Author: Michael Mullins

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vatican secrecy ensures trivial media coverage

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 March 2013
    4 Comments

    Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise mocked the Catholic Church during its papal conclave preview. The Vatican's culture of secrecy encourages journalists to act like children. Last week the US cardinals took a more open approach and got positive media. But they were slapped down and the coverage became trivial once again.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fear is the enemy of democracy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 04 March 2013
    22 Comments

    Opposition Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison called for a suspension of asylum seekers being released into the community, on the basis of a single violent incident. Fairfax Media showed these people are about 45 times less likely to be charged with a crime than members of the public. A fear mongering politician appears to have more credibility than the facts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sports fans' idolatry makes monsters of heroes

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The success of elite athletes is often accompanied by narcissistic behaviours that exploit and damage other people. This appears to be the case with Oscar Pistorius and Lance Armstrong. In seeking to curb such behaviour, we can call for greater regulation and surveillance. But we can also examine our own behaviour. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Radical Benedict

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 February 2013
    34 Comments

    Benedict's resignation makes him look like a radical in the tradition of Christian radicalism. He wrote that after examining his conscience, he concluded that he should resign because he was no longer adequate to exercise the Petrine ministry. This logic has implications for other conventions and rules such as priestly celibacy. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Philanthropy should be a condition of tax relief

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 February 2013
    6 Comments

    Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd justifies superannuation tax concessions for the wealthy: 'We go to work, we get paid. The money is ours.' In the USA, philanthropy is common among self-made men. There is no such tradition here, where taxes are needed to fund welfare and other projects for the common good.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tax justice for unpaid carers

    • Michael Mullins
    • 04 February 2013
    8 Comments

    Last week the political leaders were brawling over assistance payments for middle-class Australians, with Tony Abbott claiming to be promoting 'tax justice for families'. A new Human Rights Commission report has shown how our super and tax systems fail unpaid carers, who are needed to sustain many families. But not the ones whose votes matter most.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Not judging Ned Kelly and Lance Armstrong

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 January 2013
    16 Comments

    Discussion of whether Ned Kelly and Lance Armstrong are heroes or villains is a distraction from the more important big picture reality such as crime and justice in 19th century Victoria, and performance enhancing drugs in sport today. If we are preoccupied with judging behaviour, we will miss the opportunity to promote better laws that will make our society fairer for all.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coal mining, civil disobedience and the public good

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 January 2013
    11 Comments

    Fake ANZ media release activist Jonathan Moylan did the wrong thing in undermining public confidence in the share trading system. But he would not have seen the need to act if governments and the coal industry were acting with integrity and in the public interest.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The media and the vulnerable in 2012

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 December 2012
    3 Comments

    Browsing the highlights and lowlights of the year, media treatment of vulnerable people has been a constant. The regrettable circumstances surrounding the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha come to mind, but there are surprising moments when journalists have distinguished themselves with investigative reporting for the common good.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Royal Prank blood is on everybody's hands

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 December 2012
    53 Comments

    Following the 2DAY FM impersonation of the Queen and Prince Charles, the behaviour of the social and mass media lynch mob was no less shocking and shameful than that of the pranksters themselves. Even the CEO of the hospital shares the blame for accepting a royal patient without giving his staff adequate media training.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pro-business governments reversing Eureka Stockade achievement

    • Michael Mullins
    • 03 December 2012
    10 Comments

    Today is the 158th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade rebellion, often seen as the source of our ‘fair go’ ethos. Wealthy landowners and businessmen controlled the government, as they do today. Governments anxious for private sector investment give free reign to James Packer and others, at cost to the common good.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'No advantage' policy more harmful than leaky boats

    • Michael Mullins
    • 26 November 2012
    20 Comments

    The Federal Government is treating asylum seekers harshly as a deterrent. If you treat people harshly, you will diminish them as human beings, and they will cease to value their own lives, and possibly even self-harm. This undermines the justification for the initial harsh treatment, which is to protect them from risky sea voyages.

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