Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

How to imagine our media future

Philip Meyer, author of the influential book, “The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age“, tries to predict a media future:

A smaller, less frequently published version packed with analysis and investigative reporting and aimed at well-educated news junkies that may well be a smart survival strategy for the beleaguered old print product.

What this does for the less educated and less media-savvy in society is anybody’s guess. Should only the elite get access to vital information? The future of public broadcasting must be strong.

one comment ↪
  • michael

    "A smaller, less frequently published version packed with analysis and investigative reporting and aimed at well-educated news junkies that may well be a smart survival strategy for the beleaguered old print product."

    Seems to be a good description of the old National Times.

    Problem is, the NT never made money even in the heyday of Aus investigative journalism. Bigger problem was that the corporate interests the NT often investigated exerted considerable influence over the distribution network. Consequently, you could often not find a newsagent with 'available' copies of the NT even on the afternoon of the day it came out (Thursdays from memory). This problem became particularly acute after the NT leaked the Costigan Royal Commission findings about a 'goanna' named Kerry Packer.

    Can't imagine what sort of business model would sustain the sort of paper Meyer describes. If it relied too heavily on advertising it would ultimately go the same way as the rest of the corporate media. If its news-stand price was able to cover investigative reporting expenses it would put itself beyond the reach of most of its potential audience (at least in Aus, the economies of scale in the US market might help a bit).

    At last month's George Munster Forum, Gerard Ryle came up with some models that, in my view, pretty much equated to destroying investigative journalism in order to save it.
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/stories/2008/23

    Ryle's suggestions mostly hinged around the notion of heavy subsidies from philanthropic donors. He even went so far as to note that short selling against companies which are about to be exposed might be used to fund investigations. Its pretty obvious to me that investigative journalism funded in such a manner would lack a vital ingredient. Credibility.

    In fact it seems to me that we already have a loss making national broadsheet that does some pretty good quality investigative journalism that is funded by that great philanthropist, Rupert Murdoch. The price, of course, is the naked propaganda that fills out the bulk of The Australian and seriously undermines the reputation of the better quality journalism that fills the spaces between it. And if one of Murdoch's financial interests needs investigation …

    I reckon print and broadcast journalism in Aus is cactus.

    It will increasingly be abandoned by those after real news, who will look to more credible sources on the internet, both from relatively mainstream media in bigger and more sustainable overseas markets and from driven individuals such as whistleblowers and obsessives who will track down and report the stories they're focused on regardless of whether there is a penny to be made in it.

    Print and broadcast will increasingly be the media of consumer and corporate propaganda. Its customers will be the people who want to know the appropriate topics and opinions to discuss around the water cooler at work if they want to fit in and avoid being labeled a crank. Sports, celebrities, movies and TV programs, new consumer products, the latest moral panic, hand fed spin from the authorities, formulaic analysis from anointed 'public intellectuals' … You know, the same sort of thing that already makes up the overwhelming bulk of what passes for 'journalism' in Aus today.