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AUSTRALIA: Pranking Leads to Chilled Speech

KAYLA DE BONDT WRITES – The Australian high court has cleared the way for a Sydney radio station to face charges for an on-air stunt which ultimately led to the suicide of a pranked nurse. In the process, the court backed the power of the country’s media watchdog to identify criminal behavior by media outlets and […]

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AUSTRALIA: Unfriending Extremist Groups

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES- At a conference in Washington D.C. last week, Australian Attorney General George Brandis announced an $18 million program that will fight pro-terrorist websites by closely observing social media sites that promote terrorist ideals. Following the theme of the summit, “countering violent extremism,” this program, dubbed Combating Terrorist Propaganda in Australia, aims to […]

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AUSTRALIA: Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES- This week Australia celebrated 2015’s Australia Day, a national holiday which commemorates the 1788 arrival of British ships at Port Jackson in New South Wales and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain under Governor Arthur Phillip. In celebration of this day, awards and appointments to the Order of Australia, an […]

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AUSTRALIA: Crouching Tiger, Hacking Panda

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES– In preparation for the 2014 Group of 20 (G20) Summit held in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland in Australia, Chinese hackers allegedly hacked into Australian media corporations to collect information about the Summit’s possible discussion topics. This group, referred to as Deep Panda, hacks into systems with its focus on the interests […]

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AUSTRALIA: Tell Us the Whole Story, China

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES: China’s influence over outside media outlets is increasing in countries like Australia, analysts report. This ‘soft power’ approach is China’s way of keeping in touch with one million Chinese Australians while censoring what is included in the Chinese language news sources and favoring state-generated content. John Fitzgerald, a professor at Swinburne University, […]

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AUSTRALIA: There’s Beauty in Every Box

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…or perhaps it’s in a box. Bellabox, an Australian beauty subscription service, received over $3 million in backing from Allure Media, digital publisher of PopSugar and Shopstyle.   With the help of Allure Media’s funding, bellabox will expand its subscription services to international destinations […]

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AUSTRALIA: Ahoy! Internet piracy to ‘walk the plank’

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – To thwart digital pirates, the Australian government has put forward a plan to keep websites from hosting copyrighted material. Aussie creative types and the media say ‘Bravo’. The Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance (MEAA), a union representing artists, film makers, journalists and other creators, say they support the government’s proposal and […]

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AUSTRALIA: Aussie Shows Scheduled to Invade China’s TVs

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – ABC’s Australian Network has landed a deal with the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), allowing various Aussie shows and other media content to be broadcasted in China. As the third Western media group to have broadcasting rights in China, following Britain’s BBC World Service and America’s CNN International, ABC and other Australian […]

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AUSTRALIA: American TV Shows Take off with a ‘Big Bang’

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – The Big Bang Theory, dubbed Australia’s favorite comedy by The Sydney Morning Herald, has been approved for three more seasons after a deal was signed between Warner Bros and Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator. This is especially good news for Australian broadcaster Nine Network, which has used the American show’s well-established fan base […]

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AUSTRALIA: The Abbott Government Has Sent You a Friend Request

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES: The Abbott government spent $4.3 million in social media research to measure public opinion concerning its immigration strategies, according to Fairfax Media. Further, the government has doled out over $65,000 to monitor the public’s thoughts regarding the “no boat, no visa” movement that aims at keeping asylum seekers at bay. The government has two […]

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AUSTRALIA: Let’s Keep it Classy, ABC

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – The government of Prime Minister Tony Abbot hopes to sever the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ties to its international broadcasting service, the Australian Network. As reported in The Guardian, Julie Bishop, the foreign affairs minister, has questioned the overall quality of the Australian Network’s service and contends it may not be fulfilling its duty […]

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AUSTRALIA: You’ve Got Mail…Online

AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – The U.K.’s Daily Mail — surprisingly, the world’s most-read online English-language newspaper — will soon open an Australian edition. The move follows a similar down-under launch by rival The Guardian earlier this year. Mail Online, Daily Mail’s international online publication and the world’s most popular English-language newspaper, boasts 57.3 million views per […]

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LOS ANGELES: Seen From Here, the Aussie PM Seems Clueless

The following PACIFIC PERSPECTIVES column was recently syndicated to newspaper editors in the U.S. and Asia. By Tom Plate  – A spat between Indonesia and Australia is not receiving proper attention in our media. This is predictable given American parochialism but, even so, it is causing serious heartburn in some Washington quarters — and genuine […]

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