"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

How the Murdoch press has waged a relentless campaign against the BBC (and why it’s worked)

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Julian Petley, The Conversation Scroll.In
31.08.15 4:00 am

The UK government’s recent Green Paper spells out a vision of far-smaller BBC. Coincidentally, this is just what Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers have campaigned for over decades.

Guardian: Rebekah Brooks about to be rehired by Rupert Murdoch for US operation Sources say deal imminent as Brooks returns to News Corp to head media mogul’s quest for online investments, eight months after acquittal from phone-hacking charges

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Tassie AFL dream to be realised

24.08.15 3:30 am

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Tasmanian football fans are celebrating tonight with the announcement that the State has been granted a licence to field an AFL team from 2016 onwards.

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Rupert’s back in town

Bob Burton
21.08.15 5:15 am

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On August 10 Rupert Murdoch, the Executive Chairman of News Corporation – the parent company of The Mercury – jetted back into Australia. Murdoch is also semi-active on Twitter. So what did Rupert Tweet while he was Down Under?

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Mercury: The Fall ... and why it matters

Lindsay Tuffin*. Pic: Bob Burton First published August 17
21.08.15 5:00 am

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Graeme Wood, make Rupe an offer he can’t refuse … And so Mercury - my home for 23 interesting years - is suffering a further decline in its circulation. Who cares? We all should, I reckon.

• John Hawkins in Comments: … I tabled my expose of Ta Ann through Andrew Wilkie in the Federal Parliament ... HERE ... not a squeak or a phone call from a Tasmanian newspaper but a front page attack story on Andrew in the Australian as the dogs came out to hound him. What actual service to the community do these three so-called newspapers provide? I suggest that it is not news ... but they are printed on paper.

• Mike Bolan in Comments: I distinctly recall a public meeting several years ago (HERE) about the problems being experienced by the Merc. I attended with a few others. We came as dissatisfied customers of news yet we were pretty much dismissed as not knowing enough about journalism or the media business. It really seemed that the Merc believed that the public needs journalists to explain what’s going on around them. As customers, we were pretty fed up with the media telling us what we needed to know, but for the Merc people there the public really didn’t have anything to tell them. News went the other way - media to public. We were the ones who needed their services, not the other way around.

• Karl Stevens in Comments: In my mind media like the Merc starts with some basic assumptions and then diligently filter the news to maintain those assumptions. Assumption 1 …

• Austin Sypkes in Comments: What a load of clap-trap, article and comments included. “The Merc is suffering declining print circulation because it doesn’t ‘get’ (how conveniently imprecise by the way) its audience.” Or maybe, given EVERY single rag in that list is losing print circulation, the cause might not be something peculiar to the Merc. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the disruption of business models and consumerism caused by the digital revolution. But that wouldn’t lay out the ground work for a good merc bashing exercise would it? “Oh but the Merc of yesteryear was so much more hard hitting, if I do say so myself.” Really? So why is it that Hobart council’s long running expenses scandal is only coming to light now? To top it off the suggestion is made to offload the merc to a guy who got rich with websites and has never run a paper before. Brilliant.

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Increasingly, we can’t trust journalists to decipher finance

Sophie Knowles University of the Arts London, Gail Phillips Murdoch Uni & Johan Lidberg Monash University. Photo: Bob Burton
07.08.15 5:15 am

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The crisis in financial journalism is but one dimension of the crisis in professional journalism generally ... All the evidence suggests that news quality has taken a hit and it is the general public that suffers. Without financial journalism providing the context and critique required to understand the complexities of the financial environment, we must explore new opportunities for fair and fearless scrutiny of a sector which now impacts everyone.

