As the war on free speech heats up, independent journalists are being targeted. Time to use it, or lose it.
Australian Journalist Avi Yemini has just reported the real reason he was denied entry to New Zealand back in August. It had nothing to do with the bogus reason given – that he had a prior conviction.
An Official Information Act request has revealed that the New Zealand Government was worried that Yemini’s reporting could have the “propensity to agitate people with opposing views”.
Basically, it was political. The political suppression of journalism. The Ardern Government does not want public opposition or dissent, despite its incredibly undemocratic and divisive policies.
“I was sensationally turned away at the New Zealand border when I attempted to enter the country to report on anti-government protests in August.
“New Zealand immigration officials told the mainstream media I had been refused entry to the country due to a historic criminal conviction.
“But documents obtained under an FOI request prove New Zealand officials knew my historical criminal conviction did not meet the threshold for preventing someone from entering the country,” Yemini said in a news report on the revelation.
It certainly confirms fears that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is already working hard to control the information that you and I can access, something she announced on the world stage a few weeks ago at the UN, that she would like to do at a global scale.
We’ve also seen in the last few weeks a top journalism professor at AUT, Greg Treadwell, openly advocate for tweaking the rules of journalism to refuse right of reply to people MSM deem to be ‘proto-fascist’, which feels like could be literally anyone who falls foul of mainstream narratives.
There have been developments abroad as well. The longstanding case of imprisoned Australian Journalist Julian Assange continues unchallenged by the legacy media, as the US and UK governments collude in his torture.
A wonderfully human protest earlier this month, involving ordinary people forming a human chain around Parliament in protest of his imprisonment and possible extradition to the US was held. Watch what the people present said about what they thought of the plight of Julian Assange.
The US is sending a clear message to journalists everywhere – ‘if you expose state crimes, we will crush you’.
Stateside, last week controversial independent journalist Alex Jones, who runs Info Wars, was fined $1 billion dollars for allegedly lying about the Sandy Hook school shooting. As has been argued elsewhere, whether you like Alex Jones or not, whether he was lying or not, the fine is a travesty for free speech.
Writing in Off-Guardian, Kit Knightly argued that it was clearly designed as a warning to alternative media and independent journalists.
“Indeed, outside of the specifics of this case, the potential fallout for everyone in the alt-media sphere is terrifying, because already the Jones precedent is being used as an argument for “regulation” of the internet.”
“People have the right to free speech. And that includes – MUST include – the right to lie and the right to simply be wrong.
“If you take away those rights, you put the power to regulate speech in the hands of those with enough influence to create official “truth” or hold the “right” opinions. And that has nothing to do with objective truth, or real facts.”
Global Research News Hour hosted an episode on current standards in journalism, and interviewed two well-known dissident journalists, John Pilger and The Grey Zone’s Max Blumenthal.
Pilger made the observation that in the censorious decade of the 1930s – the era of book burning – people were more outspoken than they are able to be today, and that the space for independent voices in media has shrunk to practically nothing. He’s been a journalist for 30 years, so that’s saying something.
My feeling is that sites like mine will come under pressure in the not too distant future. Alternative news will increasingly be labelled mis and disinformation, and if that is somehow made illegal, or fineable … well, we’ll have to resort to pamphletting and samizdat. Are we really going there again, history repeating because we just don’t learn?
Like cash, we either use our voices as much as possible while we still can to protect free speech, or we’ll lose it completely.
Stay curious …