Citizen journo @Wendy_Bacon on Joe’s ‘Widen the Gap’ budget

[clear]Last night I headed over to FBi, a successful not for profit radio station in inner Sydney to meet up with the Budget_Aus team to listen to Treasurer Joe Hockey deliver his first budget speech. We were hosted by Heidi Pett and the rest of the FBi Backchat team who were working on their show about the budget for next Saturday morning. We were all there to support the idea of open access to information and data journalism and in particular, Rosie Williams who is the founder of Info_Aus and No Fibs’ data journalist. Info_Aus has created Budget_Aus which has allowed us to search a database for information about the budget […]

Why Australians should care about World Press Freedom Day: @journlaw

Readers of NoFibs reap the rewards of citizen journalists expressing their news and views with a high level of free expression by world standards. So why should Australians care about media freedom on World Press Freedom Day 2014? Quite simply, because it is a ‘fragile freedom’ – continually under threat and only noticed by most people once they have lost it. Just ask any of the refugees who have fled to Australia over the past century from regimes that have robbed them of their human rights. One of their first responses is typically that they love their new home country because it is ‘free’ and they can express themselves freely here. When […]

Civil disobedience and the #leardblockade: @adropex comments

[clear]   It was in January, whilst on a family beach holiday, that I first became aware of the protest happening at the Leard State Forest. I had not heard of the Leard before, however the words ‘Maules Creek’ and ‘Whitehaven’ vaguely floated into my consciousness as I read a Twitter report of the action happening at the Leard Blockade. I became interested and continued to follow the events as they unfolded over the next few days. Days have turned into weeks and weeks into months. At the time I read that first report I had no idea that I had become a small but vital piece in a process […]

Your brief on the Santos #CSG #Pilliga saga, by @Wilderness_Aus

Introduction by Margo Kingston These are the latest media briefing notes of the Wilderness Society on the long-running fight to stop Santos fracking the #Pilliga State Forest on the Liverpool Plains in NSW for #CSG. I thought No Fibs readers might find the briefing useful as the story is now politically explosive and will get even more complicated. No Fibs citizen journalist Iris Ray Nunn is No Fibs’ #Pilliga reporter. Her latest report is ‘Repair and hope for the Pilliga Forest’.  Uranium poisoning Gas fracking giant Santos has been found guilty of poisoning an aquifer in the Pilliga Forest in north-west NSW with radioactive uranium 20 times safe levels as well as toxic heavy metals. This […]

Cory’s book: Part 2 of a blow-by-blow fact check series by @adropex

[clear] [clear] By Lesley Howard @adropex 19 January 2014 In Chapter 2 “The First Pillar: Faith” Bernardi presents a strong and considered study of the historical contribution Christianity has made to Australia’s national development and how this heritage is represented in the laws and moral codes of Australian society today. Bernardi proposes that faith is fundamental to a healthy and hopeful society and provides the “common thread through which our laws, our instinct and our social fabric are entwined.” Faith provides us with a set of values, moral guidelines in which we can trust and a framework for decision-making. Bernardi goes on to discuss how he believes individuals develop faith. Some people […]

Citizens Against Rorting of Entitlements (CARE) Policy Response Survey, by @budget_aus

By Rosie Williams 1 November 2013 Source: InfoAus What do you, I and US Secretary of State John Kerry have in common? We are all protagonists of grassroots activism. You can’t have democracy without the demos and I heard John Kerry tell of the grassroots activism leading to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency this morning during his hookup livestreamed to theOpen Government Partnership Summit. To begin with I wasn’t sure what a ‘Plenary Session’ was or if this was for me, but as the event unfolded I heard from an Estonian who created legislative change through crowdsourced policy consultations, a Romanian who cut down on the nepotism rampant in government hiring […]

The intellectual grunt behind @Indigocathy Indi victory: @sarah_capper report

[clear] By Sarah Capper Sheila’s editor 20 September 2013 When Jeff Kennett lost the “unlosable” Victorian election in 1999, the Victorian Women’s Trust’s Mary Crooks wasn’t overly surprised. In the years leading up the state poll, in her new role as Executive Director of the VWT, Crooks designed and led the ‘Purple Sage Project’ – which involved a community ‘kitchen table’ dialogue process with some 6000 people across the state. During this time, over 600 female and male group leaders (76% were women, all of whom had been taken through briefing sessions, many in country Victoria), met in their own groups of up to ten people. These individual groups met on […]

Costello’s free speech record

Queensland Liberals are taking a leaf out of the Howard-Costello playbook on crunching free speech for charities and non-government organisations. Just after we published my book chapter on Howard’s multi-pronged attack on free speech led by the IPA, readers advised that Campbell Newman was copying Howard’s policy of gagging NGOs who received government funding. Federal Labor removed Howard’s gag clauses when it came to power, and has now introduced legislation to ban them in federal government contracts with NGOs. It will be fascinating to see how the Coalition votes, given its outspoken rejection of strengthened self regulation by the mainstream media, and its support for blatant abuses of power by Murdoch […]

Howard’s blueprint for Abbott to stifle dissent

By Margo Kingston March 12, 2013 This chapter from Still Not Happy, John! (Pengiun, 2007) is required reading for activists and people in non-government organisations which advocate for change. John Howard’s government systematically sought to stifle democratic dissent with the help of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). Believe it or not, the Howard government funded the secretly funded IPA to produce a report saying groups who did not reveal their funding should not get government funding. Pressed to justify this hypocrisy, the IPA promised to disclose its donors but it never did. As the likelihood of a government led by Howard’s political son grows, I feel citizens need to […]