• Ben Cannon in Comments: The trend in television financial reporting, even on the “no advertising” ABC has been to interview employees of financial institutions rather than independent economists, and I’m sure it’s not just about them waiving the appearance fee. This is part of the same general trend discussed in the article. In the world of what Heller in Catch 22 called “everybody having a share” it is just as important for the petite bourgeois middle class to believe that the capitalist economy is going to survive. That property will go up, that shares will go up, that commodities will go up, while impossibly simultaneously the cost of living and interest rates will go down. Obviously given previous cycles, and the continual need for ever dwindling new markets to feed capital growth, something eventually has to give … Insightful economists such as Joseph Stiglitz don’t get much airtime. Sometimes I visit his website for an intelligent, forward looking opinion which offers alternative policy, often with successful examples. I’m also brought to mind of the case of Iceland mentioned in TT recently …

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Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

Deena Stryker
23.07.15 12:05 pm

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Tasmanian Times published this report way back in August 29, 2011. At the request of a reader it is republished today ... Perhaps there is a lesson for Greece here ... … Some readers will remember that Iceland’s ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond’s book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution.  And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat. They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign …

• Kim Peart in Comments: How the World has changed since this article was first published in 2011. Reading over my comment made then ~ seen above ~ I see the direction suggested then as being more urgent now. I love the idea of discussing Tasmanian independence and when I return to the island to live in October, after eight years in Queensland, I’d love to see a moot in Ross to explore this, with some robust debate. The icelandic connection was raised in Ross in 2004, with a bicentenary event there on Jorgen Jorgenson, who is believed to be the carved king on the Ross Bridge. Jorgenson ruled Iceland for 2 months in 1809 and a bicentenary event at the University of Iceland featured my painting of Jorgenson on the Ross Bridge, with his nose restored ~  http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/jorgy/ With Jorgenson as a common thread drawn through time, as Iceland is an island about the size of Tasmania and with a population of 329,100, and as both Iceland and Tasmania are isolated in the ocean on opposite sides of the Earth, there is good ground for friendship to build on. Should Iceland get too cold, because of the Greenland ice sheet melting and cold fresh water locking down the Gulf Stream, Tasmania could keep the welcome mat out for Icelanders to move here …

• Chris Sharples in Comments: Its fascinating and telling to note how little attention the mainstream media (especially read: News Corp.) pay to the worlds real social and economic success stories. The reason for that is clear: if they told those good news stories, they would be undermining their own far right wing ideologies by letting us see that the most socially secure and happy societies are those based on principles of social equality very different from those espoused by Joe Hockey, Gina Rinehart, Rupert Murdoch and the like. Whilst our present federal government wants Australia to be more like the USA, with the neo-liberal policies and increasing inequality that implies, it is the social democracies of Scandinavia that repeatedly score best on all the socio-economic indicators of well-being and happiness that matter - because they take social equality and security seriously, and are willing to pay higher taxes because they understand that doing so actually benefits everybody more - even the rich. Australia (and especially Tasmania) should be spending more time strengthening our links with and understanding of countries like Denmark (with which after all we have an existing connection via Princess Mary) and less time trying to emulate the USA.

• Steve in Comments: There’s a simple difference between the Tasmanian situation and the Icelandic. Iceland has an identity. They have their own language and are an independent country, which is something they take some pride in. Tasmania also has an identity, but it’s based on cargo cult thinking. There’s a world of difference.

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NATION: Poor, Poor Joe ...

Fairfax. Pic: of Joe Hockey
23.07.15 4:30 am

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A defamation battle between one of the nation’s most senior political figures and one of its oldest newspaper publishers has exposed one of the central difficulties of defamation law. It protects the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

NATION: Poor, Poor Bronny

SkyNews: GST, Medicare levy hike still live options

Kim Peart in Comments: It’s a battle out there, on the field of entitlement, where a cigar generated smoke screen is all the rage. A smouldering cigar also helps to light the fuses of the bombs to be thrown at the press, if they offend entitled sensibilities by telling too much truth. Meanwhile the people turn blue, forced to hold their breath in the face of all that cigar smoke, waiting for the air to clear enough to vote.

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Bob Ellis says he may have weeks to live after liver tests deliver ‘very bad’ news

21.07.15 3:30 am

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The writer Bob Ellis has been diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer and says he may have just weeks to live.

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Rupert Murdoch’s News UK shamed by failure to pay legal costs

Roy Greenslade The Guardian via Peter
20.07.15 3:19 am

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Rupert Murdoch’s organisation had a moral duty to pay the legal costs for Sun reporter Anthony France. But it refused to do so.

