Constitution Transformation Network (ConTransNet) at the University of Melbourne
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2021 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism presented by The Hon Kevin Rudd AC
Quality public interest journalism is the lifeblood of any true democracy, but Australia’s news industry is plagued by structural decline, disruption and dysfunction. In his 2021 A.N. Smith lecture, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will argue our print media is the most concentrated in the democratic world and is dominated by a self-interested Murdoch monopoly that ruthlessly sows disinformation into public debate and intimidates its critics, chilling free speech. But as wealthier Australians flock to defamation courts, ordinary citizens are stonewalled by toothless regulators. And while corruption is on the rise and extremism on the march, the journalistic profession is shrinking – especially in regional communities – as commercial priorities drive newsroom decisions. And that’s just for starters.
Mr Rudd also contends that instead of working with journalists to tackle these challenges, our national government has embarked on a wholesale assault on our national broadcaster, the ABC. Mr Rudd says Australians should refuse to accept the demise of public interest journalism is inevitable, and reasserts that now is the time for a Royal Commission to ensure Australians can rely on a strong, growing and more diverse media for the future.
Arthur Norman Smith was a founder of the Australian Journalists’ Association, served as its first general president and for five years as its general secretary. Thanks to a generous bequest from the Smith family, the prestigious A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism is presented each year by a leading authority on some aspect of journalism.
In previous work together, we identify settler colonial technologies of temporality operating through Australian Indigenous policy, and argue that often unacknowledged stories of the colonial future sustain the settler project. In this discussion, we explore the relationship between what Tuck and Yang (2012) have called settler futurity, and the violence produced by a settler order permanently invested in securing an inherently fragile claim to sovereign legitimacy. As white colonisers simultaneously complicit in and seeking to challenge the Australian racial-colonial project, we consider how European understandings of sovereignty shape settler temporalities and inflect our commitments to apparently ‘decolonising’ agendas at the level of political orders, settler political and academic institutions, and subjectivities. We discuss the implications of this for our own political investments and responsibilities, and reflect on what this might mean for our models of solidarity. How might settler anti-colonial praxis engage the here and now – and begin to more effectively refuse settler futures?
This event will be lived captioned.
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This webinar is the fifth in the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration’s 2021 Critical Public Conversations series: Exploring Indigenous Settler Relations.