Fair dinkum people.

TAFKAS is genuinely shocked and dismayed at the lack of interest in this “national security” and AFP raids business.  Especially so on this site.  He is even more shocked at the lack of interest at the horrible idea of licencing journalists.  Comparing this to licencing of doctors and dentists is just ridiculous.

Licencing of journalist is the licencing and censorship of speech.

Forget about the definition of the word journalist and who is and who is not one.  To licence journalists means that there is a class of people who would not be licensed to speak, write and express.  This is the very definition of an infringement of the right to free speech and expression.

And what does one need to do to get and keep such licence?  Agree to not criticize the issuer of the licence … the Government?  How about to dob in people who criticise the government?  How about criminalising blaspheme?

Come one Cats.  Get some history into you.  Read Areopagitica.

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48 Responses to Areopagitica

  1. stackja

    MSM/ALP really support censorship of non-ABC/News Corp and licensing non-ABC/News Corp journalists.

  2. Tim Neilson

    I agree that it’s a truly appalling totalitarian idea to ‘licence’ journalists.

    It’s utterly stupid also to create any other sort of legal classification of people as ‘journalists’ or non-journalists, because that would inevitably lead to non-journalists being denied various privileges, including inevitably eventually the ‘privilege’ of free speech.

    But that’s why I’ve got no problem with the raids. If we don’t distinguish between ‘journalists’ and others for free speech purposes we shouldn’t distinguish between them for the purpose of some sort of immunity from law enforcement. That’s especially true if the distinction is purportedly on the basis that ‘journalists’ have free speech rights – because what’s the inexorable corollary?

  3. Percy Popinjay

    I would very happy if AFP raids were to become a “perpetual irritant” for their ALPBC.

  4. bespoke

    I only commenting because according the the resident blog nanny it indicates how many people read it.

  5. pbw

    Forget about the definition of the word journalist and who is and who is not one. To licence journalists means that there is a class of people who would not be licensed to speak, write and express. This is the very definition of an infringement of the right to free speech and expression.

    So who is not one is the problem. Licensed j’ists will have powers and abilities to publish, far beyond those of mortal men. This legislation is aimed squarely at the independent sources – citizen journalists and bloggers who purvey fake fake news; news that is not approved by the authorities.
    The MSM j’ists need no policing; they are perfectly self-policing, as long as the correct line is being peddled. This will sooner or later come terribly unstuck, of course.

  6. Bruce of Newcastle

    Journalism schools should be banned and shut down.
    They are totally captured by the left, through the agency of people like Margaret Simons.
    No kid can make it through such courses without adhering to leftism.
    Righties have no hope of surviving and getting a decent mark.
    At the same time the left has forced credentialism onto the industry.
    That locks in the Left’s control.
    Effectively the licencing system is already in place.
    Unless you can show your little red book you don’t get a degree oops licence.
    We see the result in the US where the MSM is 92% against Trump.
    So ban it all. Make journalists come up through the ranks like they used to. Like Tim Blair.
    The blogosphere shows how many capable writers there are.
    They just aren’t journalism graduates.

  7. Journalism schools should be banned and shut down.

    Any course of study that leaves a student dumber than when they started should be abolished.

    I can’t believe i used the word “study” in regard to J’ism skool

  8. Pyrmonter

    TAFKAS nails it again.

    The tribal opposition to the ABC (and related loyalty to ‘government’ in some manifestation) shown in these parts lately shows some people rather miss the point.

  9. Biota

    This will go the way of gender identity. Male identifies as female then uses their washroom for the pleasure. Any scumbag with a grudge identifies as a journalist, gets licensed, then publishes whatever they have made up and they are untouchable.

  10. feelthebern

    Jimmy Dore.
    From the 7 min mark he schools most journo’s in the US.

    Journo’s want to be a special class of people.
    Here & the US.

  11. Behind Enemy Lines

    No need for licensing – we’re all journalists now.

    The question’s whether an annointed, self-appointed subset will keep getting to break the law at will.

  12. J.H.

    An American judge just passed a ruling on just this issue recently…. can’t find the article that mentioned it, but basically he ruled that journalists and citizens are the same thing with the same rights to access, publish or be penalized…. To make them separate entities would interfere with free speech ….. or something to that effect.

    Everyone is a journalist…. some just make money out of it.

