Articles Debunking Freedom of the Press

In the wake of the Finkelstein media enquiry the debate about Freedom of the Press seems to be growing in strength. Here are links to the best articles on this topic I’ve read recently .

Why The Market Can’t Ensure A Free Press wendybacon
(Wendy Bacon -Journalist for Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at UTS )
Excellent article summarising the Finkelstein report’s main findings and recommendations. This is a must read article!

It explains the core principles used by the Inquiry – which are different to what the media barons would have you believe.

It explains the problems identified by the inquiry; including the fact that Australia has the most media concentration of any developed country (with statistics).

Another important problem identified is that as well as helping society and democracy, the media can also do harm and when harm is done citizens need remedies which are not currently available.

The Inquiry then concludes that government funding of a media regulator would not be worse than media barons funding it.

Finally it concludes we need a government funded regulator that covers all media types. It would be called the News Media Council and this article also explains who would staff it and be making decisions. Read the article!

The Booboisie John Keane
(by John Keane – professor of politics at University of Sydney)
It makes the point that anti-regulation zealots often haven’t thought through the problems correctly and ignore, distort and then mythologise the historical beliefs of the original champions of Freedom of the Press – like John Milton.
In particular it points out that they weren’t as convinced that the uneducated public could decide for themselves what was good and bad. And John Milton was actually in favour of censoring Catholic and Muslim religious material.

Freedom from the Press 
Mr Denmore(MrDenmore – ex journalist – The Failed Estate blog)
Mr Denmore gives a good overview of the Finkelstein Media Enquiry’s recommendations and then goes on to point out the way the mainstream media has reported on the Finkelstein media enquiry’s recommendations is one of the best examples you could find to prove that their reporting is biased and not serving the public interest. The irony is beautiful yet depressing!

He goes on to make good points about the state of journalism in Australia, including this quote from the Finkelstein report “one-third of working journalists say they feel obliged to take account of their proprietor’s political position when writing stories.”

Freedom versus truth 
Mr Denmore(MrDenmore – ex journalist – The Failed Estate blog)
Debunks the fallacious argument that we don’t need media regulation because market forces will do the same job more effectively because the people will stop buying output from a media organisation if it doesn’t live up to good journalistic standards.

Anyone who has studied logic will know that this argument is logically invalid – it falls into the category of “fallacy of appeal to majority”, which states that just because more people eat at McDonalds restaurants than at any other restaurant in the world does not prove that McDonalds’ food is better than at any other restaurant.

More good articles about Freedom of the Press?

Please notify me of any recent articles debunking Freedom of the Press and putting the anti-regulation chorus line in their place. I’d like to built up a nice repository of the good arguments all in one place.

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