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 […]

As a fact-checker, the facts are the story: @MediaActive reports

By Peter Clarke 19 August 2013 Half-way through the second week of the 2013 federal election campaign, the ABC’s vaunted fact-checking unit finally went live – on-air and online. You would be forgiven for asking ‘why not earlier?’ It’s a fair question. The other two principal Australian based fact-checking outfits, Politifact Australia and the election fact check unit at The Conversation have been displaying their wares and vigorously marking out their territory during the election so far as the ABC’s unit, admittedly a much larger and richer set-up, worked through the minutiae of sorting out their in-house infrastructure and the details of the approach to their mission. This has included very practical […]

Brandis free speech fudge: @MediaActive reviews the @albericie interview

ABC Lateline Interview May 7, 2013 By Peter Clarke May 11, 2013 Media regulation reform was never going to be easy in Australia. As it turned out, the legislation proposed by the Labor government foundered midst roiling misinformation and hyperbolic claims of draconian state intrusion into media freedoms. It was also not helped by the ham-fisted presentation, timing and advocacy by the minister responsible for its passage through the parliament, Senator Stephen Conroy. The irony of a news media reporting with dubious accuracy and fairness on the details of both the Finklestein Independent Media Inquiry and The Convergence Review processes and outcomes was lost on most but not all citizens and informed […]

How Sales dropped the ball on Abbott

Interview with @leighsales about to air on @abc730. Good to chat about our Real Solutions plan for Australia #abc730 pic.twitter.com/nnHOYu2FGF — Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) April 24, 2013 By Peter Clarke, April 25, 2013 Late last year, Leigh Sales interviewed Tony Abbott live on the 730 Report. Sales was sharp and persistent, Abbott poorly prepared and struggling. Sales beat claims of bias and won a coveted Walkley Award for TV interviewing. Naturally viewers were relishing the prospect of a return bout, and Sales and the program promoted the interview on social media. It now seems that if Abbott agrees to be interviewed on an ABC current affairs program it is a ‘get’. Because […]

Stonewalling on steroids: ABC fails transparency test

EDITORS NOTE: When there is more information on an ABC apology and reprimand to Jon Faine from right wing blogger Michael Smith’s website than from the ABC itself  you smell a story. Thanks to Tweep donations AFHP commissioned journalist Peter Clarke to pursue it. Both he and I thought the story would have been told by now, more than two weeks after @CUhlmann demanded on Twitter that the ABC back Faine. It hasn’t. The ABC is playing word games to avoid answering Peter’s questions and has not reported this story at any time on any of its platforms except Media Watch. Why? And why the difference in approach from the […]

Who is wearing the Kafka mask at the ABC?

Publishers’ Note: The citizens journalism project Australians for Honest Politics is proud to announce that thanks to member donations we have commissioned Peter Clarke (@MediaActive), an elder of Australian journalism, to oversee reporting of the Jon Faine story. As a pioneer ABC radio interviewer, he is well placed to take us behind the story and explore its implications. Peter was initially loathe to take the commission as he is a friend of Mr Faine. Journalists often know people they report on, and I know Peter will bend over backwards to be impartial and get the facts right. – Margo & The Geek By Peter Clarke February 5, 2013 A remarkable […]