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'It has been a busy six months for Sydney PEN and sadly much of our work has concerned the actions of our government authorities against Australian citizens. The June raids by the Australian Federal Police on journalists and media organisations represented a disturbing attempt to intimidate legitimate news journalism working in the public interest. Sydney PEN joined Australia’s major media bodies, such as the MEAA, in denouncing the raids and demanding a change in law to introduce positive protections for journalists and whistleblowers from the threat of warrants, searches, arrests and imprisonment for reporting the truth.' (Mark Isaacs President’s address, introduction)
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* Contents derived from the 2019 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
'It has been years since the US Democratic National Committee (DNC) brought suit against Julian Assange for publishing its leaked emails in 2016. It wasn’t until 29 July of this year that a federal court in New York dismissed the case. The ruling upheld Assange’s status as a journalist and publisher and dismissed claims that WikiLeaks’ publication in 2016 of leaked Democratic emails was illegal. The New York Times and Washington Post buried this highly significant story. It did not appear in the Australian media at all.' (Introduction)
'The UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages has been all about highlighting the crucial role languages play in people’s daily lives. Of the 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages once alive in Australia, only around 120 are still spoken, and of these approximately 90 per cent are endangered. With this in mind, there has never been a more important time to promote and preserve the languages spoken by our First Nations peoples.' (Introduction)
'A senior official in the Catholic Church once asked me why journalists hate God. At the time, I thought the answer was obvious. Journalists don’t hate God, but they can appear to hate the Church. The institution is powerful and inscrutable. It is built on sanctimony. It has harboured and facilitated obscene criminality.'
'In 2011, the US-based organization VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) sparked an international conversation in the literary world by publishing a ‘count’ of gender balance in the world of reviewing. They revealed, in shocking coloured pie-charts, the remarkable disparity between the number of women and men reviewed and authoring reviews in major literary publications. The VIDA count proved with data what many of us already knew: women writers’ slice of the pie was absurdly, maddeningly small.'