Media, dialogue and social cohesion Reply

shutterstock_33401086I was taking an early morning walk around Balmain this week listening to my iphone, when the news reported that the assassin who murdered a French police commander and his wife, streamed his account of the atrocity on Facebook Live.

Five years ago I might have watched the attack broadcast live on international television. Ten years ago I would have heard it on my pocket radio. My father would have read about it in his newspaper. Now an armed man at the centre of a French siege can make his own international telecast, cutting journalists, editors, producers, government shills, censors and security out of the communications loop.

Welcome to the Brave New World of new media amplified free speech. More…

Foreign Correspondent turns 104 Reply


Clare and Zhou Enlai

If you have ever been to the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club, you might have seen  the Grande Dame of journalism, Clare Hollingworth, holding court in the library. The library has a special place in journalism, not that there are many books there. If you managed to get your self killed on assignment in the Viet Nam war, you got to have you photo on the wall there. Clare was on assignment long before that. She covered the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. She’s now 104! More…

The media war with ISIS 1

TurkReviewModerate Muslims were losing the media war with ISIS, according to leading Turkish journalist, Kerim Balci.”Authentic” Muslims were losing to “radical so called Muslims” because of the obvious symbiosis between journalists and terrorists. “Ten thousand Muslims may be doing good things but it’s not reported,” he said. “One Muslim makes something bad and its headlines! ” The voice of extremism is always multiplied through world media!” Even Muslim media were guilty of this !


What future journalists need to know Reply


What’s journalism’s future? Does it have a future at all?

For the last four days, a very mixed bag of veteran journos, aspiring freelancers, impoverished writers, students, film makers, trouble makers and even the odd academic have been meeting at the Storyology conference in Sydney, trying to work out where journalism is heading. Talk was seasoned by the knowledge that even some of the more famous, who came along to chair sessions, had recently found themselves going nowhere; redundant as a digital tsunami rolled through their mainstream media. So much of the conference buzz was really about “How do I make a living?”, in a world where tech nerd start ups  were eclipsing century old newspaper mastheads.

They were told to learn, evolve and take control.


Self censorship in Thailand Reply

GQ-Thailand-James-Jirayu-December-2014-CoverThailand’s media may look modern and espouse free speech but its hedged by self censorship and hemmed by traditional values. Vorani Vanijaka, the Editor of Thailand’s GQ, is keenly aware of the contradictions.

He’s a former political commentator, who has managed to offend many of Thailand’s elite. “You can criticise anyone from the Prime Minister down, which is something you can’t do in most southeast Asian countries” he said. Thailand boasted of a sophisticated and pervasive media, including the million circulation Thai Rath newspaper, national television networks and  hundreds of radio stations.

But there were unstated limits on what Thai journalists reported.


Treading on the toes of the powerful Reply

cobrapostInvestigative journalism takes money, time and skill. If you listened to your accountant, you would never do it.
Aniruddah Bahal is the founder and editor in chief of CobraPost, a non profit Indian Investigative journalism website. He was in Sydney to speak at the Storyology conference organised by the Walkley Foundation.

We try to expose stories about political corruption and religious misconduct. We want to bring accountability in our system and deepen democracy. In India, we have a lot of wasteful spending. If we can do stories pulling up organisations or people for having misspent resources, we can go a long way benefiting the Indian economy.


Keeping investigative journalism alive Reply

183159_184381971605246_4101404_nJournalism is society’s disinfectant, according to Kevin Davis. Davis describes himself as a former entertainment journalist who found his old job neither entertaining nor newsworthy. “If we are to remain a free people, then we [journalists] must keep power at bay,” he said.

“We do the sort of accountability journalism the commercials aren’t interested in,” Davis said. More…

An open letter to the Vice Chancellor of Deakin University, Professor Jane den Hollander Reply

Martin Hirst

Martin Hirst

Dear Professor den Hollander,

Let me introduce myself.

I have been a journalism Professor for fourteen years and a journalist for more than forty. In that time, I have reported and researched east and southeast Asia where freedom of speech is not considered a given, but is regularly contested by journalists seeking to widen it and authorities who may find its use uncomfortable.

Its an issue dear to me and many of my Asian colleagues some of whom have faced intimidation, beatings, imprisonment, and on occasion assassination. More…

Television News Clichés Reply

a9b7453d1ba06933f33162ea1e1218c1Television news cliches give the ABC’s Alan Sunderland a nervous twitch.

Sunderland, ABC News head of policy, is upset about  “those annoying clichés that infect our work”.

You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another.

So I’m taking a stand. Or to be more accurate, I’m making a list.

It’s a list of things I never want to see or hear again. They were bearable the first 7,648 times. Now it’s over. More…