Opinion

OPINION: Is Peter Greste our next Australian of the Year?

The next chapter in the story of Australian journalist, Peter Greste made writing this week's commentary quite easy.

Sometimes, relations between government and the media are frought.

Sadly, sometimes, in some countries, it's murderously hostile.

Journalists have an important role in a modern, progressive society.

It is essential that people are well-informed and journalists are the conduit between those in power and the rest of us.

Right now, as you are reading this newspaper, there are more than 200 journalists in foreign prisons, simply because particular governments objected to what they were reporting.

China and Iran top the list.

Some governments go to extraordinary lengths to inhibit journalists from carrying out their duties.

Some of the crimes journalists have been convicted of frankly beggar the belief of even the most fertile of imaginations.

While we hopefully never see this happen in Australia, I can't help but notice that in recent times, journalist freedom in this country is also under attack; if only oh so subtlely

New security laws are a concern.

So too is this trend by fallen politicians to blame the media for what were really self-inflicted wounds.

Hopefully, most of us are intelligent enough to see this for what it is, even if the comments only serve as fuel for the "true believers" (read those who have lost the ability to think without bias) to join the anti-media bandwagon.

As Australia signals an intention to seek another term on the UN Security Council, it would be nice to think we might champion the cause for a UN Charter to give journalists the same international protections as diplomats enjoy.

A pipe dream? Perhaps. It's hard to see China letting that one succeed.

Maybe we should celebrate small victories first.

Peter Greste for Australian of the Year: who's with me?

Gympie Times

Topics:  australian of the year, gympie, opinion, peter greste



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