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  1. mark delmege

    Crikey, by crikey, sure put out some horrible culturally biased rubbish (Like that Jonathan Green bloke) but also some good stuff too.

  2. Sally Baxter

    That’s press freedom for you, I guess Mark.

  3. brickbob

    It’s typical of this Govt and now backed up by Labor to create divisions in the community,like leaners and lifters,Muslims,so called dole bludgers,and now it’s journalist and non journalist,so where is it going to stop?

             I believe that until we have a national Government that truly governs for everybody,we will remain in this uneven twilight zone,and maybe the idea of a Government that governs for everybody is just that.''''
  4. Kaye Lee

    Protecting a journalist’s metadata but not that of their sources seems fairly pointless. If you can freely access the metadata of whistleblowers then the so-called protection is moot.

  5. Sally Baxter

    Dead right Kaye Lee – proof if it were needed that our Fourth Estate was not fighting the good fight on our behalf.

  6. edward eastwood

    A great piece and a very succinct summary of the implications of these laws. Sic em’ Sally!

  7. Harquebus

    Mainstream journalists either work for the government or a corporation and have always considered themselves special. I despise them and blame them for everything.
    Politicians continue to lie to and to steal from us and it is mainstream journalists that continue to let them get away with it. They have let us down badly. If they couldn’t see this coming, good grief, what else can’t they see?
    Bye the time they realize other dangers, it will be too late, again.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair

    Labor and Coalition governments have both wanted data retention for a very long time. Main stream media also wants it for copyright enforcement.

  8. Roswell

    What Edward said.

  9. Kerri

    Harquebus you are so right! The MSM have a helluva lot to answer for! They create the mythology of politicians and allow themselves to divest all morals and be continuously screwed by the lying elected entitled and pass that nonsense on to a gullible readership too lazy or too ignorant to research for themselves. Watch NSW scream like a stuck pig when Baird announces how much it will cost to lease back the poles and wires he is so happy to give away. Even for a brief period payng someone to use what you own is such a dumb idea!

  10. Gilly

    Liberal -> -> -> Conservative -> -> -> Neo Con -> -> -> Fascist … ah ha now I have found you.

  11. eli nes

    I am probably using rose tinted glasses but facts used to be presented before opinion then only the facts were reported that formed the opinion. Now the opinion is formed and, if needed, supporting ‘facts’ are manufactured.
    Sadly, the Australian opinion, in many areas, racism, religion and politics is protected by the armour of ‘belief’ which means logic and evidence has no armour piercing mechanisms to pass the deaf and blind.believers.
    The only way forward, is to prove everything abbutt says is a lie and repeat his lies at every interview on every outlet every day.

  12. CMMC

    You mean those ‘journalists’ on ABC 24 this morning that ‘Baird had won a second term’ and opined that ‘Labors scare campaign just didn’t work’ and each and every one of them reminded you that this was Labors second-lowest result.

    Spokes-bots, is a more like it.

  13. Wun Farlung

    And the sheeple continued ruminating and at the the same time thinking ‘that’ll teach them journos’ ‘doesn’t worry me’
    Best we all start thinking about which embassy we can live in

  14. Kyran

    Your article left me with three questions.
    The first relates to metadata and our new Act. As far as I have read, they are still struggling to define metadata. The cost most quoted seems to be $400mil, just to store it. No-one seems to know who is going to do that or pay for it (although I have a guess) or who is going to spend thousands of hours monitoring it. The technology has changed, but the reality hasn’t. I was involved in many conversations with several Police Ministers here in Victoria, all of whom loved CCTV. No matter how many times we pointed out it wasn’t a deterrent, it merely gave you an avenue of enquiry AFTER an incident, they loved it. Several northern European countries are now dismissing metadata legislation as being high cost for minimal (if any) return. My first question is simply “Why bother?”
    The second was (simply) thieving yours. What is a journalist? First thought, a keeper of a journal. Nah, no good, so I went to Wiki and they said “A journalist is a person who collects, writes or distributes news or other current information.” They have distinctions for ‘reporters’ and ‘commentators’. Bearing in mind most ‘TV’ journalists seem to be twenty something’s whose appearance is more important than their story. Where ‘print’ journalists are regularly lambasted for plagiarism from commercial promotions, thinly disguised as ‘news’. Where ‘radio’ journalists are simply commentators. I greatly appreciate the Fifth Estate, which enables enquiring minds to ask the basics of journalism, What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? Do we want it to happen again or do we want to ensure it doesn’t? (Those questions weren’t one of the three!).
    The third is the most troubling. Due process. Innocent until proven guilty. Rule of law. I know they went out the window decades ago when asylum seeker’s had to be incarcerated. Since then, the victims have increasingly been the subject of suspicion, contempt and ridicule. So, what of the rule of law? I will again plagiarise, from you, if I may – get a damn warrant. My version was far less civil. Thank you, take care

  15. Sally Baxter

    Good questions. Thank you for all the comments – you’ve given me lots to think about. S

  16. Fiona

    Top article, Sally – thank you v much!

