Tag Archives: ABC

A right to be wrong?

At the height of Australia’s bushfire emergency, Michael Pengilly, the mayor of Kangaroo Island in Australia, attacked climate scientists and former US president Barack Obama, saying climate change was not connected with the island’s horrific fires. When criticised online, Pengilly said he had a right to air his opinions. He was not the first person in the democratic world to claim such a “right”. But does it exist? Read More

Whistleblowers – conscience of a shameless age

With the continuing persecution of Julian Assange, one of our country’s and this century’s most famous whistleblowers, it is timely that all nations – but especially democracies – remind themselves that a whistleblower is not a traitor, just someone who sees something wrong, consults their conscience and exposes the wrongdoing contrary to the wishes of those with power to conceal it from their fellow citizens. Read More

Kicking the can of liberty along the road

Issues of freedom of speech come in all shapes and sizes, from those central to democracy to those that are just cover for personal obsessions. Two current cases in Australia are just the most recent in a seemingly endless cycle of outrage then nothing getting fixed … kicking the can. One involves government oppression of whistle-blowers and the media. The other a millionaire sportsman asked to choose between the pitch and the pulpit. Read More

Fighting fake news with Trust Chains

Fake news has been around longer than news itself, but it took someone as influential and opinionated as US President Donald Trump to breathe new life into it. While critics say Trump’s “fake news” is simply news he dislikes, the issue has more profound ramifications for modern free-press democracies, making us question who and what we can trust. But all is not lost. Fake news can be conquered, especially if each and every one of us works on our Trust Chains. … Read More

Honesty still best policy for global broadcasters

Two events showed honesty is the best policy in the complex world of international broadcasting. The first was an analyses of plans to cut off funding to Australia’s overseas television service, Australia Network. The second was a Russian Government decision not to renew the contract for the US international broadcaster Voice of America to beam programs from transmitters within the former Soviet republic. Read More

Man overboard!

Less than a week after SBS managing director Shaun Brown officially left the corporation’s Artarmon headquarters, one of his closest underlings, the head of SBS television and online content, Matt Campbell, announced he was quitting – the first of Brown’s executives to leave since new broom Michael Ebeid officially took over at SBS. Could this be the start of the much-anticipated shake-up of Australia’s multicultural broadcaster? Read More

Media generals leading from the rear

Arrests of working journalists by Australian authorities remain a continuing threat to media freedom in the country. Even when those arrests are not followed through to prosecution, they still send a chill through working journalists, impeding their efforts on our behalf. And while social media comes ablaze with indignation whenever journalists are arrested, the media companies themselves are often noticeably mute. Read More

White-anting starts early for new SBS boss

White-anting started early for SBS’s new managing director Michael Ebeid – two months before getting his feet under his new desk in Sydney. Some saw his qualities and qualifications – including his Egyptian heritage – with trepidation or outright animosity. Some senior executives feared for their jobs or their easy life. It was not a good omen for a “new start” for Australia’s embattled multicultural broadcaster. Read More

Can this man reignite passion for SBS?

Egyptian-born, Australian-raised Michael Ebeid is such a cleanskin he’s almost translucent. Yet he has been chosen to be the next managing director of Australia’s national multicultural broadcaster, SBS. Many people rise to senior public jobs out of left field, but there’s usually a trail of some sort. With Ebeid there’s not much. So is he the man who will provide the spark to reignite a passion for Australia’s once-loved SBS? Read More

When news hounds should back off

Disasters bring out the best and worst in us, magnifying both good and bad. Almost inevitably journalists will be condemned at some stage in covering disasters, especially when our initial shock wears off. It has been labelled disaster porn and few sectors of the media are spared, whether a camera crew chasing exhausted rescuers or newspaper photographs of dead or dying children. So how far should we go? Read More