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A fragment of Balmain history

Rob Walls*, photojournalist. First published: April 7
18.07.15 6:30 am

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The recent discovery of this photograph inspired me to recall a certain event in the history of the inner-city suburb of Balmain. I’m still uncertain whether I should be proud or ashamed to have participated in this example of Sydney seventies binge drinking, but I’m not making excuses, when I say that occasion was culturally richer than it might at first glance, appear.

• Elizabeth O’Dwyer in Comments: Frank wrote a delightful book years ago “Days of Wine and Rage” which had a great chapter on the Balmain scene in that period. I was part of the folk scene then. The bikers were actually OK, they used to protect us from the rednecks who would occasionally venture into Balmain to belt up the “hippies”. The workers from the “Empress of Australia” used to drink at the Forth, they were militant unionists but funny a hell. Murray Sime (sadly no longer with us) was a mainstay of the scene, despite being a big corporate director. He held an annual Xmas party for those of us who didn’t have family in Sydney, the “Waifs and Strays” Party. They were great times, and many went on to fame, such as the poet Bob Adamson and Frank Moorehouse. I saw Greer in there once, holding court.

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Six reasons Abbott’s peace deal on Q & A isn’t quite what it seems

Matthew Ricketson, University of Canberra. Photo: Bob Burton. First published: July 15
16.07.15 6:00 am

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Abbott’s decision to order a frontbench boycott of Q&A was both hypocritical – in opposition, he said he was “not in the business of ignoring a big audience” (in reference to the then-government’s boycott of Alan Jones’ radio show) – and counter-productive. He has drawn attention to the government’s obsession with controlling how national security issues are debated.

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Tasmanian Times & Anonymity of comments

Editors. First published: July 14
16.07.15 5:45 am

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It was recently raised on another thread (see comment below) that Tasmanian Times (TT) should prevent people posting comments under pseudonyms.

Thankyou again … for all your gifts to enable further development of Tasmanian Times. An update of Expression Engine technology is in train. We are also in the process of re-locating Share buttons and adding Videos (top of right-hand column), where by clicking on the video button you will see the archive of Nick Mooney’s amazing vids of Peregrine Falcons ...

• Mungo Jerri-Can in Comments: Here’s a suggestion. The Tas Times should close down for 12 months. 12 months offline might give correspondents & editors time to cool off & perhaps reflect on the how the site has improved/detracted from their lives. 12 months offline might give some correspondents for whom EVERY debate is played for sheep stations a little time to cool off. 12 months offline might allow time for us all to reflect on our own hypocrisy & stupidity. It might allow breathing space for broken friendships to be repaired, for people to be able to walk down the street of their town without worrying about running into that person with whom they are having a bitter online. Think of it as you would a liver detox. :)

• Luke Martin in Comments: Tasmanian Times has always aspired to provide a credible alternative to the mainstream media. It should at least meet, if not aspire to a higher standard than the commercial media outlets. The Mercuy has successfully and painlessly implemented a policy requiring individuals to leave an address or contact when posting a comment, and I think it’s dramatically cleaned up its forums. Tasmania Times should at least do the same. I suggest more people might be prepared to contribute articles and comments to this forum if they know they’re not then at the mercy of a bunch of anonymous antagonistic comments. The fear of retribution thing I think is a cop out. There is a clear process for whistle blowing through this and other media outlets that protects identities. Otherwise if you’re not prepared to leave your name i think you are either not certain of the accuracy of your statement, not personally committed to what you’re actually saying, or simply having a non-constructive gutless vent. Whatever the case I don’t believe a credible media source should encourage it anymore on this forum than it would encourage anonymous trolling on Twitter.

• Philip Lowe in Comments: The use of a pseudonym dilutes the content of a post, ie Mungo Jerry no 14. Tassie Times is an example of some of the best and free’est open and honest journalism in the world. Let the people speak. Leave it as it is. We can spot the ‘spinners’

• Mike Moore in Comments: As associate editor of The Mercury nearly 30 years ago I helped introduce the policy of not publishing letters from writers who wanted anonymity. Mainly, it was an attempt to be fair to those criticised as I believe it is axiomatic that victims should know the identity of their accuser. I still hold that view. I admit, however, it was relatively simple back then to check the identity of letter writers; not so now with 24-hour access to news sites and regular, often constant, updates. I truly do not know how a little organisation such as Tasmanian Times could check on all those who want to contribute opinions. Consequently, and in the interests of fairness, I believe TT should no longer publish letters to the editor. A simple and elegant solution to the problems caused by those who believe they need to remain anonymous. Mike Moore, Hervey Bay, long-time retired from journalism, thank Christ.

