Law, ethics & philosophy
The Fifth Estate
Dealing with Drugs
The Australia21 report, ‘Can Australia respond to drugs more effectively and safely?’, released in March of this year, argues that it’s time to bring an end to the costly, unavailing campaign of criminalising drug users – and to instead adopt a wide approach to harm reduction.
The report’s 13 key recommendations are groundbreaking, and drawn from conversations between people with…
Elections Across Europe
Sally Warhaft, Georgina Downer and Mary Gearin — Photo: Jon Tjhia
In 2017, Europe is in a period of heightened uncertainty: the rise of populist politics, the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, the prospect of a weakened European Union and an increasingly assertive Russia on its doorstep.
French voters recently rejected both major parties to elect an unknown quantity in Emmanuel Macron, who has never before held elected office. The UK’s new Prime Minister Theresa May has made a virtue of being an ‘unclubbable’ Conservative, but after riding high in the lead-up to the June election on a manifesto of 'country and community', her campaign has begun to falter in the wake of two terrorist attacks and the resulting debates about security and rights.
What will happen when Germany goes to the polls in September? Angela Merkel's popularity has been waning since 2015, but 21st-century Europe has become hard to imagine without her steady, predictable presence.
To discuss the state of play in the UK and Europe – and for the 100th edition of this long-running Wheeler Centre series – Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by Mary Gearin and Georgina Downer.
Invasion of the Pod People
Mysteries, Mazes and the Making of S-Town, with Brian Reed
S-Town has rattled the conventions of longform audio journalism, broken podcast download records and provoked a deluge of obsessive online commentary and conjecture. Made by reporter Brian Reed with the team behind Serial and This American Life, the series is enthralling and disquieting, and marks another shift in podcasting’s creative renaissance.
At the centre of Reed’s series – set in…
Direct Line: Manus Island and The Messenger
Abdul Aziz Muhamat – originally from Sudan, now a refugee detained on Manus – has been using a smuggled phone to give Australians a first-hand account of life in detention. Since March 2016, Aziz has been corresponding with Melbourne journalist Michael Green, using WhatsApp to relay voice messages. The Messenger is a ten-part podcast series from the Wheeler Centre…
Question Time: Drug Laws
Supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction are the three key tenets of Australian drug policy.
But these areas attract vastly different levels of funding, attention and reporting. Harm reduction strategies, in particular, ignite controversy and community anxiety. Today, we have only one safe injecting room (in Sydney) and no official means for pill testing at festivals around the country.
Recent studies indicate that Australia has one of the highest usage rates of illicit drugs in the world. Methamphetamine usage in Australia has tripled in the last five years and usage of MDMA and other drugs is surging, too. Despite copious media coverage, especially in relation to the ice epidemic, it seems there is little political appetite to change the status quo.
What’s working in our drug policy and what isn’t? What is the research telling us? What can we learn from other jurisdictions? Our panel tackle questions from the audience in a full hour of Q&A. Hosted by Madeleine Morris, with Stan Winford, Rick Nugent and Nicole Lee.
Ian Rankin with Shane Maloney
'To me, the character of a detective is the same as the character of a writer … We’re trying to find the shape from something that seems quite chaotic.'
At Melbourne City Conference Centre, the king of tartan noir talks mystery, mythology and literary cities with Shane Maloney.
Edinburgh, like Melbourne, is a City of Literature and home to a disproportionate…
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The Challenges of Writing for the Small Screen
To coincide with the screening of the screen adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas' novel The Slap, the first episode of which aired on the ABC last week, we’re republishing a piece by Kris Mrksa. It was originally published under the title, ‘The Truth in 42 Minutes’ on this site in November last year. Kris is one of the screenwriters to have adapted The Slap…
BHL on DSK
After former IMF chief and ex-presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of rape at the beginning of last week, the most public of France’s public intellectuals sprang to his aid. Writing in the Daily Beast, Bernard-Henri Lévy, or BHL as he’s known in France, condemned the presumption of guilt inferred in media coverage of the alleged rape of a hotel maid in New York…
Hackgate Down Under
The News International scandal, or ‘Hackgate’, set the Australian public imagination alight this week. For proof, we need only be reminded that every single television network, other than SBS, beamed the appearance of Rupert and James Murdoch before a parliamentary inquiry live into our living rooms late Tuesday night. Other than royal weddings and the 9/11 attack, there are few precedents for this kind…
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