Editor's note

We live in a time when the bullying of journalists has become a casual pastime for the President of the United States. When journalists around the world are increasingly being stripped of rights and persecuted by governments who ought to know better. When a man like Jamal Khoshoggi can be brutally assassinated for his writing. When all over the world, the businesses that supported journalism have been diminished by behemoths Facebook and Google.

For anyone who, like me, is old-fashioned enough to have grown-up intoxicated by the idea of fearless journalists holding power to account, we have come a long way from All The President’s Men. But this week has brought two pieces of encouraging news.

The first is Time Magazine’s decision to name four journalists and one newspaper as its person of the year. The magazine’s stand for journalism is laudable and necessary, as Australian journalist Peter Greste, who endured his own grim experience of incarceration in Egypt, writes in The Conversation.

Greste has recently become a journalism professor of the University of Queensland and is working to research and promote journalistic freedom. At The Conversation, we see this as important work. We will report Greste’s findings and do what we can to lend him our support.

The second piece of good news is the ACCC report into the regulation of digital platforms, released on Monday. The report is long and floats a lot of ideas, but it takes seriously the question of market failure, in particular the way the rise of Facebook and Google has made it hard to fund journalism.

As ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in his press conference on Monday, this is a classic economics problem: how do you a support a public good when the market is clearly failing to do so? It’s not clear he has the right answers yet, but Sims and his colleagues at the ACCC should be applauded for asking the right questions.

At The Conversation, we believe clean information is as vital for democracy as clean water is for health. We are deeply committed to providing our own unique brand of academic journalism as a public good, one that helps people make informed decisions.

If you value this work please support The Conversation with a donation. But even more important is to understand the true value what all journalists do – most especially those in our profession who accept grave risks – and act accordingly to protect their rights and support their work.

Misha Ketchell


Top story

The annual award was this year shared between four journalists and a newspaper. AAP/The Conversation

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Peter Greste, The University of Queensland

The four people and a newspaper who are Time magazine's "Person of the Year" have been given the acknowledgment not just for what they have done, but for what they have come to represent.

The excavations at the Normanton site in 2015. Shaun Adams

Poor health in Aboriginal children after European colonisation revealed in their skeletal remains

Shaun Adams, Griffith University; Michael Westaway, Griffith University; Richard Martin, The University of Queensland

When the remains of Aboriginal people who died more than a century ago were found, the local Aboriginal community wanted to know more about these past lives.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta: of 19 Australian World Heritage sites this is one of only two that recognise the values of ‘living’ Aboriginal culture. Shutterstock

Australia’s problem with Aboriginal World Heritage

Ian Lilley, The University of Queensland; Celmara Pocock, University of Southern Queensland

Of Australia's 19 World Heritage sites, only two recognise our Indigenous heritage. None of the our three cultural sites do so.

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