Manslaughter or Murder? Riot or Uprising?

In August of this year, an Indigenous boy, Elijah Doughty died in Kalgoorlie. He was 14 years old and was allegedly run down by a car whilst riding a motorbike that had been reported as stolen the day prior. A crowd gathered outside Kalgoorlie court house during the proceedings of the 55- year-old man charged in relation to Elijah’s death, which have subsequently been described as the Kalgoorlie Riots. Many Indigenous members of the Kalgoorlie community were outraged that the man was charged with manslaughter instead of murder, seeing it as another example in which an Indigenous life isn’t treated as valuably as that of a non-Indigenous person. The suicide of a 34 year-old woman who was a relative of Elijah, on the site where he was killed, further reveals the complexity of this issue.

This article will analyse how media outlets framed the protests that erupted outside the Kalgoorlie Magistrate Court following the 55 year-old’s charge of manslaughter. It will do so by focusing on the number of police, government and expert sources used compared to Indigenous sources used as well as the characterisation of those involved in the protests, as criminal or not. Furthermore, an analysis of the way each article chose to frame the issue as either episodic or thematic, will reveal how in the majority of articles, the protests were largely delegitimised. Elmasry defines episodic framing as where the issue is restricted to and narrowly focused on specific events, and thematic framing as where the issue is ingrained in a more general contextualisation (2016, p. 6). This becomes relevant in consideration that of the articles framed through an episodic lens, the protests were characterised as “explosive” (McNeill), “ugly riots” (Butler et. al) and “angry” (Piotrowski), compared to the longer form articles which used thematic framing, which generally characterised the protests as a “black man’s uprising” (Graham) and a riot that “began as a peaceful protest” (Wahlquist).

Sources used
In her 2008 study, Owens suggest that white sources, particularly expert sources are pervasively used in news articles and that non-white sources are rarely used. This is all the more pertinent in consideration of the media coverage of a racially-charged protest, such as the Kalgoorlie Riots. This is exemplified in the West Australian article ‘Windows smashed at Kalgoorlie court as boy’s death stokes racial tensions’, by Tim Clarke, Tayissa Sweetlove and Dylan Caporn. The article directly quotes the Western Australia Police Acting Commander, the City Chief Executive, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Acting Mayor and the police via a statement. The only use of a direct quotation from those who participated in the protests is via one of their placards which is quoted as reading “All lives matter. Save our kids, Australia against racism”. This impersonalised characterisation of the protestors, although portraying their intentions as noble and in a positive light, to some degree operates to delegitimise and dehumanise the protest. Identical sources were included in the SBS article, ‘Violent protests interrupted proceedings at Kalgoorlie Courthouse on Tuesday following the death of 14-year-old Indigenous boy’. Interestingly, the ABC article ‘Elijah Doughty death: Seven people charged in aftermath of Kalgoorlie riots’ by Nicholas Perpitch and Courtney Bembridge quotes an equal amount of Indigenous sources to non-Indigenous sources. However, all the sources, including the Police Minister, WA Premier, Attorney-General, Elijah Doughty’s aunt Donna Schultz, cousin Preston Colbon and Indigenous elder Mingli Wanjurri McGlade are all condemning the violence. The only difference is the latter 3, being the Indigenous sources, are also mourning the loss of Elijah’s life and are quoted in reference to the peaceful protest in memory of his life in Perth, rather than the protests in Kalgoorlie.

Law and Order
The lack of direct quotation attributed to those who were involved in the protest, namely the Indigenous participants, reveals how expert opinion on the protests was more highly valued than non-expert opinions, as were Indigenous sources that agreed with the experts. This to some degree reveals a value judgment on behalf of the authors, who delegitimized the protests to such an extent that there was no direct attempt to provide those involved with an attempt to explain their reasons for the protests and the subsequent violence used. Furthermore, Elmasry, in a 2016 study of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests in the United States after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, found that an increase in protestor quotes generally decreases the negative framing of the protest (2016, p. 8). This is very much the case in the abovementioned articles, all of which frame the protests in a negative light and fail to directly quote a protestor who was involved.