  17. Annie B

    @ Sally Baxter … …. a really excellent article. … Thank you.

    Seems there are 3 deliverers of news – on all forms of media available to us today ….

    Journalists, reporters, and commentators. Very FEW journalists of real calibre, – – -but many, many reporters and commentators.

    Sally – Your father “Bax” – was the consummate, true journalist. … He wanted a story ( stories ). He would not have stood for ( I would think ) some of the made up crap that is delivered these days via our TV screens and newspapers. …. Oh sure, those reporters are reminded through their little ear pieces, not to go ‘here or there’ ( in case of possible litigation mostly ) ….and reporters preen themselves to look the part, they ACT the part, and deliver a few facts – laced with much emotive comment. …. THAT is NOT journalism. – It’s sensationalism delivered by a reporter.

    Reporters are not true journalists – and never will be – they ‘report’ from some incident, usually horrific – to shock and titillate … and are ruled by ‘those who govern’ in their area of reporting ( TV in particular ). “You can say this, but you can’t say that …. make sure to beat up the emotional angle ” etc. …. Which is why we get ‘reporters’ asking the most inane and insensitive of questions to families who are for instance, grieving ” and how do you feel about this tragedy ” ?. ….And why we get current affairs programmes going to endless lengths to ‘supe’ up a story – again, mostly for ratings. ….

    As for the tabloids – I won’t even touch them.

    Ye Gods !!!

    Commentators – I refer to radio here, are also ruled by what their employers want – but are allowed some leeway – purely for ratings. It is NOT journalism and never will be …

    Yet they all huddle under the one umbrella ” I am a journalist” ??? Woweee !!!


    Bull Sh*t. ,,,, NOT journalists, but obedient little hacks who obey their masters’ commands, and look pretty / handsome on the TV screen ( or perhaps appropriately windblown when reporting on say, a cyclone ).

    Frankly, I couldn’t give a tuppenny damn, how this data retention situation, might affect reporters and commentators or for that matter mainstream media in its present form. …. and their ‘protection of sources’ is a joke.

    TRUE journos’ will not be affected.

    Most ‘reporters’ wouldn’t know how to write a proper and decent article if their life depended on it … that is, WITH FACTS, after hard work, and probing interviews – which have to be written up to give the story and facts absolutely correctly and at the same time, to be desirably interesting, without ALTERING those facts. ….


    I worked many years ago as secretary to a journalist – who had been a Chief Editor of the Argus newspaper in Melbourne, before it folded in 1957. … He then took a position as Editor some few years later, of a widely read magazine – the RACV “Royalauto”. ….. I was his Secretary then.

    Those were some of the greatest days of my working life. …. And he taught me – and all of his staff, more than we could ever thank him for.

  18. Matters Not

    Re the point:

    Asked how he defined a journalist, attorney-general George Brandis was clear the term did not include bloggers although he conceded that ultimately the definition would rest with the courts

    Yes the courts will (ultimately) determine the ‘meaning’ to be given to the word ‘journalist’, but the words used by Brandis when introducing the legislation should not be totally discounted.

    Courts do give due consideration to the ‘intention’ of the legislation as ‘expressed’ by the person introducing the Bill and the words used.

  19. stephentardrew

    Deception with great doses of double speak leading to absolute power for the Attorney General.

    Who would have thought?

    Now why would the major parties be so willing to approve such legislations?

    Who are they representing?

    Certainly not us.

  20. M-R

    I find myself agreeing with CMMC again …
    The fact is that we have SO FEW genuine journo.s. Most are reporters who act on press releases.

  21. Pingback: Good Journalism: Good Luck Citizens, We’re On Our Own | THE PUB

  22. Fiona

    Sally, I hope you don’t mind my sharing.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Fiona, I’m sure Sally will be thrilled.

  24. Sally Baxter

    And I am! Thanks Fiona – much appreciated.

  25. Michael Taylor

    I knew she’d be thrilled. 😉

  26. Pingback: Good luck citizens, we’re on our own | Sally Baxter

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