From #Watergate to #Ashbygate: A review of “Ashbygate” the book, by Joan Evatt @Boeufblogginon

A few weeks ago Ross Jones and Dave Donovan, of Independent Australia, sent me messages asking me to review Ross’s book on the Ashbygate saga. Despite being as crook as Rookwood I was more than happy to agree, and in due course a copy appeared in my letterbox. I was in the middle of reading it very, very late one night when I happened to notice “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN” being run on one of the Fox channels and started to watch it.  You know how you are in that semi-somnolent state when something is triggered, a penny drops, and suddenly you are alert and alive. What got me going? […]

No Fibs’ and Tony Fitzgerald’s #qldvotes Editorials: Our chance to demand honest Government

No Fibs’ #qldvotes election editorial by No Fibs editor Margo Kingston The big picture theme of the Queensland election campaign has been the extraordinary alliance of people and parties across the political spectrum to oust the LNP. Alan Jones led the right wing attack, personally backing all the minor party and independent MPs. He champions the preservation of prime farming land from Big Coal and Coal Seam Gas, and alleges cronyism and corruption by the LNP in the mining industry’s favour. In the centre, Dr Chris Davis and Tony Fitzgerald have condemned the collapse of donations transparency and the dismantling of Fitzgerald’s anti-corruption reforms. Environmental groups have thrown everything into […]

Ethics, morality and the war on ISIS: @richardsheggie comments

War against ISIS Young (and not so young) people are tired of the almost perpetual state of war that has that emerged since World War II. With US and Australian military intervention now commencing in Iraq and Syria, we are at war yet again in the Middle East. The target is the rapidly growing “caliphate” being created by ISIS (ISIL) across northern Syria and Iraq, with its notional capital in the northern Syrian city of Ar-Raqqah (Raqqa). Various rebel forces conducted a successful assault to take control of Raqqa from Syrian government forces in March 2013. Between March and August 2013, numerous (but ultimately unsuccessful) airstrikes were conducted by the […]

Labor’s Mark Dreyfus QC takes stand on #freespeech: Abbott and Brandis honour Voltaire only in the breach

[clear] The Coalition will never waver in its defence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. — Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) March 13, 2013 Oh the terrible irony for George Brandis QC in fronting the latest Abbott Government attacks on free speech through its terror legislation. Brandis was one of several moderates in the Howard Government who stood firm behind liberal principles to oppose its draconian anti-terror legislation in 2002. As editor of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Webdiary I documented the true Liberal dissenters fightback in great detail; indeed it was their dissent which enabled the Labor Party to risk adding its voice to the debate. And in my […]

Time for @mediaalliance to take charge of secret tapes ethics debate: @margokingston1 #MediaMargo #MediaWatch

I sent this email to the Media Alliance today. Dear Media Alliance, Last night’s Media Watch discussed the ethical dispute among journalists over the ethics of recording interviewees without their permission. The dispute shows serious disagreement on the matter. The Age believes it is always ethical. Some others, including me, believe it it permissible only in exceptional circumstances: In general it is unethical for a journo to record a private convo, phone or in person, w/o express or implied consent. #springst @bencubby — Margo Kingston (@margokingston1) July 29, 2014 After some debate among journalists on Twitter, I commissioned media law and ethics professor Mark Pearson, who writes the No Fibs media […]

Selling out ethical journalism: @journlaw on @theage secret recordings #springst

[clear] It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources. That newspaper’s editorial thundered at the state opposition leader: “Here is a lesson in the law, Mr Andrews: it is not illegal in this state to record people without their consent if you are a party to the call.” The journalist involved – The Sunday Age’s state political editor Farrah Tomazin – went […]

It’s not quite over yet: @margokingston #leardblockade Twitter report June 3

[View the story “It’s not quite over yet: @margokingston #leardblockade Twitter report” on Storify]

Winter has come for Leard State Forest and her wildlife: my #leardblockade Twitter report

[View the story “Winter has come for Leard State Forest and her wildlife: @margokingston1 Twitter report” on Storify]

The futility and the joy of the #leardblockade last stand: @margokingston1 Twitter report

[View the story ” The futility and the joy of the #leardblockade last stand: @margokingston1 Twitter report” on Storify]

No right to report civil disobedience? Why @margokingson1 pleads guilty at #leardblockade

When I was charged with trespass at the #leardblockade on March 31 (see Getting #leardblockade arrested, WTF is journalism and who’s the extremist: @margokingston1 interview with @dailytelegraph), I sought legal advice on whether I could plead not guilty because of the implied right to freedom of political communication under the Constitution. There is no legal basis for press freedom in Australia and the right to free political communication implied by the High Court is very narrow. But I thought it was worthwhile exploring the freedom’s limits because civil disobedience – the ultimate citizen’s public act of political expression – is on the rise, partly due to due to Government inaction on global warming and subservience […]