  13. mem

    There are very few independent journalist anymore
    If I had respect for them I would back their rights to free speech and their right not to disclose sources.
    As it is, all journalists in the ABC as well as most other quarters have flagrantly used their positions to bend the truth to support their activist causes e.g. climate change. I have no respect for them anymore and will not defend them. If they break the law lock them up like the rest of us.
    PS When the Labor Government proposed licensing journalists I objected strongly and wrote to both federal and state members of either persuasion to object. But where was the journalists union? Totally missing. And when that whacko woman from the Human Rights (non rights) Commission Triggs went after Leak, where was the journalist union supporting his right to free speech? However, as a member of the public I know I should tread carefully because ultimately we the public still rely to a degree on the media to inform us. But will they do so impartially? Only if they have scruples and wish to survive as a profession.

  14. Procrustes

    I agree with you TAFKAS.

  15. J.H.

    Anyway, as for the Federal Police investigation and the raid on the ABC minion…..The journalist isn’t the target of the case, the public servant that leaked information is the one who broke the law and the Federal Police are tasked with bringing that law breaker to task….. Though she can end up being charged by obstructing the case.

    Basically she’s trying to cover for a public servant who revealed that MP Dutton and another Minister chose to maintain that all individual warrants still had to be ordered by a judge and that there would be no “streamlining of the process”….. So Dutton is the good guy who is maintaining civil liberty standards and some denizen of the Permanent Bureaucracy and their ABC shills didn’t like that and decided to create a story with a “whistle blower” pretending that Dutton was trying to take freedoms away, when the exact opposite is true.

    Well that was my take on it… But I’ve not been reading the interwebs much lately…. flu.

  16. Shy Ted

    “A senior Liberal” ” sources close to” “an independent poll” “the controversial politician” “in the public interest, the ABC decided not to” and so on. When there’s a level playing field where all media is bought and has to find an audience through sales and advertising, get back to me then TAFKAS.

  17. tgs

    The Cat has, with some exceptions, been far more about tribalist point scoring and repeating conservative culture war shibboleths than standing up for classical liberal values for some time. Surprised that you’re surprised, TAFKAS.

  18. How will they “licence” overseas assholes then?
    Foreign assholes visit for one off events often.
    Whoever proposed this, does he think the interwebs have borders?
    What if a bloke in Enzud publishes ‘Oz Blog Daily’. Will our plod grab a couple of Cuntass business class seats to Enzud to question the bloke?

    Relax. Not gunna happen.

  19. Phill

    Its all bullshit. The bleating about press freedom is noise. Pointing out that publishing classified material is against the law is not an attack on freedom of the press. Where does anything say that press freedom implies a license to break the laws that everyone else has to abide by.
    As far as I am aware, the only mob who every seriously wanted press licensing was the ALP, and that was a direct result of Julia Gillard being annoyed that The Australian was open to publishing allegations around a certain Union slush fund.

  20. J.H.

    You’ll have to be a bit more specific than that tgs. What classical liberal principles have we trampled upon while waving willy nilly our shibboleths?

  21. Iampeter

    What you should be genuinely shocked about, is the lack of understanding of what “censorship” even means, on this website.
    Along with the complete lack of support for the free speech of tech companies that has been displayed here.

    So, don’t worry you’re pretty head about journalists being licensed or whatever.

  22. Behind Enemy Lines

    #3041076, posted on June 12, 2019 at 6:07 pm
    The Cat has, with some exceptions, been far more about tribalist point scoring and repeating conservative culture war shibboleths than standing up for classical liberal values for some time.

    Sounds like someone’s had his feelings hurt. And when did arguing for the rule of law stop being a classical liberal value?

  23. Iampeter

    The Cat has, with some exceptions, been far more about tribalist point scoring and repeating conservative culture war shibboleths than standing up for classical liberal values for some time. Surprised that you’re surprised, TAFKAS.


    You said it better than me.

    Good post tgs.

  24. J.H.

    Iampeter…. I think you will find that it is the Tech companies who are infringing upon free speech. As carrier or publisher platforms they shouldn’t be censoring legal speech….. But that’s what they have been doing.

    There is no such thing as “hate speech” only free speech. It should not be illegal to cause offense. But it should be illegal to slander, lie, bear false witness, etcetera.

  25. Dr Fred Lenin

    Good cover for spies “I got the secret paper because I journalist.not spy”you ask alp comrade s .

  26. There are journalists and there are opinion writers (bloggers and vloggers). The latter are far more prolific on the internet etc so you need to be more specific about who is being targeted.

    This blog is full of opinion writers, not journalists. Opinion writers don’t usually have access to information sources like MSM journalists.

    I just get the feeling that this is much ado about nothing.

  27. And I should have pointed out the elephant in the room. Who is doing the actual censorship in today’s free world (I exclude the EU because it doesn’t represent the free world)?

