Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

This is the second and final film which I produced in Tunisia this (Northern) Spring. It took a while to cut the first of two films, then to cut and promote this one. Journeyman Pictures took it a month or two ago with some success in Scandinavia (thank you, public broadcasting), and I was holding off on promoting it myself until smh.tv/Fairfax Media set up the pay per click streaming of it. They appear to be having some issues over at Fairfax so I’m posting it myself now. Please enjoy, and share.

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I’ve just returned to the safety of my apartment in the the Bardo after a violent day of clashes in central Tunis, as police tried to maintain a ban on protests along the city’s main thoroughfare, Avenue Bourguiba.

Hundreds of protesters taunted police and were met with multiple rounds of tear gas and beatings.

I saw police -some of whom had ski masks – head butting protesters and leading away mobile-phone wielding amateur journalists to an uncertain fate. Reports said some protesters were throwing rocks at police – something I didn’t witness.

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This kid was led away after copping a headbutt and a baton in the ribs.

Tunisians are testing the limits of their new democracy. The government has imposed a ban on protests along the city’s main street, citing the need to protect commercial interests. But secular demonstrators complain that it is only they who receive the brunt of the policeman’s baton. A recent Salafist demonstration – before I arrived – was not dealt with half as violently, I’m told.

Today was martyrs’ day – in memory of those who fought French colonial rule – but it was families of the new martyrs – those of the 2011 revolution, who told me that the ruling Ennahda Islamist party has not fulfilled its promises, economic or otherwise. A group from Sidi Bouzid, where the Tunisian uprising began, marched to Tunis on foot and was represented in the crowds today.

Certainly there was a hint of old habits dying hard when it came to police behaviour, as groups of people were chased down backstreets by police in vans and on motorbikes. I forgot a scarf for the gas, and paid for it with tears.

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Video still of people being chased down the streets leading off Avenue Habib Bourguiba.

Tunisia Live – an enthusiastic group of young journalists whose office I had the pleasure of visiting today in order to take a breather – has just reported that no hospitals in the city have reported any deaths form the violence, although tens of injured have been taken in.

When all is said and done, it is an extremely exhilarating time to be in Tunis – especially as a video journalist – as a country finds its feet, tests its democracy – and everyone has something to say.

Protests hit Apple stores

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I covered the protests against Apple/Foxconn led by Change.org yesterday. Activists gathered at the Sydney Macstore, and we caught up with Timothy Devinney at UTS afterwards – an expert in ethical consumerism and protest.

Surveillance is a hot issue in Germany. In East Berlin, the huge headquarters of the German Democratic Republic’s secret police – the Stasi – are a constant reminder of a regime for which snooping on the public was an everyday occurrence.

(Image via sbs/afp)

More than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, revelations that German state governments have been using trojan malware to monitor the calls of Skype users has sparked alarm amongst the public, press and political elite.

Read more…

This is the film I recently shot on the dispute over nuclear waste being stored on aboriginal land at Muckaty Station, north of Tennant Creek, in Australia’s N.T. There’s a blog for SBS’s Living Black here. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21:  Andy Coulson, a fo...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It’s been a fascinating few weeks of politics in the UK, and obviously a great few weeks for political journalism. Well, lots of people pretending to know what’s going on, but doing it with panache.

But there was so much going on, I only recently read about the David Cameron interview with ITV’s Trevor McDonald.

Cameron had been delaying fronting up to Jeremy Paxman and the BBC’s Newsnight, but had happily trotted on to soft Trev’s slot.

I have to admit I haven’t watched the interview. But the interesting thing is the remarkable precedent that was set:  ITV let Andy Coulson, Conservative communications director, watch the interview before it went to air.

ITV reportedly said that no ‘significant’ changes were made to the film. Well damn right. But there’s no good reason for Coulson, former editor of the News of the World, to be watching the film. Other broadcasters – rivals, of course – said as much.

There’s a brilliant scene from The Thick of it, where spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, unwelcome in the edit suite of a broadcast journalist, fails to convince the journo and editor to alter the shots used, and thus the tone of the story featuring his party employers.

But with moves like ITV’s, we should probably be careful that trust in broadcasters – especially mainstream broadcasters interviewing potential PMs – don’t get to a place where they abuse the trust put in them, no matter how big the ratings.

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