The core of democracy is not elections, it is freedom of the press

 

The relentless attacks by this government on our press is a far more serious danger to our country than people realise. These attacks include:

Repeated references to the Hate media and right wing shock jocks, attempting to delegitimise reasonably argued criticism in opinion pieces in newspapers.

Julia Gillard’s “News Ltd has questions to answer“, referring to British phone hacking investigation, unrelated to Australia.

Ms Gillard’s personal allegedly demanding phone calls to media management (chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan) relating to coverage of her past affair and legal dealings with an allegedly criminal Union Official.

Claims that Murdoch owns 70% of media when they own only 32% of titles, it is people who chose to buy one of their papers 60% of the times. 

Now the unnecessary and dangerous Media Inquiry chaired by Ray Finkelstein, QC, flirting with regulation, licensing and fit-and-proper-person test for proprietors – decided by whom, on what criteria.

The ex-judge Finkelstein sending a letter to editors, impudently asking them to explain to what extent “you subscribe to the view that the press has social responsibilities.

Why is this frightening? Because this is the road toward authoritarian non-democratic state. You say – c’mon that’s being over-dramatic. But you don’t have to have absence of elections or people being shot in the square to be deprived of democracy. You only need to be mislead into voting for the wrong party, for example by government propaganda or by undue influence by a political party over the media.  Intimidation of opposition parties, legal restriction of opposition parties, prosecution of opponents for trumped up charged during election time – all these are the tools of non-democratic governments. But unless you really have totalitarian regime with tanks in the streets, all of these can thrive only if they are hidden from the bulk of the population by compliant media.

The core of democracy is not elections, it is freedom of the press.

Under the communists in Czechoslovakia, we had multiple parties and elections, but no free press – it was government controlled and was very “socially responsible”. We did not have democracy.

 

Murdoch negative press on Labor is in agreement with Gillard’s own assessment Labor ‘lost it’s way”.

There is no problem with Murdoch press. It is dominant because more people chose to read the 35% of the titles it owns. There have been an unprecedented series of Governmental failures by Labor and thus the Murdoch press media has reported an unprecedented number of negative reports about Labor. Where is the problem.  In fact, the Murdoch media’s predominant criticism of the government over the past 4 years is in agreement with Labor government’s own assessment that it had lost it’s way when Gillard knifed their first term Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. What is wrong with that. The country’s worst government ever gets predominantly bad press. Where is the problem?

2 thoughts on “The core of democracy is not elections, it is freedom of the press

  1. freedom of the press is one thing, but the principle at stake is not just the freedom of speech for the press, it is the freedom of speech for everyone.

    this is not a function of democracy, but one of liberty.

    this is a great site and fully recommended. I am heartened it has nearly half a million clicks at the time of writing this post

    I can only hope it will be ten times that come election time.

    GET THE WORD OUT PEOPLE

    liberty is under threat!

  2. And just to back that claim up –

    1. Roxon, Attorney General, attempting to pass legislation which will criminalise speech if someone feels “offended”.

    This standard is already doing huge distortion to identity, through the inability to say anything controversial in academic settings under the “racial vilification” legislation, where the whole notion of race is thoroughly debauched and conflated with culture and ideology, even religion.

    2. Conroy and his internet filter. The leaked list of filtered sites apparently included wikileaks and a whole bunch of non kiddie-porn stuff

    Not content with trying to control what you see, he tries to control the hardware (NBN) and keep a record of all your internet activity for two years
    !

    It is unlikely to stop there, given what is happening in Europe and the USA. In the USA, ANY electronic communication can be snooped and is ALL being stored in Utah. In Europe, there is now a push to abolish porn, which is the trojan of choice to put in the infrastructure for a full internet filter.

    Sure, internet porn is an issue, but parents should be enabled to control it, NOT BIG BROTHER, whose agenda is far more sinister!

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