  28. billie

    fake news by journalists is not free speech it is censorship

    news that is made extreme by omission of facts is fake news

    journalists want a free pass to bullshyte then when called out do such things as call attention to the “2 walkeys, just sayin” as if that means bullshyte should be allowed because other bullshyters support them

    this drain, you call journalism, needs cleaning of the filth in it

  29. herodotus

    There are very few independent journalist anymore
    If I had respect for them I would back their rights to free speech and their right not to disclose sources.

    Thanks mem – for all of that post up the page.

  30. Howard Hill

    License the fkers, the rest of us can then say what we damn well like and tell the truth.
    What difference would it really make now that the internet is so prevalent?
    Those that seek the truth will always find it, irrespective of what some clown in Canberra thinks.
    It’s not like the ALPBC or any of the lamestream media will be effected, they don’t report anything of use or fact anyway! AND the present situation hasn’t done a fat lot of good in this country anyway. The most brainwashed, nannied, conformist bunch or sheeple I’ve ever known! Bahhh, Bahhh…

  31. Howard Hill

    Licencing of journalist is the licencing and censorship of speech.

    AND don’t forget that the fool who was just elected by those sheeple wants to jail people for five years if they upset some snowflake on farcbook. What free speech do you think you’re gunna protect?

  32. a happy little debunker

    Face up to it – these ‘journalists’ made their beds a long time ago & now they deserve all the grief they think they protest.
    Happy to sling Assange under a bus – because someone has to pay for Hillary not being elected.
    Claiming the greatest scare campaign during the last election was ‘death dutys’ whilst doubling down on their climate change rhetoric.

    Lets us not forget that for all the caterwauling – no journalist has been detained or sentenced or even alleged to have broken laws, unless you count Shane Dowling – but please do remember what you heard about his efforts from the MSM, nothing but crickets.

    Remember how they all leaped to the defence of Bolt over his 18C debacle?
    What about their stated defiance of Finkelestein’s recommendations over press freedom?
    How they stood man to man over Michael Smith’s AWU investigation?
    Or how about when Barrie Cassidy actually invited Piers Ackerman (who had already rubbished the claims) to repeat these claims , over Gillard, and then ensured he never, ever appeared on ‘Insiders’ for repeating the claims Cassidy actually invited?

    Me neither?

    They say if you lay down with dogs, you get fleas – these bastards are the fleas!

  33. Rob MW

    He is even more shocked at the lack of interest at the horrible idea of licencing journalists.

    Why ? They are virtually heritage listed anyway so why not register them as an old structure. Journalists these days are as rare as rocking horse shit, but, if they wanted to licence opinion writers, being as plentiful as a###holes, well that’s a different story and worthy of world war III.

  34. Leo G

    Licencing Paid employment of journalist is the licencing and censorship of speech.

  35. Amused

    I’m just a journalist writing a story about my experience importing and selling a tonne of cocaine!

  36. Wayne From Perth

    Wasn’t licensing journalists an ALP proposal back in that ladies day? Why is it being considered under a Liberal regime?

    Also who is proposing it?

  37. max

    Licensing is an intervention into the market by the state. It works against consumers, who are not allowed by law to make decisions about which offers are best for them. Instead, those sellers who want to reduce competition are in charge, through licensing boards, of which kinds of offers are legitimate.

    Licensing is a violation of the biblical principle of the rule of law. The rule of law is clear: “There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you” (Exodus 12:49). This has to do with civil law. Civil law is not to discriminate against a stranger. Defenders of licensing argue that a licensing law really does apply equally. It discriminates equally against covenant keepers who want to sell unlicensed goods and resident aliens who want to sell unlicensed goods. In other words, there is equality before an unequal law. This justification of licensing is universal today.

    Laws that establish occupational licensing are attempts by politicians to create economic and legal barriers to entry into a profession. These barriers reward existing practitioners. These laws discriminate against sellers who are outside of the existing guild. Licensing is designed to reduce competition. Competition is the essence of economic liberty: the legal right to make an offer. The legal right to bid is the essence of an auction. This is also true of a free market. Sellers compete against sellers. Buyers compete against buyers. Out of this competition come prices and voluntary exchanges.

    Existing sellers want to avoid competition from newcomers. They want exclusive access to the money offered by buyers. They want to prevent newcomers from offering better deals to buyers. Better deals will force down prices. Thus, sellers join together and offer donations to political candidates who will vote to create licensing boards run officially by the government, but which are advised by members of the profession. The guild’s members recommend that licensing boards establish regulations that favor the existing sellers. For example, they recommend mandatory examinations that are written by members of the guild. Existing sellers are not required to take the examinations that applicants into the profession are required by law to take. Members also pressure the boards to make the exams more rigorous every few years.

