However, there’s another side to this issue, namely, the increasing difficulty that journalists are having in reporting news due to government interference and censorship. The most obvious example of this may be the
Recently, the leaders of Australian media companies took the unusual step of speaking out together against that country’s increasingly bad record on press freedom. In fact, the group Reporters Without Borders ranks
Reporters Without Borders ranked
35th on its 2006 press freedom index. Australia was ranked first, Finland 27th, the Britain 53rd and last was United States at 168th. North Korea
Speaking of censorship and suppression of information in the Asia-Pacific region, the report said:
is in this context a successful example of virtually total respect for press freedom. New Zealand
Contrast that with
There has been an alarming slide into censorship and secrecy that has severely reduced what ordinary Australians are allowed to know about how they are governed and how justice is dispensed.
If one of Rupert Murdoch’s men complains about lack of press freedom, it’s worth taking notice. Actually, even Television New
ONE News cameraman Leo Shelton was standing on a public street when private security detained him, while corrections officers searched his vehicle and seized every tape inside. Corrections ignored TVNZ complaints at first but then returned the tapes four days later. The Australian government department said ONE News needed to ask permission first before they filmed from a public place, though local media said they had never heard of any such rule.
The irony of this is that the news crew was filming exterior shots to use in a favourable report about prisons.
And, it’s also worth noting that even if
Overall, the media tend to do reasonably well under increasing censorship and repression. My complaint is simply that I want them to do better, in fact, for them to do the best possible. It’s really the only hope we have of turning back the tide of repression because dictatorships cannot become established when exposed to bright light.