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Peter Roebuck's ordered passion for cricket

14 November 2011 | Andrew Hamilton

Peter RoebuckAs a cricket writer Roebuck appreciated that other things in life matter more than sport. But precisely because sport does not matter ultimately, he was freed to take it very seriously indeed.

Syria's hopeless democracy dream

13 October 2011 | Ruby Hamad

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad My family belongs to the same Alawite religious minority as beleagured Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. There are great and legitimate fears that Assad's downfall will result, not in democracy, but in civil war and large-scale massacres of minorities, including the Alawites.

Bolt case a win for free speech

13 October 2011 | Dilan Thampapillai

Mouth taped shutParadoxically, the Andrew Bolt case has advanced each of the three rationales that typically support free speech. A democracy cannot flourish when some members of the community are free to say what they want while others are forced to speak from the margins of society.

'Perverted' Sharia slaps artistic freedom

13 October 2011 | Ellena Savage

Marzieh VafamehrMarzieh Vafamehr, the Iranian actor awaiting corporal punishment in Iran for acting in a subversive Australian film, is the victim of a legal system that has abandoned any pretence to public interest. I'm drawn to this case as I, too, am a young woman forging my own way in the arts.

'Fundamentalist' Albrechtsen's Malaysia misfire

12 October 2011 | Max Atkinson

Janet AlbrechtsenIn supporting her opposition to gay marriage, the best Janet Albrechtsen could say was that the opinion was her own, and was 'fundamental'. These remarks shed light on Albrechtsen's bizarre attack on the judges of the High Court over their decision on the Malaysia solution.

Uprooting fake online activism

02 October 2011 | Fatima Measham

AstroturfMuch marketing deceives. The problem with the fake grassroots activism known as astroturfing is that it artificially inflates numbers to provide a semblance of legitimacy. This is why it has become the strategy of choice for propagating fringe views such as climate denialism.

Bolt beyond the pale

29 September 2011 | Binoy Kampmark

Dog muzzleThe Federal Court found that fair-skinned Aboriginal people were likely to have been 'offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated' by Bolt's articles. Bolt lamented the passing of free speech in Australia. But free speech cuts both ways, and no freedom is absolute.

Media Inquiry won't go far enough

1 Comment
20 September 2011 | Tim Dwyer

NewspapersIn arriving at its negotiated position with the Greens, the Government has shied away from any explicit examination of media concentration, arguably the main reason behind the widespread calls to examine the structure of the Australian media in the first place.

Sex discrimination by the book

15 September 2011 | Ellena Savage

Power IndexWomen are prevalent among book buyers, editors and writers, yet largely absent from major literary pages and prizes. The Stella Prize, Australia's proposed new women's-only literary prize, is best viewed not as 'affirmative action' but as social mobility with a feminist face.

Steve Jobs' gift to the Church

01 September 2011 | Michael Kelly

AppleCo-founder and former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, played a pivotal role in the shaping of the publishing and media landscapes in recent decades. The developments initiated by Jobs and Apple are of profound significance for the Church — for better and for worse.

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