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The Toughest Assignment
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The Toughest Assignment

Moderator: Karen Middleton • Kylie Moore-Gilbert, John Lyons and Andrew Quilty

From Kabul to Tehran via the conflict in the Middle East, how does one survive the harrowing risks that come from reporting from the frontline?

The Case for Courage
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Kevin Rudd in Conversation

Reading’s Carlton is delighted to be hosting a conversation between former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’ presenter Paul Barclay to discuss the future intersects of politics, democracy, and the media in Australia.

For some time, Australia’s democracy has been slowly sliding into disrepair. It’s tempting, but distracting, to point to the usual list of reasons – anything from the declining calibre of the political class to the growing polarisation of politics. In reality, we can’t begin to understand the current predicament of our ailing democracy without recognising the central role of Murdoch’s media monopoly. Join us at this live and in-person event to discuss this very issue.


Tickets are $25/$30 per person and include a copy of Kevin Rudd’s book, The Case for Courage. Places are strictly limited.

Please book here.

Please note this event will be recorded for Radio National’s Big Ideas show.

 

 

 

Bill Bowtell and Kevin Rudd
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Bill Bowtell & Kevin Rudd – In the National Interest

IN CONVERSATION WITH FRAN KELLY

Join Bill Bowtell, the Hon. Kevin Rudd and Fran Kelly for a conversation around the new essay series In the National Interest.

In Unmasked: the Politics of Pandemics, Bill Bowtell draws on his four decades of experience in the global and local politics of public health to examine why some countries got it right with coronavirus while others collapsed into misery and chaos. He looks closely at the critical weeks when poor planning brought Australia to the brink of disaster, until the Australian people forced their governments to put public health before politics. Unmasked reveals how and why our politicians failed us during the greatest public health crisis of this century to date.

In The Case for Courage, the Honourable Kevin Rudd writes that we can’t understand the current predicament of our democracy without recognising the central role of Murdoch’s national media monopoly. He lays out three key tasks required for the Australian Labor party to be returned to office; Labor must significantly broaden its political base; demolish the entire rationale for the conservative political project now that the Liberal Party has abandoned its position on debt, deficit and government intervention in the economy; and put forward a clear plan dealing with the challenges ahead. Now is the time for women and men of courage to act.

Free RSVPs essential to receive Zoom link.

 

 

 

 

Is Australian media weakening democracy?
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Is Australian media weakening democracy?

Two of our featured authors, Kevin Rudd and Cathy McGowan, join this discussion on a bold plan to rebuild truth and integrity

7-8pm | 14 Feb | Online event

No matter how we consume it, we’re surrounded by news. But how many of us know exactly how the news is created, how it’s shaped and manipulated by journalists, businesses and politicians? Does that process affect or even damage culture and public opinion? And what happens when the creation of that media begins to undermine the institutions that our democracy rests on?

With one of the most consequential elections looming, how the media works is a crucial question that we all need to engage with. To help us understand the answer, the Community Independents Project has assembled a peerless — and fearless! — panel who know intimately the impact of the news media on Australia’s democracy.

Join storied former ABC journalist, Kerry O’Brien, as he hosts an incredible discussion with two former Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, and pioneer of the independent movement, former MP for Indi, Cathy McGowan.

Kevin Rudd
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Kevin Rudd at the National Press Club of Australia

Kevin Rudd’s new book, ‘The Case for Courage’:

‘For some time, Australia’s democracy has been slowly sliding into disrepair. The nation’s major policy challenges go unaddressed, our economic future is uncertain and political corruption is becoming normalised. It’s tempting, but distracting, to point to the usual list of reasons, from the declining calibre of the political class to the growing polarisation of politics. But we can’t understand the current predicament of our democracy without recognising the central role of Murdoch’s national media monopoly. In Queensland, where national elections are determined, he owns thirteen of the state’s fourteen newspapers. All his papers are loss-making and retained for political influence only; nationally, they act as a Liberal Party protection racket, providing zero accountability on Coalition corruption and incompetence. Together with the Liberal Party, the Murdoch media cultivates a climate of national anxiety, fear and anger through relentless campaigns on deficit, debt and the threat to Australia from ever-changing but always nefarious foreign interests. Their goal is an anxious Australia, reinforced by the latest campaign applications of political neuroscience, permanently predisposing the electorate towards the reassurance of having conservatives in power.

For these reasons, there is no longer a level playing field in Australian politics. We won’t see another progressive government in Canberra until we deal with this cancer in our democracy. Three more things must change for Labor to be returned to office. Labor must significantly broaden its political base; demolish the entire rationale for the conservative political project now that the Liberal Party has abandoned its position on debt, deficit and government intervention in the economy; and put forward a clear plan dealing with the challenges ahead: recurring pandemics; demographic decline; technological disruption undermining economic competitiveness and employment; the rise of China; and the continued economic and environmental devastations of climate change. All four tasks are essential. All four will require great political courage to bring about fundamental change. And now is the time for women and men of courage to act.’

 

 

 

Feature image for Dateline Jerusalem event. Image is of portrait photos of John Lyons and Stan Grant, shown side by side
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Dateline Jerusalem: John Lyons in conversation with Stan Grant

Rarely is the public taken deep into the inner sanctum of major news organisations. In this extraordinary book, award-winning journalist John Lyons goes to the heart of how the media reports—or does not report—one of the biggest stories of our time: the conflict in the Middle East.
He looks at the power of lobby groups and shows how they determine much of what is written about Israel, and he turns the spotlight on his own profession and its failings. For Lyons, the six years he spent in Jerusalem as Middle East correspondent for The Australian were the toughest of his forty-year career. He explains how lobby groups attempt to prevent the real story being told, revealing how he himself became a target, and the dirty tricks that are used.
He describes how journalists who accurately report what they see can be hounded and vilified, part of a practice of intimidation, harassment and influence peddling that is designed to stop the truth from being told—a practice that must stop.
This is an insider’s account of why the real story of the Israel–Palestine conflict goes largely unreported. It is also the story of why, in the wake of the international backlash against media coverage of the May 2021 Israel–Hamas violence, this could be about to change.