ish’s blog

A blog. By ish.

At least Australia has media freedom, right?

Despite (or in line with) the public dispute between GetUp and Channel 7 this week, the network failed to air our ad.  The paid advertisement urging PM Rudd to speak up for Tibet whilst in China for the Olympics was produced by GetUp and the Australia Tibet Council (of which I am a director), had free-to-air approval and was appropriately booked.  Yet, unbelievably, Channel 7 refused to run the ad, citing a bunch of crap excuses.

Regardless of whether Seven took this decision under its own direction or were pressured into this by someone else (such as the IOC, as has been postulated elsewhere), this raises huge questions about media freedom – not just in China, but right here in Australia.

Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders (amongst many other organisations including ATC) have been trying to highlight the lack of media freedom within China during the lead-up to the Olympics.  Of course, incidents like this one with Channel 7 in Australia are even more disturbing as they highlight the reach of China’s media censorship beyond its own national borders.

I spoke at a public rally last weekend relating to the actions by European Satellite TV company, Eutelsat, in pulling the broadcast into China by the New York based, independent Chinese-language news network NTDTV.  Reporters Without Borders have further details on their site regarding Eutelsat’s disgraceful actions, including a lenghty transcript of a discussion between a Eutelsat employee and someone posing as a Chinese Propoganda Department representative.  Of course, this would be bad enough if it was a Chinese-based company, but Eutelsat is headquarted in France.

This is a worrying trend, but not a new one.  You can find out more by running the incredibly ironic Google search – ‘Google, China and internet censorship’.

Just not in China.

And maybe not for too much longer here either.



  prisbw wrote @

I found your blog post via Crikey.
How appalling (re Channel 7) ! bookmarks (31-Jul-2008 through 15-Aug-2008) wrote @

[…] At least Australia has media freedom, right? – Ashley talks about 7's atrocious decision not to air an ad, produced by GetUp and fully paid for and booked. […]

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