Well, its been a very long time since I’ve posted here. I’ve been on an extended trip overseas, then rushing to get everything working for the new academic year at Swinburne University (where I run the journalism program). Just getting the blogging traces back on now.

Two interesting, and unrelated things. First, Michael Gill (who says he “doesn’t think” he subscribes to Crikey) has given this interview to Mumbrella, in which he reflects on what it’s like to read Caroline Overington claiming your job has been offered to someone else, and gives a courageous defence of the Australian Financial Review’s paywall.

The other thing: I can’t quite believe that some are criticising the ABC for the Julian Assange video question to Julia Gillard on Monday night. For heaven’s sake, it’s a show where people get to ask questions. And Assange’s question was seriously interesting. It remains to be seen whether he backs it up with evidence., but it was fair enough for Gillard to have to field it. Extraordinary that some are suggesting Tony Jones did something wrong. Get a life!

But at the same time, a moment’s reflection would tell us that the Australian Government gives overseas governments information about Australian citizens all the time, in different contexts. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, for example, exchanges info with foreign regulators fairly routinely. So, I imagine, did the Federal Police when cracking down on the paedophile rings recently.

The real questions are not whether or not the information was exchanged, but what kind of information it was, whether it was for legitimate purposes.

Worth an FoI, perhaps?

Speaking of FoI, I have sent an FoI request off the ABC for the true cost of ABC24, as well as some information on their protocols and procedures. This has been done under the funding model at YouCommNews, the experiment in audience driven commissioning that we are running at Swinburne’s Foundation for Public Interest Journalism.

So much for unconnected thoughts. More connected thoughts to come.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.