In consideration of how the protests were delegitimised through the media coverage, it becomes important to analyse the language used to describe those who participated in the protest. The continued use of active language to describe the actions of the demonstrators, operates to heighten the sense of aggression, as well as to downplay any justification there may have been for the violence used. This is seen in the article ‘Kalgoorlie riot: City tense after day of riots, mourning Elijah Doughty, 14’, by Joel Kelly and Phil Hickey published in Perth Now. The use of active language in, “Aboriginal youths smashing windows of police cars and jumping on car roofs, damaging shops,” frames the participants as aggressive, with no possible justification for their actions. This is similarly seen in the Daily Mail article ‘Smoking pot, skipping school and kicking goals on the footy field: The life of troubled but talented Aboriginal teen Elijah Doughty – whose suspicious death sparked the Kalgoorlie race riots’ by Daniel Piotrowski, in the description of “demonstrators pelting police with rocks and smashing a court window.” Ultimately, the continual use of active language operates to condemn the protests.

Furthermore, the majority of articles framed the protests as an issue of law and order, in which the police response to the protests became more important than the reasons for why the protest came about. This is seen in Kelly and Hickey’s article: ‘Extra police will remain on patrol in the Goldfields mining town until tensions simmer down.” The article also refers to role of alcohol in fuelling the protests, impacting on the police’s ability to remain in control, commenting that “liquor restrictions have been lifted, however they will be reviewed immediately if seen to be a contributor to anti-social behaviour.” This exemplifies the article’s focus on the authorities’ response to the riots, as opposed to the riots themselves. This focus on law and order is similarly seen in Clarke, Sweetlove and Caporn’s article: “In a statement released this afternoon, police said they would maintain a strong visible presence in the community”. The authors, like Kelly and Hickey, also point to the role that alcohol might have played, commenting, “Extra police have been sent to Kalgoorlie tonight and there is a ban on the sale of takeaway alcohol in the city as police attempt to regain control.” Furthermore, the headline of the ABC article written by Perpitch and Bembridge, reads “Elijah Doughty death: Seven people charged in aftermath of Kalgoorlie riots,” indicates that the criminality of the protest was the most important thing about it as it appears in the headline. The first paragraph, reading “Seven males aged from 15 to 25 have been charged after the riot outside Kalgoorlie courthouse on Tuesday, where people were seeking to attend the hearing for a 55-year-old man charged with unlawfully killing the teenager,” also makes no reference to the reason why the participants gathered outside of the courthouse in protest. This analysis connects with the findings of Dardis in a study of the 2002 anti-Iraq war protests (2006). Dardis found that the most negative articles were those that framed the protests as lawless and described police confrontations with protestors, relying heavily on official sources and framed the protestors as idiots (2006), which is essentially the case in the majority of the objective style reporting on the Kalgoorlie Riots.

Conversely, I will now turn to an analysis of the articles that framed the issue as thematic, as opposed to the episodic articles discussed above. These articles fell into two categories; those which framed the issue as Kalgoorlie crime problem, and those that investigated the systematic charging of white people who kill Indigenous people with manslaughter instead of murder.

The Sydney Morning Herald article ‘Slow-boiling rage finally ‘bubbled to surface’ in Kalgoorlie: council’ by Emma Young, justified the protests as symptomatic of the low level criminality that exists in Kalgoorlie –

“The council had organised a community group to work with police once a month on ways to tackle anti-social behaviour and coordinated state government representatives to work with the indigenous community on service integration…

…Commander Gaunt said it was “no secret” that crime committed by juveniles was the number one justice issue in the community.”

Referring to a string of car vandalism offences in the days after the riots, the author also makes the comment “it is not intended to suggest these incidents are linked; only to paint a portrait of the mood in Kalgoorlie.” This is somewhat of a strange assertion to make, considering the article’s focus on crime in Kalgoorlie in conjunction with the riots. She also makes the following comment –

“Increasing outrage at petty crime, mostly property-related, has led to one closed Facebook page with more than 17,000 members encouraging people to “name and shame” offenders.”

The above factual statement, asserting a causative relationship between petty crime and community outrage, was placed very early on in the article. This is interesting as seemingly the author incorporated it to justify the protestors anger during the riots as having “bubbled to the surface” due to low-level crime and theft that exists in Kalgoorlie. This longer, thematic objective style of reporting, despite evidencing none of the author’s own opinion, is implicitly linking the Kalgoorlie riots to existing crime levels that have plagued Kalgoorlie for quite some years, and does so mainly by using police and other official sources.

