Digital editor Dan Jensen recaps some of the biggest stories through the week.
This week’s editorial from managing editor Michelle Pini goes into the power play by the political elite, including Christian Porter, Andrew Laming and journalist Peter van Onselen where Professor Gemma Carey has been bullied and sued over a comment made on Twitter that she deleted and apologised for.
While happy to enjoy the safeguards of parliamentary privilege, launching defamation lawsuits against private citizens, members of the media or even comedians for daring to hold them to scrutiny, is now de rigueur for politicians and their privileged mates.
In a string of defamation proceedings, Coalition MPs John Barilaro, Peter Dutton, Christian Porter, Andrew Laming and News Corp journalist Peter van Onselen have let loose on members of the public to contain any potential loose tongues and shut down any future scrutiny of their alleged unsavoury activities, or those of their mates.
‘Fortunately, Twitter has had enough of privileged, consequence-avoiding, over-sensitive, power abusing politicians and journalists. Thanks to the many tweets of Independent Australia columnist Dr Jennifer Wilson the legal threats made by the litigious trio became common knowledge amongst the #auspol cohort of the Twittersphere.’
By drawing attention to the case, Porter, Laming and van Onselen ended up receiving a backlash on social media for abusing their power.
As Hayden put it:
‘Whilst the women of Australia shouldn’t have to put up with this Government’s neglect or defamation threats from politicians, it is heartening to know that the public has each other’s back when it comes to defending ourselves from the political elite.’
Anti-anti-lockdown columnist Tom Tanuki wrote a piece this week on so-called citizen journalists such as Avi Yemini and Rukshan Fernando and how they’re nothing more than right-wing propagandists and complete frauds.
In his article, Tom questions the validity of labelling them journalists, saying:
I want to disconnect these figures from a label that allocates them esteem they don’t deserve. Citizen journalism can attract criticism for competing with the operation of better-quality, better-funded establishment journalism and it can be prone to bias — but it nonetheless implies an independent participation in newsgathering. That, in turn, infers objectivity. Even the term “street journalism” implies a documentarian role.
But the deep, dishonest subjectivity of these figures is their most defining trait. That excludes them from the “journalist” title at all.
Finally, we had an exclusive story by Anthony Klan in our ongoing investigation into NSW corruption. Anthony revealed that financial reports from the Australian Clay Target Association have shown some discrepancies that raise questions pertaining to the $5.5 million NSW Government grant, all of which were recently investigated by the NSW ICAC.
The 1,000-person Wagga Wagga gun club convention centre development at the heart of corruption inquiries was greenlit by the local Council – whose members include the project’s developer – before the NSW Government even awarded the $5.5 million grant to fund it.
It can also be revealed that the Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA) has reported, in different documents, substantially different figures for the “cost” of the project — including $5.5 million, $6.7 million and $7.36 million.
Investigations by The Klaxon suggest that up to $1 million of the $7.36 million “cost” of the convention centre reported in ACTA's accounts appears to be unaccounted for.
Those are just some of the stories from through the week, but if you’d like to read more, make sure you subscribe to Independent Australia by following the links in the description box below. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time ON IA.
Written and presented by Dan Jensen.
- Kings of defamation: Porter, Laming, Barilaro, Dutton et al
- Twitter fights against Porter, van Onselen and Laming’s defamation threats
- Grassroots campaign against Christian Porter grows
- Christian Porter’s dark blind trust: Nothing to see here!
- 'Honest' Christian Porter's mystery donation is totally not suspicious
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