have limited the content they’ve offered based on what’s good for business. The decisions by Apple, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube to remove content from commentator Alex Jones and his InfoWars platform follow this same pattern. Amanda Lotz The Conversation My research on media industries makes clear that government rules and regulations do little to limit what television shows, films, music albums, video games and social media content are available to the public. Business concerns about ... Read More »

Australian media are playing a dangerous game using racism as currency

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It has been quite a week for race-laden discourse in the Australian media. There was Blair Cottrell, a notorious pro-Hitler extremist, appearing on Sky News and calling for a race-based immigration policy. Denis Muller The Conversation There was Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun sounding the tocsin about how “there is no ‘us’ anymore”, how Australia was being overwhelmed by a “tidal wave of immigration” and ethnic “colonies”: Jews, Indians, Chinese, Muslims, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Italians. A speech in London last ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt got his facts wrong. But that’s not the only thing wrong with his column

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Bolt’s column illustrates the steady and sinister drift of Australia’s national conversation towards a permissible racism Robert Manne The Guardian Last week four Murdoch tabloids – the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail and the Adelaide Advertiser – published an opinion column by Andrew Bolt. The headline the Telegraph chose, “The Foreign Invasion”, was not inaccurate. According to Bolt, Australia was losing its identity. The principal cause was “a tidal wave of immigrants” who refused to assimilate and treated Australia not ... Read More »

Wielding power, waging war: Media moguls’ relevance fading

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Back in 2011, the outspoken American-born pay TV executive John Porter lamented an obsession in the Australian business press with media moguls. John McDuling The Sydney Morning Herald “[E]veryone in the media industry seems to want to go back to the natural order of things: a Packer, a Murdoch and a Stokes pulling all the strings” Porter, chief executive of satellite pay TV company Austar at the… It has only taken seven years, but Porter’s desire to move on from ... Read More »

Slow down, get real.

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In trying to understand the threat of fake news, a strange thing is occurring. We seem to have accepted without challenge the purity of that which is threatened. This is an edited version of a speech delivered at the annual conference of the Society of Risk Analysis Europe held at Mid Sweden University earlier this month. Nicholas Karides * How well did the media system work before this fakeness appeared? How real has real news been? The historian Noah Yoval ... Read More »

Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

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Race politics is back. Right now, it feels like there has never been a more exciting time to be a dog-whistling politician or race-baiting commentator in Australia. Tim Soutphommasane Brisbane Times Five years ago, when I began my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner, I wouldn’t have said it was likely that we would see the resurgence of far-right politics. I wouldn’t have expected that the biggest threats to racial harmony would come from within our parliaments and media. Race looms ... Read More »

Why the mainstream media should stop giving extreme views a platform

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In recent weeks, a number of quite astounding articles have appeared in the British press. These have included among others, a Times columnopining the benefit to Britain in the current climate of having a political leader like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; referred to as… Chris Allen The Conversation In the Daily Telegraph, a similarly toned piece contemplated the reinstatement of the death penalty after Brexit. Somewhat appealing to the lowest common denominator, these and similar articles prompt questions ... Read More »

Why the media are to blame for racialising Melbourne’s ‘African gang’ problem

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Just before Channel 7 aired a Sunday Night special devoted to Melbourne’s “African gangs” problem earlier this month, the race discrimination commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, went on Twitter to criticise a promotion spot as “fear-mongering and… John Budarick The Conversation The same could be said of a string of stories in the Australian media in recent months on violent incidents committed by “African gangs” or people of “African appearance”. The death of a 19-year-old Sudanese woman at a party in Melbourne ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s media attacks are ‘dangerous and undermining democracy’

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Bridgewater: The publisher of the New York Times said Sunday that had warned US President Donald Trump that his attacks on journalists as the “enemy of the people” could lead to violence. Philip Rucker WAtoday Washington Post Trump tweeted on Sunday that he met at the White House with publisher A.G. Sulzberger, with the President explaining to Sulzberger why he was increasingly characterising journalists as the “enemy of the people.” The tweet prompted Sulzberger to release details of the July 20 meeting, at which ... Read More »

Fairfax Nine takeover: Australia’s oldest media empire ends with $4bn merger

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Combined media company will rival Murdoch’s News Corp Australia in size Amanda Meade The Guardian Australia’s oldest newspaper company Fairfax Media has been swallowed up by the national television network, Nine Entertainment, in a shock mergerthat spells the end of the 177-year-old legacy media name. While journalists at Fairfax’s two largest mastheads, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, furiously accused chief executive Greg Hywood of selling them out, media buyers and analysts welcomed what is the first major media consolidation since federal ... Read More »

How Australian media are changing the way they report violence against women

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Recently in Australia there has been a horrific wave of murders of women and children. But, in the aftermath of the #metoo movement, we have seen a change in the way the media are reporting violence against women. Annie Blatchford The Conversation Witness the reporting of the murder of Eurydice Dixon, followed by the abduction and rape of a woman in Carlton, murder-suicides in Western Australia and Sydney and the murders of two women in Melbourne in one weekend. Over ... Read More »

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg clarifies Holocaust comments after outcry

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Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, recently defended the company’s decision to keep on its platform the site Infowars, a prominent right-wing outlet known for spreading conspiracy theories and… Hamza Shaban Brisbane Times / The Washington Post Zuckerberg said in an interview published by Recode on Wednesday that Facebook has a responsibility to curb the viral spread of hoaxes and blatant misinformation. But he maintained Facebook should not ban publishers for spreading false claims, a position he described as “too extreme.” “The ... Read More »

Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

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The Project‘s Waleed Aly has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writing off his recent comments about Sudanese gangs as a last-ditch votes grab before Super Saturday byelections next… Genevieve Rota The Age In an eight-minute editorial package written with The Project producer Tom Whitty, Aly on Thursday presented a number of statistics that placed question marks on recent claims by several politicians that violent African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in… “This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” ... Read More »

I Came as a Journalist to Ask Important Questions

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If I hadn’t been forcibly ejected from the Trump-Putin press conference, here’s what I would have asked. Sam Husseini The Nation came to Helsinki to ask Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin questions about the threat of nuclear weapons and to distribute an open letter about the need for secure elections and true national security. Instead, I was dragged out of their press conference before it even began and into a Finnish jail. No charges were pressed against me. Here’s what I would ... Read More »

Five human rights we should enjoy – while we still can

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In case warnings of impending fascism have merit, here’s a bucket list of rights to tick off Van Badham The Guardian Fascism is a political philosophy. It exalts the supposed supremacy of a particular national identity or racial group above individual freedoms, social equality and the collective social good. And these ideas seem frightfully trendy right now. I’m not saying that today’s Poland, America, Russia, Turkey or Hungary are fascist countries. I’m saying fascism seeks to establish an authoritarian government headed by ... Read More »

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

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Look at the state of the world’s democratic nations, and it is easy to see why so many are concerned for the future of democracy. Manjeet Ramgotra The Conversation Leaders such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have centralised political power by changing their countries’ constitutions, silencing dissent and controlling the media. Since 2016’s coup attempt in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government has used the subsequent state of emergency to incarcerate thousands without trial. Opposition politicians, judges, journalists ... Read More »