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Friday, 23 March 2007

Louis Nowra says that "an idle man is a dangerous man" in his excellent piece about dysfunctional aboriginal communities, published in this month's Australian Literary Review.

Last December, I mentioned a striking story by UTS academic Wendy Bacon published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Nowra supports the efforts by newspapers to increase the access journalists are allowed to aboriginal communities. Without the ventilating influence of the press, these communities will remain under the public radar and nothing will get done to protect thousands of women and children who are sexually assaulted and bashed every year.

The Australian reported yesterday that the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, the peak union for journalists, has "argued against lifting the permit system that controls access to Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory". This means that the ability of dysfunctional aboriginal communities to avoid scrutiny lies uncontested by the union.

Naturally, many journalists will be unhappy with this decision.

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