The conference was a crash course in African media and information access. Delegates from most African countries conveyed some optimism in spite of daily dealing with repressive governments. One example is the Ethiopian government that flicks the internet switch on an off at its leisure being the only internet provider in the country. This poses some logistical challenges for courageous regime critical blogger Endalk. He was on my panel in the workshop about media literacy. What he and other colleagues do in Africa humbles me. Things that we take for granted, like free speech, reliable independent internet connections and open and free debate are still being bitterly contested. If you want to get informed about Ethiopia read Endalk’s blog.
Another high light of the conference was to have input into the Pan African Access to Information Charter. This powerful and important document comes 10 years after the Windhoek declaration that started the movement towards greater access to government held information in Africa and increased transparency.
When I did the first assessment of the South African FOI system in 2004 it was the only country with an access to information regime in Africa – now there are nine (some of the laws are however dubious in that they seem to be counterproductive to the aim of FOI laws). It will be fascinating to follow FOI/RTI in Africa. However, as I’ve pointed out before. Passing the law is the easy bit – making it work in practice is much harder.
My take on the prosecution of Witness K
Fear is a tricky thing. It’s often hard to distinguish between what is real and … Continue reading My take on the prosecution of Witness K
ABC caves in after political pressure – latest piece in the conversation
The ABC’s chief economics correspondent, Emma Alberici, did her job the other day. She wrote … Continue reading ABC caves in after political pressure – latest piece in the conversation
Australia – world champ in anti-terror and security laws
My latest piece in The Conversation on the proposed federal bill on foreign interference and … Continue reading Australia – world champ in anti-terror and security laws
‘In the name of security – secrecy, surveillance and journalism’
Our book assessing the impact of anti-terror, secrecy and surveillance laws on in-depth public interest … Continue reading ‘In the name of security – secrecy, surveillance and journalism’
How should research into journalism be assessed in Australia?
In the July edition, 2017, of the Australian Journalism Review one section of the journal … Continue reading How should research into journalism be assessed in Australia?
The Senate inquiry: How governments can support public interest journalism
Drawing on the Journalism Education Research Association Australia’s submission (that I contributed to) I outline … Continue reading The Senate inquiry: How governments can support public interest journalism
‘A government without newspapers’ – why we should care about the cuts at Fairfax
Market based journalism is failing public interest journalism. It’s time for governments to consider how … Continue reading ‘A government without newspapers’ – why we should care about the cuts at Fairfax
Trump supporters playing with nationalistic fire
Has nationalism combined with xenophobia ever brought the world anything good? The answer is no. … Continue reading Trump supporters playing with nationalistic fire
Journalism in the era of post-truth and fake news
Confidence in the media has long been low, but can we really afford a society … Continue reading Journalism in the era of post-truth and fake news
New article – Suspect identified: revisiting naming practices in crime coverage
Australian Journalism Review – Vol 38 Issue 1 (Jul 2016) with Steve Lillebuen and Philip … Continue reading New article – Suspect identified: revisiting naming practices in crime coverage
New article: Information access evolution: assessing Freedom of Information reforms in Australia
Australian Journalism Review – Vol 38 Issue 1 (Jul 2016) The past seven years have … Continue reading New article: Information access evolution: assessing Freedom of Information reforms in Australia
Secrecy, Naru and Manus island
My take on our right to know what is done in our name in the … Continue reading Secrecy, Naru and Manus island