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VicPol Apologises to Rebel News Australia

1min read

It seems you must either ‘stand with Avi’ or ‘stand with PRGuy17’ (choose a side) but there are a number of us who may not personally like the way either of them choose to go about their work but believe they both play a very important role in our public discourse.

The way Victoria Police treated Avi is wrong and we should celebrate this apology. I hope they back up their apology with action moving forward.

Like many, I’m not a fan of Rebel News but why does that even matter? They do important work that most (including myself) do not have the courage (or let’s be honest – temerity) to do. If you don’t like it, then do a better job. If you think they’ve made a mistake, then gather some facts and call it out.

As we watch journalists in a dying legacy media pander to powerful corporate and government interests, it increasingly falls to independent media to fill the role traditional journalists have abandoned. Peter Hitchens described it to me thusly: ‘The appropriate relationship between journalists and governments should be of that between a dog and a lamp post.’

So if you’re looking for a completely unbiased journalist or media outlet, you will die of exhaustion. But quality of journalism is, in the end, decided by the people. It’s not for Victoria Police or a government to decide who is and who isn’t a journalist.

Institutions should be answering questions from anyone who dares to ask them – whether those questions are asked respectfully or otherwise.

I note that the pandemic years has given rise to a number of new voices (there are many with small followings under 5,000 subscribers) and some are not happy about it. Yes there’s misinformation. Yes there’s bias. But the cultural reflex to smear and censor dissenting voices leads to a dangerous end.

I say increase the number of voices! On all sides, on every side, on no sides. More, not less, speech combined with an increasingly savvy audience, is preferable to the censorious, mushroom approach we currently live under (mushrooms are kept in the dark and fed excrement).

It’s messy, sure, and it takes courage to walk through the noise but we are better off with a cacophony than with a submissive euphony.