media diversity

Stephen Andrew statement on Media Diversity

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Chair of the hilariously named “Media Diversity” Senate Committee, has issued Sky Australia with a ‘summons’ to appear before her next Friday and explain how recent outbreaks of free speech at the mainstream channel were allowed to go unchecked for so long. Senator Young, who describes herself on Twitter as a proud “World Economic Forum Young Global Leader”, said yesterday that Sky News Channel’s ‘speech crimes’ urgently needed to be stamped out as:
“Australians are rightly worried about the promotion and dissemination of Covid lies and conspiracy theories that put lives at risk and undermine public health.” Sky News Australia just served a 1 week suspension from YouTube, for “violating” the platform’s “policies on coronavirus”. What those policies are or how Sky ‘violated’ them, no-one knows, but I strongly suspect our friends in Canberra were closely involved in the Tech Giant’s decision.
Morrison’s National Cabinet, which replaced Parliamentary democracy in Australia nearly two years ago, has become very chummy lately with the Big Tech Triumvirate of Google, Facebook and Twitter. Nowadays, Big Tech has the Government’s back on pretty much everything, which just goes to show that ‘covert’ Public-Private Partnerships work just as well as overt ones!
Greens’ Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, also seems happy to run ‘defence’ for Morrison and his National Cabinet, as she champions the cause of State Censorship and the suppression of political dissent in Australia. Hanson-Young yesterday demanded answers from Sky News and the media regulator, who she accused of “sitting on its hands” for months. “If information is too dangerous for the internet, surely it’s too dangerous to be on our TV screens,” she huffed and puffed.
You have to wonder if the Greens Senator and her supporters ever stop to think, that doing the ‘dirty’ work of Australia’s powerful anti-free speech forces might one day come back to haunt the green movement and others on the country’s so-called ‘left’?
If they think this stops with conservatives, they’re delusional. The renegade News outlet, at least, still seems defiant, with Sky’s Digital Editor, Jack Houghton, calling the suspension and summons “an attack on the fundamental human right of freedom of speech”.
He cited UN Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Whether that will be enough to save the Sky News rebels, however, remains to be seen.

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