Topic: independent media
Picture: Photo [by a supporter] sent to SAM blog micro news last year taken at Railway Square in Sydney, outside the Dept of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) of a long running protest over these stateless people. These are the same Aminov family in the news today.
The attacks by the PM's office and competing big media on an MP promoting the profile of a humanitarian case (duly and correctly published by the Sydney Daily Telegraph today) appear totally disingenuous if not dishonest.
MP roasted over petrol protest pics
They are also an attack on community media practise. Here is the holier than thou from Fairfax today:
MP in cash for photograph scandal
PHILLIP COOREY | A Federal Labor MP has been carpeted by the Prime Minister's office after he allegedly tried to sell pictures he had just taken of a man threatening to set fire to himself outside Parliament House.
The fact is the Big Media don't like being gazumped on their news gathering work by the public or a commercial rival. They will seek to embarass any person, MP or public including bloggers who seeks to take up their closed shop role in a serious way - unless it's for free. The competitive sniping of the big media amongst themselves is similarly legendary.
This MP was quite within his rights to seek a fee from commercial media to donate it to charity. As if the journalists on their big fat wages shouldn't have to pay for someone doing their work for them. There is no issue of self interest here at all, only of professional jealousy.
The MP was also right to take the picture and try to amplify the media coverage of the humanitarian case by offering the pictures around.
What is 'unforgiveable' as far as Rudd's minders and office are surely concerned, is that this case is embarrassing to the government responsible for resolving the 10 year long case. It also echoes pressure coming to bear on the PM in the last several question times (eg via Sharman Stone MP), and in The Australian, about an increase of boat people and fraught policy on border protection and refugee detention:
People smugglers try again - Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP17 Nov 2008 ... This fifth boat that has been intercepted on its way to ...
Corrupt Indonesian officials put visas on sale | The Australian 3 Dec 2008
It may have been this same desperate protester who jumped into the chamber from the public gallery earlier this week, but in the normal course his protests were censored from both the radio and tv coverage.
In other words no problem with the MP taking pictures, or 'selling the picture' to benefit charity and profile an important humanitarian issue, but lack of real politik judgement about his own Govt's problems on immigration and refugee policy.
But Bidgood's moral judgement was just fine as far as we are concerned, and his engagement with popular community media practise is just fine by us. And we say that with 15 years in the non profit community media sector about a humanitarian case that has been unresolved for a good 10 years.
We have an archive picture which may be of these same protesters from outside the Immigration Dept here in Sydney also which we will publish (see above) again and refer this post back in late 2007:
Friday, 19 October 2007Hunger strike by the Aminovs
Topic: human rights
Our correspondent writes: Attached is a photo from the hunger strike staged by Aminovs family outside Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) yesterday. The Aminovs decided to take the matter further and will go on a day of hunger strike outside PM's house this coming Sunday. The hunger strike will start 10 am - 4 pm, outside Kiribilli house, Sunday 21 October 07.There demands are:1. Speed up the process of the visa, on highly humanitarian basis Or, Grant them humanitarian visa instead of parents visa.2- Issue them a photo ID to enable them to move more freely and comfortably.3- Allow them to access Medicare services (on humanitarian grounds) and other basic settlements services (English classess...).They will be joined by few friends and other long time similar case/s.Please come along for solidarity and to protest the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers by Howard's governement