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Wednesday, October 18, 2006 

More on self censorship and impartiality

In the last few days both our public broadcasters have taken steps to ensure that it will be more difficult to air controversial material. SBS has insisted that filmmakers now police their own work for seditious material and the ABC has appointed a Director of ABC Editorial Polices to ensure impartiality (whatever that is).

Less recently but just as ominously the OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification) is no longer an independent body and is now run by the Attorney General's department. The government was able to ban the books at the University of Melbourne, not because they were seditious but because they were refused classification by the OFLC.
In case you were wondering why banning books is such a bad idea, here is George Williams' articulate response to the recent threats to academic freedom.

What is puzzling is why a government with a majority in both houses and a clearly beloved leader who is about to become our longest serving Prime Minister feel the need to muzzle dissent?

Remember the good old days when freedom of expression was championed by our leaders as a cornerstone of democracy?

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