    The medieval towns of Europe were run by businessmen. Successful businessmen sat in the seats of civil authority. They passed laws prohibiting entry into the local market. They required anyone who wanted to manufacture anything that was already made by someone in town to serve for years as a low-paid worker, followed by years spent as an apprentice. They prohibited sellers from outside the town from bringing in goods for sale. The only exceptions were during regional fairs, which were rare. This was the guild system. It created an inherited system of manufacturing and political control. It worked for centuries against consumers.

    This system of closed access still operates in every nation. What was once confined to towns now spreads across nations. Large manufacturers and established professions are protected by literally thousands of laws that keep them safer from competition. Licensing closes off markets from offers by unlicensed sellers. Potential buyers are forced to buy from local sellers. Their choices are limited by law.

  38. Deplorable

    So why have licences for tradespeople,pharmacists,engineers and a whole host of other occupations? The object of a license issued by the state or industry body appears to be an attempt to obtain a required standard in the provision of services so consumers can have some confidence they are dealing with a competent person. The removal of a license can be a deterrent to those who would abuse the system.
    Why shouldn’t journalists be licensed, the standard to be met is balanced reporting of facts without bias and a failure to uphold the standard would have the license cancelled. This works to some degree in most trades and professions. No license no employment in that industry.

  39. Sunbird

    The problem is leaking information from departments concerned with national security is an offence so shouldn’t recieving and publishing that information also be an offence?
    Reputable joutjournalists say they respect information of genuine national security but what is a reputable journalist?
    This is why they propose a system of licensecing.
    How else can our society get around the problem that leaking and publishing national security information is a criminal offence yet is considered vital for a free press?

  40. calli

    The Cat has, with some exceptions, been far more about tribalist point scoring and repeating conservative culture war shibboleths than standing up for classical liberal values for some time. Surprised that you’re surprised, TAFKAS.

    What is this “the Cat”, of which you speak?

    You aren’t homogenising opinion here are you? Very collectivist thinking. The place is broad and varied. Why, they even tolerate you and me.

    I was delighted to see Milton’s speech cited here. Been an age since I studied it. The idea of licencing speech is odious. Anyone should be able to air their views. By giving today’s journalists a licence, we are in effect gagging others who have none.

    And who decides on what criteria such a licence would be issued? And how it would be revoked?

    What a delightful, totalitarian can of worms. Tyrants would love it.

  41. calli


    An anagram of “silencing”.

  42. Mark A

    The marketplace will sort out shonks quicker than any licensing.

    Having a piece of paper never stopped cheats and charlatans.
    Actually they are experts in obtaining said pieces of paper.

  43. The BigBlueCat

    TAFKAS, the point often missed in these sorts of discussion revolve around the law. Journalists cannot be above the law in the same way politicians can’t be above the law. The press have been overly sensitive to the AFP investigations – their ABC weren’t so sensitive when the ALP were proposing government oversight of the media if it meant that Murdoch press would be “brought to heel”, but they scream bloody murder when scrutiny is aimed at them because apparently one or two of them might have received and used classified information. They shouldn’t have it both ways – hypocrites!

  44. Bunyip Bill

    Journalists? One candidate I know after passing the indoctrination process and passing with honours could not locate London on a map of the world, and whilst coming from Brisbane, inquired as to what the time zone difference was between Brisbane and Townsville. She now works for the BBC in london. It is about time that this profession returned to the aprenticeship model of induction as in former years.

  45. Linden

    Back in 2013 around July I think, one radio journalist Michael Smith was about to go live with and AWU fraud scandal involving the former head of the AWU Bruce Wilson and Julia Gillard the then PM. Gillard got wind of it and rang the radio station 2UE or 2GB? and howled down the manager. As a result Michael Smith got told to pull the story or loose his radio position; he refused and resigned and went out on his own. I don’t recall the ABC or any other media eg TV stations political sections going in to bat for Smith. In fact the ABC did opposite it tried to destroy Smith in favor of Gillard. What was Gillard’s response in parliament, ‘who is Michael Smith” indeed.

  46. Dr Fred Lenin

    Muster the forces of the churchf for a new crusade and the reconquista of western Christian Cvilisation and he destrucion of the unblievers and heretics and the evils of Satan (_or Toby as Rowan Atkinson calls him ,you are here for a long time, Not a good time )

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