Conversely, the Guardian article, ‘Tell the world we want justice. Elijah Doughty’s death exposes Kalgoorlie’s racial faultline’, by Calla Wahlquist, is one of very few articles that points to racial inequality as a reason for the Kalgoorlie Riots. The following paragraph highlights Wahlquist’s belief that racial inequality in the past, leading to lesser or nonexistent charges when an Australian Indigenous person is killed, to some extent operates to justify the protests –

“The riot began as a peaceful protest. About 200 Indigenous people gathered outside the courthouse in Hannan Street, the main street of Kalgoorlie, to rally for justice for Elijah. (On the same street, in 2007, Elijah’s aunt, Blanch Ursula Smith, 25, was killed in a hit-and-run. The crash was caught on CCTV but no one was charged.)”

Similarly, the absence of the protestors as either agents or subjects in the following sentences, again indicates Wahlquist’s belief that the protestors should not be blamed or vindicated for the riots. In fact there is no reference to the protestors at all in relation to the damage caused, and if anything the following indirect quotation of Elijah’s grandfather implicitly indicates that the court guards should be held responsible for not allowing people inside the Magistrate Court –

“Doughty said the trouble started when the court guards decided to lock the front door.”

“Windows at the entry to the courthouse, which is tucked away in a courtyard, are evidence of what happened next. Two were smashed through with thrown half-bricks, others are flecked with gravel chips. Upstairs, a window in the jury room was smashed by a rock thrown from the street.”

The author then provided a variety of examples where the killing of an Australian Indigenous person by a white person, resulted in a charge of manslaughter not murder. For example –

“In Alice Springs, across state lines in the Northern Territory, another five men – not police – were convicted of manslaughter in 2010 for running over Aboriginal man Kwementyay Ryder in the dry bed of the Todd River, in what the court found was a racially motivated crime, and sentenced to between five and six years’ jail each.”

By pointing to other examples where an Indigenous person was killed in a hit-and-run, similar to how Elijah Doughty and his aunt were killed, the author is justifying the community’s outrage and demand for justice for Elijah, and an appropriate charge and sentence for his killer. She also points to the opinion of some members of the white community in Kalgoorlie who believe that race is not a relevant consideration in the justice system, an opinion which she disproves with fact –

“This was a story about the justice system, not race, they said. They also believed police were “afraid” to charge Indigenous kids, a belief not borne out by statistics: Indigenous children in Western Australia are 53 times more likely to be in detention than non-Indigenous kids, the highest rate of racialized imprisonment in the western world.”

Similarly, Wahlquist’s incorporation of a quote by Kalgoorlie’s acting police commander, in which he indicates that Elijah might not have stolen the motorbike he was riding when he was killed, highlights the author’s belief that Australian Indigenous people fall victim to the criminal justice system due to their race. It is one of very few quotes from official sources in the article, again reinforcing the author’s opinion regarding the credibility and legitimacy of the protests. This is given more weight in a consideration that it perceives Elijah in a positive light –

“Kalgoorlie’s acting police commander, Darryl Gaunt, told the media that the bike Elijah was riding had been reported stolen the night before his death, though it’s not clear where Elijah got it. According to his friends he had been handed it in the reserve.”

Furthermore, Wahlquist’s vivid description of the way Elijah was killed operates in favour of her central, underlying argument, that his killer should be charged with murder rather than manslaughter. This is seen in “the same man allegedly drove his four-wheel-drive Nissan Navara utility into the reserve after the motorbike and struck it from behind some time before 8.55am, dragging Elijah under the car.” In this regard, the author is framing the Kalgoorlie Riots as an uprising against racial injustice, as opposed to a violent protest that got out of hand. Her extensive quoting of Indigenous sources and restrained use of expert, non-Indigenous sources, is further evidence as to this.

Ultimately, the majority of the media coverage on the Kalgoorlie Riots painted the protestors as violent and unrestrained, who had no real justification for the protests, nor the violence used. Furthermore, many articles framed the riots through the lens of law and order, pointing to the high levels of crime in Kalgoorlie as playing a causative role in the riots. Despite this, there was a very small portion of the media that framed the riots as the outcome of proportionate outrage due to the systematic disadvantage of Australian Indigenous people under the current criminal justice.

Black Lives Matter – Kalgoorlie Race Riots

Assessment 4 Proposal

I will be analysing the media coverage of the Kalgoorlie race riots in late August regarding the manslaughter charge of a white-man over the death of a 14 year-old Indigenous boy Elijah Doughty.