• Andrew Ricketts in Comments: Thankyou Ed. for Post #17. Regarding Mungo Jerri-Can Post #14: Avoidance is a poor strategy, which in the main simply does not work. Tasmanian Times should be valued more highly than to attempt its demise in the name of a liver detox. Indeed regarding the issue of broken friendships, I am astounded that the good and impartial Tasmania Times website has been misconstrued as a breaker of friendships. The people who claim to have managed to achieve a breaking down of friendships via Tasmania Times, would probably have managed to achieve such a result anyway, if they were being honest with themselves. I agree with Ted Mead (post #28) …

Steve in Comments: … I have noticed, since moving to Tasmania, that who you are is very important to locals. Questions about where you live, who you are related to, who owned your property/car/wife before you, who bred your dog etc, etc. Finally, when they realise you are another interloper from the mainland with no local connection, they give up and classify you as of no interest except as a potential victim of overcharging.

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The Myths Big Media Peddle to Demand Deregulation

Lisa Waller and Kristy Hess are Senior Lecturers in Journalism at Deakin University. Photo: Bob Burton.
14.07.15 6:00 am

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The federal government should encourage and promote potential for diversity, at least for the time being, rather than be quick to reinforce existing power structures. We need to know more about what we mean by “local” news in the digital world, question whether traditional legacy media providers are the saviours and, if so, ensure they inform and give strong voice to regional communities.

Fishbowl: Crikey Dishes It Back Col Allan’s Way

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The hypocrisy ... the monumental hypocrisy ... ?

Sydney Swans Fan (name with-held for family reasons)* Pic: AFL of Harley Bennell
07.07.15 6:38 am

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… A hypothetical question: If a similar photo of a News Ltd executive, let’s say hypothetically one of the Murdochs, became available, would it be also be run on Page 1?  …

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Hockey’s defamation win is dark news for democracy and free speech

Michael Douglas, Lecturer in Law at Curtin University, The Conversation. Pic: of Joe Hockey
06.07.15 3:30 am

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We should all be careful before saying anything that will hurt our politicians’ feelings: they might sue us for defamation. On Tuesday, Treasurer Joe Hockey was awarded A$200,000 damages against Fairfax Media in relation to a series of publications that focused on his political fundraising activities.

• John Hawkins in Comments: Abetz started his spat with me with a threat to sue for defamation. The subject of the defamation was payments by Gunns Ltd of large sums of money to the Liberal Party. I took great exception to this threat and pushed back discovering that a major payment was made when he held office as Minister of Forests. He sent two men from his office to suggest that it would be in my interest to lay off the Senator. I took even greater exception to this appalling behaviour. I took him to the High Court. He has yet to be audited by the ATO over his land deals on the Channel Highway as detailed on TT: HERE . He sat illegally in the parliament as a dual national from 1994 until 2010 when he renounced his German Citizenship - you cannot renounce a citizenship you do not have. How and why is Abetz that powerful? His behaviour as a representative of the people in almost every field leaves a lot to be desired yet he remains a defining icon of the so called Liberal Party.

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ABC ‘on the side of Australia’, managing director Mark Scott says, amid firestorm over Q&A

ABC. ABC pic of Mark Scott
26.06.15 4:45 am

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ABC managing director Mark Scott has defended the national broadcaster as being “on the side of Australia”, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott said “heads should roll” over Monday night’s Q&A program.

