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John Passant

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January 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
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Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

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Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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Support colleagues striking for press freedom at the Southern Weekend Newspaper, Guangzhou

To: Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Federal Secretary

Please add my name to the Media Alliance letter to show my support for my colleagues at Southern Weekend in their fight for press freedom and the fundamental principles of journalism.

John Passant

From:Federal Secretary
To: Federal Secretary
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2013 5:30 PM
Subject: Special Media Alliance Bulletin – Support striking colleagues at the Southern Weekend Newspaper, Guangzhou

Dear member,

Our colleagues in China need our help. In a historic – and courageous step – the journalists at Guangzhou’s Southern Weekend newspaper have gone on strike over censorship of their work.

Here’s how you can make a difference: the Media Alliance is asking you to reply to this message, including your full name, so that we can add your name to a letter the Media Alliance will send to Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. The letter will demonstrate the concern of Australian journalists in this vital press freedom issue and it’s a way you can play your part in helping fellow journalists in China.

The background to the strike is straightforward. On January 1 2013 the Southern Weekend’s editorial calling for the protection of individual rights was secretly changed from “China’s Dream, the Dream of Constitutionalism” to “We are now closer to our dream than ever before.” The striking journalists believe the Chief of the Guangdong Province Tuo Zhen changed the article to echo the direction of the Central Authority.

On January 6, the authorities claimed an editor had made the amendment but a statement co-signed by Southern Weekend’s editorial board, journalists, and others denied this and accused the authority of exerting pressure on the editorial board. Subsequently, Southern Weekend’s journalists went on strike to express their outrage and demand editorial independence.

The Central Propaganda Department has issued an order that no media are allowed to report, comment or forward any messages related to the article or the strike at Southern Weekend. At the same time, all related online messages have been deleted and journalists’ social media accounts have been interfered with.

The journalists at Southern Weekend have taken a courageous stand to uphold the ethics of the journalism profession. This brave action demonstrates their commitment to strong, ethical journalism that respects the truth and the public’s right to information – the same principles that are enshrined in the Media Alliance Journalist Code of Ethics.

The Media Alliance is joining the journalists on the Southern Weekend in calling on General Secretary Xi Jinping to stand Tuo aside, investigate what took place at Southern Weekend and make clear that all levels of government in China will respect journalists who seek to do their job without having their work tampered with and censored.

I urge you to reply to this email so that we can add your name to the Media Alliance letter and show our support to our colleagues at Southern Weekend in their fight for press freedom and the fundamental principles of journalism.

Thank you for supporting our colleagues and my Best Wishes for the year ahead,

Christopher Warren

Federal secretary

Here is a link to the MEAA site on this.

Comments (see the link under the heading) close after 7 days.


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