In general I have found that the media coverage operates to delegitimise the reason why the protest occurred – but focus instead on the violence that was used and the charges that were given to those involved.

Some of the articles I will focus on include

West Australian article ‘Windows smashed at Kalgoorlie court as boy’s death stokes racial tensions’, by Tim Clarke, Tayissa Sweetlove and Dylan Caporn.

SBS article, ‘Violent protests interrupted proceedings at Kalgoorlie Courthouse on Tuesday following the death of 14-year-old Indigenous boy’.

ABC article ‘Elijah Doughty death: Seven people charged in aftermath of Kalgoorlie riots’ by Nicholas Perpitch and Courtney Bembridge

Guardian Article, ‘Tell the world we want justice’ Elijah Doughty’s death exposes Kalgoorlie’s racial faultline’ by Calla Wahlquist

Do we need free speech to use hate speech?


Debate concerning the reform of Section 18C of The Racial Discrimination Act has recently become the subject of public discussion, after Senator David Leyonjelm’s formal complaint to the Human Rights Commission against Fairfax journalist Mark Kenny, claiming that his article, ‘Free-speech fundamentalists break free of good conscience’, was in breach of section 18C.  However, an analysis of some of the media coverage written in response to recent political suggestions regarding reform to section 18C, indicates that society is still very much divided in terms what shape the reforms should take, and indeed whether reform is necessary. Comparison of two recent opinion pieces proves to be interesting in this regard. Janet Albrechsten’s article ‘Turnball must reform 18C now, as free speech is no “gimme”’ in The Australian and ‘On the contentious matter of 18C’ by Meredith Doig published by the Sydney Morning Herald, both argue for the same reforms of s18C, however do so from entirely different worldviews. What is most telling perhaps, is that both articles are addressing an audience who firmly believe in the value of free speech, but differ in terms of whether government intervention will promote or prevent the practice of free speech.

These two articles provide an interesting dichotomy as they reveal the the differing opinions on the relevance of government intervention in private acts, such as engagement in hate-speech. In this regard Albrechsten’s article is operating from a worldview that sees government intervention as unnecessary and something that perpetuates a sense of weakness in society, and is in this regard operates from a strongly libertarian worldview. Contrastingly, Doig’s article operates from a basis that assumes the legislative intervention in outlawing certain interactions between individuals is of great importance.

An analysis of Albrechsten’s article quickly reveals the author’s endorsement of reform to s18C of The Racial Discrimination Act. Her central claim is clearly articulated in the headline “Turnball must reform 18C now, as free speech is no ‘gimme’”, which uses high modality in ‘must’, to frame her central claim that it is necessary to reform The Racial Discrimination Act as free speech is under a direct threat in Australian society. It is interesting that the piece operates under the assumption that audience would not think the issue is a pertinent one, or at most would be ambivalent towards reform of racial vilification laws. This is seen through the initial concession that both the Attorney General, George Brandis, and Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnball, think there are most important issues to be addressed before reform of section 18C is even brought to the table. Her first appeal to authority, in order to persuade the reader as to the importance of reform, is an acknowledgment by Tony Abbott that he was “wrong to walk away from a pre-election promise to reform section 18”. This particular appeal, reveals the author’s assumption that the reader is a supporter of Mr. Abbott, or in the very least views him as an authoritative source. Once having established that the topic is relevant, the piece continues by providing five clearly signposted reasons as to why reform to section 18c is necessary to protect free speech, and why now is the time to do so.

It is important to note, that whilst the piece on the surface appears to be highly argumentative, seeking to persuade the reader as to the need for reform, it does so on the basis that the reader would agree that free speech is more necessary in a liberal democracy than protection from hate-speech. Therefore, the piece merely seeks to persuade the reader that their right to free speech is under attack by the Racial Discrimination Act. To this end, Albrechsten refers to her own point of view as “sensible” and “rational”, in order to patronize any counter-arguments as irrational and overly emotive. She characterises those who have been victims of racial vilification as “hapless victims” who are “weak and vulnerable”, using an emotional appeal to allow the reader to position themselves in opposition to this. In light of this the reader is assumed to be white and to never have been a victim of racial vilification. This is seen through the emotive rhetorical question “Or is the law seriously saying white people don’t have feelings?”, which also seeks to trivialise racial discrimination laws, as it aligns suffering from racial vilification as a ‘feeling’ rather than prejudicial and discriminatory victimisation. The strongest example of this assumption, that the audience, like her, is white, is seen in through her example of a recent Federal Court case concerning hate speech posted on Facebook by Queensland University students in relation to being evicted from an Indigenous computer lab.

