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Withering Freedoms? - In the Shadow of Leaves
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Withering Freedoms?

Free speech can bloom only if there are those prepared to defend it

Date: September 9 2003
ABC staff must fight daily to protect our freedom of expression, writes
Richard Flanagan.
Text-only version www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2003/09/08/1062901995457.htm
or Full Bottle version www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/08/1062901995457.html
... It is assumed, wrongly, that it is easy for a writer to say publicly whatever they wish. But it is not so. All around me I see avenues for expression closing, an odd collusion of an ever-more cowed media and the way in which the powerful seek to dictate what is and what isn't read and heard. These are difficult times for anyone wishing to offer a view of the powerful that is different from that determined by the powerfuls' minders ...

... The ABC expects others to defend its rights to free expression and discussion; the importance of independent reportage and comment. And it is right to do so, because in such resides our best guarantees of freedom. But in the end, this can only happen if those in the ABC daily assert these ideas in the practice of making their programs, if those of good heart refuse to acquiesce in the face of the intimidation and thuggery of the powerful.

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