“But even for the ABC, things seemed to have been taken to a new level when on Wednesday we scored four covers in one day in the News Limited tabloids, complete with photoshopped ABC flags being waved by jihadi protestors,” he said. “Not all parties to the conversation have seemed vested in pursuing rational discourse.” He also pointed out that some of these media outlets had themselves spoken to Mr Mallah in recent years. “If giving him space or time to express his views is an act of sedition, then the round up of the seditious will take some time and include, I should add, The Australian newspaper which ran an extensive article on him in 2012, charting his journey from when terrorism charges were first laid against him,” he said. …

• peter adams in Comments: ... Ciobo said Julia Gillard, when she was PM of Australia, should have her throat slit; his little mate Graham Morris said she should be kicked to death and Alan Jones said she should be tied in a chaff bag, taken to sea and dumped. All should have been charged with treason and making threats against the Prime Minister. Does the media report this no, no, no, no . . .

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These photographs are generous, sensual, painterly ...

Terry O’Malley, http://www.terryomalley.com.au
15.06.15 4:45 am

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Giles Hugo. Into the light: a collection of photographs philosophical. http://www.nolanart.com.au/ . 5 June – 22 July 2015. Nolan Art Gallery, Salamanca For the last 14 years of his working life, at The Mercury, it was as a sub-editor. I draw your attention to this, as this role necessitated working unsociable hours, usually from the late afternoon to early morning. Consequently Giles slept through most of daylight hours for at least 14 years. So you can see the added poignancy of the title. He was now free to devote his time completely to photography, to experiment with the possibilities of light, which had been denied him for such a long time.

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MEDIA: The delicate art of the interview ...

Martin Flanagan, The Age. Pic: of Martin Flanagan
15.06.15 2:40 am

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There is a myth that all journalism needs to be in-your-face

MEANWHILE ... Rupert ...

Guardian: Rupert Murdoch succession: reshuffle does nothing to clear up who’s boss

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We need you ... THANKYOU!x

The Editors. Pub: May 18
01.06.15 4:40 am

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TUESDAY, June 2: Fifteen days after our appeal ... and immense thanks are due to Pete, Anon, Anne, John, William, Kevin, Anon, Stephen,  Moya, John & Peter, Anon, Stephen, Andrew, June, Anon, Anon, Anon, Karl, Luuk, John, John, TGC, Bronwen, Leon, Anon, Estelle, Michael, Richard, Anon, Ian, Anon, Casey, Peter, Onya, Anon ... and the monthly contributors who include, Anon, Anon, Service, Onya, In The Loop, Kevin. THANKYOU!x

MONDAY, May 18: Tasmanian Times (TT) needs you. TT believes that the democratic purpose of the media is best served when information is freely available to citizens. While many other news websites opt to put their articles behind subscription screens or barrage readers with annoying pop-up banner ads, TT has swum against the tide.

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Two of Us: A beautiful love story ...

Fenella Souter, Fairfax. Pic*
01.06.15 2:00 am

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Evan Whitton, 87, is journalistic royalty. A five-time Walkley Award winner, he devoted decades to reporting on corruption. But behind all that lies a tender, episodic and fateful love story with his wife Noela, 85.

Noela Whitton, New York Times: The World of Pere-Lachaise

Noela Whitton’s book: How to stay friends with your children

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The day Letterman said ‘no’ to Rupert Murdoch

Bruce Guthrie, Editorial Director The New Daily
25.05.15 4:00 am

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US talk show host retires after 33 years – but would he have had the same long and illustrious career if he’d said ‘yes’ to Rupert Murdoch?

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

NATION: A conga line of clowns and illusionists. Flanagan on Border Force. Dyson stays put ... 



ABC: Fresh commitment to regional Australians 



Integral Ita 







What's On

What's On





The problem with FT isn’t so much about technological ignorance as the fact that they simply don’t care about…

Funding and Disclosure

Tasmanian Arts Guide

TV Tonight

Daily Kudelka


Martyn Turner



The Automatic Earth

Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

The New Daily

The Saturday Paper


Truth in Media

The Intercept

Blogger Me


Daily Mail Australia

ABC News Fact Check


Bluestone Magazine


No Fibs

ABC Vote Compass

Learn Discover Access

TROVE at National Library

The Guardian - Australian Edition

The Global Mail

The Conversation

Eureka Street

3 Quarks Daily

The Idiot Tax



Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands

Independent Australia

ABC Radio National

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Failed Estate


Feeding the Chooks

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Racket

Paige Loves Books

Don Knowler

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Gazette of Law & Journalism

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