“These young men simply want to study and work and forge a career without being branded bigots. They don’t want to be cultural warriors fighting to defend their right to free speech. But that’s what they have been forced to do, engaging lawyers, spending time and energy on a case that makes no sense.”

This positions those who have been convicted or charged with racial discrimination as “cultural warriors”, which invites the reader to also become a “cultural warrior” by advocating for free speech at the expense of hate-speech laws. This ignores the fact that the Indigenous woman taking these three boys to court would be seen as a “cultural warrior” by Indigenous people, other minorities targeted by racial vilification, and those in society at large who believe hate-speech to be immoral.

In this regard, Albrechsten is operating from a world view that is strongly libertarian and opposed to government intervention in the private sphere, in which she assumes that the reader, like her, will view those who are protected by the criminal justice system as weak. She appeals to a variety of well-known libertarian authorities on the issue, including PJ O’Rourke, and uses a number of rhetorical questions to emotionally draw the reader in to the issue, on the assumption that they are white. This appeal to a libertarian readership is further seen through her argument that freedom of speech is under attack by the government because the Human Rights Commission, that deals with s18C, is the recipient of certain privileges.

“…it’s clear our culture is being corrupted by the very institution charged with protecting human rights. The foyer of the commission’s offices in Sydney openly exhibits that corruption. A floor-to-ceiling glass wall adjacent to where visitors sit says: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families. Do I really have a human right to demand a certain standard of living from the government? Who determines what that standard of living is? Me? Some make-work bureaucrat in the commission trying to justify a sky-high salary?”

This utilises the informal fallacy of ad hominem, as it directs offence at the apparent exuberance of the Human Rights Commission and the lack of authority it consequently exhibits, rather than the procedures used by the Commission which could stifle free speech. To this end, this operates as an emotional appeal to rile up the reader, rather than advancing her argument that s18C needs to be reformed.

It is interesting that whilst her principle claim is explicitly stated, this piece only impliedly recommends for the implementation of an objective standard of assessment by removing ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from the provision. In this sense the piece is largely evaluative, attempting to persuade a liberal reader who believes that freedom of speech is highly important, that their freedom of speech is under attack.

Meredith Doig’s piece ‘On the contentious matter of 18C’ published by the Sydney Morning Herald, presents itself as largely objective in order to persuade the reader that the author’s suggested reform of 18C to an objective standard is rational. Interestingly both Albrechsten and Doig’s articles recommend the same reforms to the Racial Discrimination Act. However, Doig immediately establishes her view in opposition to that held by Senator David Leyonhjelm, by describing recent discussion on s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act as a “breathless hoo-ha”. She is also impliedly dismissing the validity of Senator David Leyonhjelm’s claim that he is a victim of hate-speech, by highlighting the defence of s18D which Mark Kenny, in his article on Senator Leyonhjlem, argued would act as a defence. This use of negative language is similarly seen in the description as Senator Leyonhjelm’s advocacy for free speech as “rail[ing] against the curbs”, which, as indicated by the Meriam-Webster dictionary means “to scold or complain in harsh or bitter language,” thereby asserting that his response is irrational, overly emotive and to some degree lacks validity.

Doig’s principle claim, like Albrechsten’s, is that 18C needs to be reformed to an an objective test of vilification. However, Doig’s justification for this differs, by using an appeal to authority at the very conclusion of the piece, to impliedly suggest that reform needs to occur in order to protect more people from hate-speech. This is seen the statement “In Anti-Semitism, Hate Speech and Part 11A of the Racial Discrimination Act, Sackville proposed two amendments that would achieve a more defensible balance between the legitimate protection of vulnerable groups from serious hate speech and values of free speech.” She then continues by paraphrasing the former Federal Court judge’s recommendations, which include removing ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ from the provision, and creating an objective test. She concludes with the comment, “sensible suggestions from a rationalist’s point of view.” This is an acknowledgment of the educated sceptic that Doig is addressing, using an appeal to a legal authority which she assumes that reader will see as a ‘rational’ authority on the issue.

