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'Fundamentalist' Americans miss the point of Boston bomber cover

21 July 2013 | Catherine Marshall

Rolling Stone cover featuring a photograph of the alleged Boston bomber, Dzhokhar TsarnaevGlory is the preserve of the patriotic American. Never was this belief more obvious than when Rolling Stone dared to publish on its cover a photograph of the alleged Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The ensuing public outrage has invoked the stiflingly patriotic adage adopted by George W. Bush shortly after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers: you're either with us or against us.

Writing and rampaging with Christopher Pearson

18 July 2013 | Brian Matthews

Cover of The Melbourne Partisan featuring Robert Menzies as the Statue of LibertyPearson and I scarcely ever agreed about anything, but I look back on the Adelaide Review's ragtag, cavalier youth with gratitude and affection. Likewise my time as a columnist with the brazen, short-lived Melbourne Partisan magazine. They were heady days, fuelled by rampant idealism, up-jumped confidence, booze, and the erratic, fortunate combination of various talents.

The socialist with rosary beads

25 June 2013 | Ray Cassin

Photo of Paul Mees by James DaviesPaul Mees, who died last week at the age of 52, was a public intellectual in the best sense of the term; a scholar and teacher with an international reputation; an activist who never shrank from a fight. He was also a man of deep faith, though many who admired Paul ignored this or regarded it as an eccentricity.

Catholic communicators navigating new media

1 Comment
06 May 2013 | Michael McVeigh

Pope for the Twitter age

1 Comment
19 March 2013 | Beth Doherty

Twitter feed on iPhoneThe power of social media was manifest during the days following the announcement. Images of the Pope washing and kissing the feet of women, cancer and AIDS patients, and the poor, went viral. Francis himself recognised that the often maligned and misunderstood work of the media can play a part in spreading a message of justice.

Free speech is safe from Conroy's feather duster

19 March 2013 | Ray Cassin

Feather duster

Free speech is not at risk, and the media companies know it. Their real fears concern the proposed Public Interest Media Advocate's task to determine whether future mergers and acquisitions are in the public interest. The outcry is motivated by self-interest, not concern for the rights and freedoms of citizens. 

Caucusing cardinals trump greedy media

14 March 2013 | Ray Cassin

Pope Francis accompanied by assorted cardinalsThe media abhor a vacuum, and thus we got to hear about, among other things, the cabal of anonymous gay clerics who are allegedly at the heart of the Vatileaks and banking scandals. UFOs and monsters from space didn't appear in these stories, but if the Church had endured another week of sede vacante they probably would have.

Beware if Mr Assange goes to Canberra

05 March 2013 | Ray Cassin

Julian Assange headshotIt's not the Assange who aspired to strut the global stage as messiah or naughty boy who bothers me; it is the Assange of recently diminished ambition who now aspires only to strut the corridors of Parliament House. For all its faults t he democratic process is all we've got: beware those who promise to save us from it.

Pope sweet on tweets

30 January 2013 | Andrew Hamilton

Pope using an iPadWhen the Pope speaks on social media the casual reader might expect to hear the musings of an old man out of touch and out of sympathy with modern technology. If so, Pope Benedict's recent statement for World Media Day may come as a surprise. He pays little attention to risks, focusing on possibilities.

Stifling media inquiries in Australia and the UK

03 December 2012 | Ray Cassin

Protestor dressed as Rupert Murdoch burning Leveson reportAustralian journalists' tendency to conflate the UK Leveson inquiry's recommendations with those of Australia's Finkelstein inquiry is ill-informed. This blurring in the minds of journalists, publishers and the wider public is a reminder of the anger that spawned the inquiries, and a broad hint about their likely consequences.

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