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Abbott's budgie-smuggler blues

18 August 2011 | Moira Byrne Garton

Abbott in SpeedosPoliticians are always pitilessly represented in cartoons. Just ask Kevin 'Tintin' Rudd and Julia 'Nose' (or 'Bottom') Gillard. Portrayals of Tony Abbott in Speedos are not part of a plot to undermine him. The public is able to recognise cartoons as exaggerated political commentary.

The commercialisation of the ABC

04 August 2011 | Paul Collins

ABC1 logoIncreasingly the ABC is 'outsourcing' material to commercial production companies. Interest group Friends of the ABC describes this as 'privatisation by stealth' and is calling for a public inquiry. All who value the ABC and its role as a public broadcaster need to support this call.

Julia Gillard vs Kim Jong-il

28 July 2011 | Alan Austin

Gillard targetNorth Koreans admire their glorious leader and his visionary ministers, despite their poor economic and human rights record. By contrast, most Australians despise the current Labor Government, despite the high esteem with which it is regarded internationally. How can this be? 

Consumers rule in Murdoch's evil empire

21 July 2011 | Catherine Marshall

The public was quick to claim ignorance and condemn the theft of private information by News of the World. But ignorance is no longer an excuse, especially in these post-Princess Diana years where the role of the paparazzi, traitorous friends and dodgy journalists is well-known. 

Getting the media we deserve

20 July 2011 | Justin Glyn

News of the WorldIt is easy to wring our hands and blame the media for bias and shoddy practices. But the truth is we like our fix of gossip and outrage, viewed through our favourite political spectacles, and are not always concerned how we get it. That is why tabloids sell.

My News of the World shame

12 July 2011 | Alan Gill

News of the WorldAs a teenager in Britain I thought Catholic clergy were a pure and undefiled lot, while their Protestant counterparts were hopelessly scandalised. The source of this information? The News of the World. I'm ashamed to admit I was once myself seduced into writing for this unrepentant scandal ship.

Media gag silences asylum seekers

26 June 2011 | Jo Coghlan

Stitched-up asylum seeker lipsOfficially, the ban on journalists interviewing or filming asylum seekers in detention is for the detainees' protection. But it also stops them from sharing their stories with the public. Surely asylum seekers are capable of determining who is and is not acting in their best interests.

The black face of fashion

23 June 2011 | Ellena Savage

Elle, 1987Sao Paulo Fashion Week has come under criticism for its absence of non-European models. But the absence of non-white faces is a near universal standard in high fashion. If fashion wishes to be considered a legitimate art form, it must interpret and transform the world it reflects upon.

Blogs and monsters

09 June 2011 | Fatima Measham

In declaring internet access a human right, the UN's special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression insisted that the internet must be maintained at all times 'including during times of political unrest'. He could have said 'especially'.

Politics of Slutwalk

26 May 2011 | Ellena Savage

Slut PrideSlutwalk is an international feminist movement in response to victim-blaming in cases of sexual violence. Detractors argue that supporters are mistaking their sexual subjugation for liberation. That assumption entirely misses the point.

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