The author’s attempt to appear rational, in order to appeal to an educated, analytical reader, is further seen through her use of Mark Kenny’s quote “self-promoting misanthropes” to describe Senator David Leyonhjelm and Malcolm Roberts, rather than “angry white male”, which Albrechsten utilised, to emotionally appeal to, and provoke her reader. Doig’s assumption of a rational reader is further seen through the use of factual appeals, such as “less than 3 per cent of racial hatred complaints ever make it to court” in order to convince the reader that legislative reform needs to occur in order protect more people from hate-speech. Doig also repeatedly refers to her own argument as “rational”, “defensible”, “legitimate” and “sensible” in order to align an assumed educated reader who values impartiality with her own point of view.

It is important that Doig’s piece acknowledges the counter-argument as extremely valid, and in fact spends more time addressing its validity than her central argument. This is further evidence as to Doig’s belief that her reader will most likely be opposed to reform of s 18C but will have sufficient analytical skills to not easily be won over by an argument that does not even acknowledge their currently held opinion as valid. This is seen through Doig’s recognition of the difficulty in balancing free speech with protection from hate-speech via legislative reform, as seen through her appeal to the authority of both US and French legislation –

The extensive and continuing debate about this issue is understandable, as it involves balancing two fundamental principles of a liberal, pluralistic democracy: liberty (and specifically, freedom of speech) and equality (specifically, social equality / non-discrimination).

The United States tends to favour the first of these two principles with the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing almost absolute freedom of speech.”

“…France, on the other hand, prohibits public or private communication which is defamatory or insulting: for example it and many European countries outlaw Holocaust denial.

So have we got the balance right in Australia?”

 This rhetorical question, following a comparison between two nations, which the author is assuming the reader will view as authoritative, being similar Western, liberal democratic nations to Australia, seems to be genuinely acknowledging the difficulty in balancing equality with liberty. However, by using an appeal to analogy, “many European countries outlaw Holocaust denial,” which it could be assumed most Australians would see as a positive thing given the atrocities of the Holocaust, Doig is subtlety trying to persuade her reader that France has the balance between liberty and equality right, by protecting minorities, such as Jews, from discrimination.

From here, Doig then continues into a discussion of the ancient Stoic’s method of dealing with insults, by giving a variety of examples of insults given from ancient Roman philosophers to ancient Greek philosophers. The humour utilised in them, for example “Everything you say is so unbearably boring, Hercules, that it’s murder by monotony (Plautus)” operates as another comparative appeal, to demonstrate the complexity associated with balancing free speech with freedom from offence, as even well-known philosophers were unable to agree.

A comparison of both articles reveals that both authors, whilst arguing for the same reforms operating on the basis that their reader will highly value freedom of speech, are catering for readers will alternate worldviews. As evidenced, Albrechsten is appealing to a libertarian audience, and Doig is appealing to a pro-government intervention audience. It is interesting to note that neither article, whilst being strongly argumentative in nature, is trying to convince their reader to alter their worldview.

Steph Breen 5015124 Proposal about Racial Discrimination Act

Subject area: Repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

Article 1: Jane Albrechtsen, ‘Turnball must reform 18C now, as free speech is no ‘gimme’ – The Australian – August 17 2016 >

This article recommends for the reform of section 18C in light of the necessity of freedom of speech to a liberal democracy. She discusses how racism can occur against white people and therefore s18C needs to address this. (e.g. Senator David Leyonhjelm). She also discussed the recent Federal Court case involving 3 students form Queensland University and how it is an example of bigotry aginst white people.

Article 2: Meredith Doig ‘Free Speech and 18C: A Rationalist’s Perspective On A Way Forward’ – New Matilda – August 23 2015 <>

This article also recommends for the reform of section 18C, but in a different vein to The Australian article. It highlights how freedom of speech is actually already protected by section 18D which allows for exemptions including artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest as long as they are said reasonably and in good faith. This article argues that 18C needs to be reformed to be an objective standard so that more people are prosecuted rather than less.

What I think my conclusions will be: I expect both pieces to present an interesting analysis as they are both recommending the reform of s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act as it currently stands. They both also to some extent assert the law is currently not rational / reasonable as it is based on a subjective standard. However, they are coming from entirely different worldviews – one that is asserting the ultimate right of freedom of speech over anything else, and to some extent endorses that minorities do not need safeguards, and the other which argues that 18C should be reformed to widen its scope to an objective standard to ensure that more people are prosecuted under the law. In this sense I expect my analysis will focus on the differing worldviews between liberalism and those who prefer government intervention into individual activity.