Time that is intolerant Of the brave and innocent, And indifferent in a week To a beautiful physique, Worships language and forgives Everyone by whom it lives; Pardons cowardice, conceit, Lays its honours at their feet. — W H Auden
I have received a number of ultimatums from 4ZZZ management to self-censor podcasts made since Paradigm Shift‘s report on International Women’s Day ’21. On 12 March, management took down from its On Demand pages Paradigm Shift‘s report of IWD’21 speeches.
I explained to 4ZZZ management in three separate phone conversations that I was simply reporting what happened on the day.
So management stood me down and issued ultimatums in writing and on the phone saying I had to take down all the speeches given on 6th March at two separate rallies in Meanjin (Brisbane) celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD’21).
The specific speeches were put on SoundCloud – the podcast site for Paradigm Shift which has run on Fridays at Noon on 4ZZZ since 2009 (one of the station’s longest running current affairs programs).
Radio Silence and the right to organise
Four speeches specifically named as the subject of management’s ultimatums are:
1. A speech by a trans person criticising medical intervention by surgeons and pharmaceutical companies.
2. A speech by a long time radical feminist criticising medical intervention and the hypersexualisation of women and girls.
3. A speech by a sportswoman criticising sporting bodies allowing trans people to play women’s sport.
4. A speech by a social worker describing and paying respect to female counsellors’ attempts to re-educate men who are violent against women.
Having been suspended as an announcer, I asked management to play an interview with Mark Jones, traditional owner on Minjerribah about the proposed whale structure at Point Lookout on the 12 March ’21 edition of the Paradigm Shift.
Instead management asked the fill-in to continue Friday Neon playing easy listening music and an interview with Kate Noonan about her new quartet. No statement was given on air as to the reason the Paradigm Shift was not broadcast.
A question of free speech?
So it seems that Paradigm Shift has been suspended although management denies this.
These demands for self-censorship by station management at 4ZZZ raise the question of free speech. Or is it more than that? Have they suspended the right to organise as well. Paradigm Shift was a show that assisted organisers of peaceful protest, blockades, strikes and discussion of complex issues.
Management claims that I have received “counselling … as to the harmful nature of the material broadcast” by two 4ZZZ board members and a regular announcer on Paradigm Shift. This is false.
All of the material broadcast by Paradigm Shift on 12 March 2021 had approval from speakers at both rallies. All of the speeches contained “honestly held belief“.
If listeners want to hear independent coverage of local events in Brisbane and elsewhere then Paradigm Shift was the place to go. I cannot self-censor factual material or honestly held belief.
In the light of the above censorship, the only course I can see open to me is to resign from the station as an announcer and volunteer which I have done.
24 March 2021