Saturday, March 16, 2013

How long will they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?

From Mahathir to Conroy: this editor can spot oppression | The Australian

JOURNALIST Joseph Fernandez has lived under heavy-handed government regulation of the media before and is alarmed by the prospect of once again seeing freedom of the press under attack by a government he says should know better.

As editor-in-chief of Malaysia’s Daily Express for 14 years, until 1992, he worked under the threat of arrest, intimidation and unemployment by the government of Mahathir Mohamad, which saw the regulation and the licensing of newspapers as acceptable while banning publications that were deemed critical of the government.

“I am quite taken aback that, in this day and age, Australia, a country that has participated in all sorts of endeavours in the region to fight for freedom in countries lesser-equipped, and with such a strong track record trying to be an international voice to be reckoned with, is getting up to such ill-considered methods to control the freedom of expression,” said Fernandez, the head of journalism at Perth’s Curtin University.

“There are no ifs or buts about whether this amounts to government regulation. This legislation represents a raft of regulations with very serious consequences for the free exchange of ideas on matters of public interest.”
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