MEDIA


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A fascist by any other name

15 Comments
16 November 2015 | Jeff Sparrow

Green and yellow UPF logoIn journalism, 'he said, she said' often functions as an evasion. Reporters' loyalty should be to accuracy, which isn't about compromise between extremes. When denialists and climate scientists take diametrically opposed stances, the truth doesn't lie somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, one side's right and the other's just wrong. The same can be said of reporting about the rightwing United Patriots Front. While they deny being fascists, that's what they are, and that's what we should call them.


Images the catalyst for action but not change

10 September 2015 | Ellena Savage

Aylan Kurdi photoThere are few activities more unsettling than viewing the bodies of deceased children. But I'm not convinced that visual tokens of suffering, shared within safe, affluent settings, change much. A photo can suggest that a woman is abused by her partner and motivate people to donate money to a charity. But it won't make anybody voluntarily give up the privilege that fostered the pain.


Ashley Madison leak exposes a prurient and uncaring society

15 Comments
25 August 2015 | Jeff Sparrow

Ashley Madison website screengrabThe media has greeted the infidelity website leak with unabashed glee. We could instead ask why so many ordinary people are seemingly so discontented with their marriages, and what might be done to alleviate the wretchedness both of those who cheat and those who don't.


Don't be a Twitter twit

12 Comments
03 May 2015 | Amy Clarke

Woman using Twitter on phoneJust because you can legally say something, doesn't mean you should — or that it is professionally responsible to do so. As SBS presenter Scott McIntyre discovered when he was sacked for his controversial tweets about Anzac Day, the internet can sometimes be a treacherous place to test the boundaries of 'acceptable' free speech. McIntyre learned this lesson the hard way, and he is hardly the first to do so.


Why Selma needs no Oscars

13 Comments
19 February 2015 | Fatima Measham

Oprah Winfrey in SelmaIt is hard to escape the impression that even in 2015 the only black characters that the American film industry can reward are maids, slaves or dysfunctional urban archetypes, in stories where there is an identifiable white saviour. Any triumphs are of the spirit, of personal fortitude, nothing that compels social responsibility, invokes political will or even a sense of historical reckoning.


Death of a disability dynamo

6 Comments
07 December 2014 | Fatima Measham

Stella YoungDeath loses its abstraction when a person like Stella Young dies. It becomes material. It makes itself manifest in the silence, which it somehow solidifies: the unwritten word, the unspoken retort, the unmade joke. 'Disability doesn't make you exceptional,' she told a TED audience in Sydney last April. 'But questioning what you think you know about it does.' Stella flipped what we thought we knew about many things.


Practical magic

3 Comments
27 August 2014 | Megan Graham

Emma Stone and Colin Firth dancingWhile we are all afraid of the unknown, complete certainty and predictability do not make for a vibrant life. Magic in the Moonlight is a film about the lens through which one chooses to see the world. Cynicism or wonder? Mayhem or magic? It poses the question: Which way brings more joy?


Homes that enable the disabled

10 Comments
26 August 2014 | Andrea McQueen

Dreamhouse TV show participantsIn recent years, people with disabilities have been coming out of institutions. They are in our streets, our shops and our schools, but not on TV. We need programs like the ABC's Dreamhouse to prompt conversation about what kinds of lives are possible for people with disabilities, and how we can best use our tax money to make dreams come true.


Multimillionaire's self-indulgent science

2 Comments
20 August 2014 | Megan Graham

James Cameron in Deep Sea ChallengeIn Deepsea Challenge, James Cameron admits that, having desired it since he was a kid, his film Titanic was basically the excuse he needed to explore the depths of the ocean. The documentary feels like Cameron meets 'Make A Wish Foundation' with the audience acting as the benevolent donors.  


Robin Williams tried to outrun the dog

16 Comments
13 August 2014 | Megan Graham

Robin Williams in Patch AdamsAs human beings we do all kinds of things to avoid suffering. Drink, drugs, hobbies, television, retail therapy. The list is endless. It is our job to survive and avoid suffering: to huddle around our loved ones, to live and thrive and not let the shit of life get us down. For Robin Williams, it seems avoiding suffering was a very hard task.


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