Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Word of the day

Not a word, but yet another acronym apparently mixing letters and numbers - PR2K. In fact, the 2 really means "to", in a style we are becoming accustomed 2 thru text messaging. In this case, it is a conference (the 2007 Public Right to Know Conference) run by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and the topic is a serious one for us - the free flow of information.

Recently, John B Fairfax, a director of Fairfax Media, spoke strongly about "recent curbs by the Government on press freedoms ..." Mr Fairfax is a supporter of Right to Know, a coalition of media organisations established to express concerns about the state of free speech and the free flow of information in Australia.

One of the factors is the increasing preoccupation of governments with media relations - that is, with manipulating the media to ensure that unfavourable stories are minimised, Mr Fairfax said. This is accompanied by the erosion of the impact of Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. There is no single cause or issue, but the cumulative effect is that it becomes harder to find out and publish things people want to know. The scorecard of press freedom published by Reporters without Borders (RSF) lists Australia at number 35.

Those of you interested in censorship issues, please rock up to the Outside a Box anti-censorship event at the State Library of Victoria on 4 December. Those of you interested in letter/number acronyms, please send me examples.

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