The government ran a red texta through “climate crisis”, switching in the phrase “climate change reality”.
AUGUST 17, 2019

The late great novelist Toni Morrison said Americans used to be called “citizens” and now they’re called “taxpayers”, a term she said was designed to pit people against one another. Words mattered to her. When they change, they massage the realities of our day-to-day lives. Words matter to this government, too.

We reported that in Tuvalu this week they ran a red texta through “climate crisis”, switching in the phrase “climate change reality”. Scroll down and find out how the same government’s ministers are asking for a big black texta to go through the embarrassing and important work of media outlets prior to publication. Speaking of tricky language, you can also read Emily Watkins’ investigation into the world of unpaid work — or is that “shadow shifts”? — at ABC radio.

Lastly, moving from words to numbers, delve into recent polling data with Bernard Keane for INQ. Can it be trusted anymore?

As always, write to [email protected] to let us know what you thought of the week’s news.

Have a great weekend,

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran
Managing Editor

Fear of a burning planet: the semantics of climate change


As Scott Morrison showed in Tuvalu this week, language has always been central to the politics of climate change.

How the ABC gets radio producers to work for free

EMILY WATKINS 8 minute read

Despite doing their own investigative journalism into the shadowy world of unpaid work, the ABC has been found to be cutting corners on staff costs.

Polling permeates political life, in this country and abroad. Leaders are ordained and overturned on the say so of a forecast. And when such divination later proves inaccurate, there’s hell to pay.

And yet few people know exactly how polling works, how to read its tea leaves. Even journalists. Especially journalists.

In this series, INQ examines recent failures of political polling, why they occurred, and how they can be avoided in the future.

The great polling failure: why the ‘unloseable election’ was always lost 5 minute read
Have pollsters created an ‘alternate universe’?  7 minute read
When it comes to custody, kids should have a say

AMBER SCHULTZ 3 minute read

Given a custody decision affects children the most, wouldn’t it make sense to have them weigh in? Not according to the justice system.

Could a boycott of News Corp work?

CHRIS WOODS 4 minute read

Various media personalities are increasingly calling for action against News Corp, especially The Australian. Will their efforts bear fruit?

Indulgence of right-wing extremism will send us the way of the US

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

The failure of conservatives to condemn and punish the extreme right-wing is steadily coarsening Australian politics. The result will be similar to the gutter standards of the US.

Racism is more than hatred. It’s emotional abuse.

RUBY HAMAD 4 minute read

People of colour, even famous and successful ones like Ben Simmons, are expected to keep their heads down — to serve, to soothe, to entertain. When they don’t, the backlash is so swift and so vicious it can be dizzying.

Long live the local pharmacist 

GUY RUNDLE 4 minute read

If Australia were to lose half its independent pharmacists to chain replacements, GP visits would go up and actual patient care would go right down.

The museum of whose humanity?
The removal of the word 'immigration' from the name of the museum, to instead include the words 'shared humanity', is enough to make you ropeable when one considers our current immigration policies. Through the removal of the word immigration, the fraught journeys of recent migrants and the longer, more jarring history of settlement is all but erased. All we are left with is a vapid 'celebration' of diversity, and the expectation to continue to perform the role of the 'grateful migrant' for our so-called white saviours and benefactors. — Nur Shkembi and Carol Que

As Melbourne’s Immigration Museum moves to change its name to ‘The Museum of Shared Humanity’, conversations need to be had about history and erasure.

Is this really the end of the cash economy?


Australians increasingly forego carrying cash and the government wants to crack down on it. But not everyone is happy about the pending cancellation of paper money.

Life on Newstart means living your whole life behind the eight-ball

ROSS MUELLER 3 minute read

Being on Newstart doesn't just mean poverty. It can also mean losing the opportunities to ever escape it.

Will journalists soon need to get government approval for reporting leaks?

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

Under a scheme floated by government MPs, journalists would have to allow the government to censor their work if they were to avoid being raided and prosecuted for leaked material.

Dutton’s plan to combat online hate speech is starting to take shape


Last month, the ACCC report on digital platforms recommended the government develop a 'platform-neutral regulatory framework' — but what does this mean and is it even possible?

Mental health, ‘Allahu akbar’ and the challenge of the lone-wolf killer


Debate continues to rage over whether coverage of the Sydney knife attack was demonising both minorities and people with a mental illness.

Why 37,500 is Australia’s magic number

JASON MURPHY 4 minute read

When will Australia's rate-cutting frenzy end? It all depends on this week's jobs figures.

Gender equality alone won’t prevent violence against women

GUY RUNDLE 4 minute read

The government's plan to reduce violence against women rests largely on promoting gender equality. But is that really enough?