Australian Media Censorship Term Paper

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Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, providing that the inherent dignity and equal, inalienable rights "of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world."

From postwar realities, new urgency begot a restructured definition of international politics, people, and peace. With guarantees of freedom from persecution, civil liberties, and the democratic ideals on which the new modern was founded, the Declaration's authors promised the right to expression to citizens of the signing countries, among them Australia. Yet at the same time, while superficially obeying the promise for expressive freedom, the Australian government exercises an internal control over print and media through the Office of Film and Literature, putting into stark question the concept of free expression.

When the original 18 Member States of the United Nations Commission on Human rights established the agenda that would soon birth the Declaration, the eight-person committee devoted itself to the common goal of respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms of all people despite their conflicting views. Representatives from Australia, Chile, China, France, Lebanon, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics followed their leader's behest, paying careful mind to Eleanor Roosevelt's urging.

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."

While challenges lay in their path to agreement, they finally were able to put forth a declaration recognizable as valid by the 48 signing constituents, including Panama, Czechoslovakia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iceland, and Argentina.
While the differences in their national approaches to both people and their liberties of expression were varied, their conclusion that it should be free was summarily supported in Article 19 of the Declaration.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The role of media in 1948, however, was starkly different than that which confronts an audience today. Both in content and material presentation, the media was less openly sexual, socially fringed, and culturally biased.

With the progression of free media, the previously prevalent approach to censorship as a political and governmental tool became instead a conversation of cultural ideology, most relevant in today's media and communications industry in Australia.

Cunningham and Turner recognize the new media atmosphere as not one of the stark divisions of past, but instead of "convergence" between the different trades and media history, communications regulation, and the corresponding policy.

With the confluence of these three aspects of media decisions and the rapid growth and advances in the technological sector, the policy regarding Australian media censorship and its relation to the promises proffered by the Declaration become most relevant. Cunningham and Turner surround the discussion through an examination of several perspectives and foci, all of which to serve to democratically question the role of the OFLC and eventually return to a social support of the Office.

John Sinclair purports that the origins of the Australian media are entrenched in the European-American history, theory, and research attitudes; in the field of original Australian works, these influences are traceable throughout developing history.

It is in the relation of media and government that policy concerns are made manifest; the policy system of Australia is strictly defined with the regulations, careful observation, and standards administered by the OFCL.

While other nations, including those who signed the Declaration, are at risk for undermining the precepts of the Declaration,….....

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