How Western-backed Saudi fundamentalism is causing chaos

One of the great unspoken truths of the 21st century. After this week’s shocking terrorist acts in Russia, it’s possible (though impossible to know) that Saudi Arabia may be behind the carnage (they threatened as much a few months ago). The venerable Patrick Cockburn, writing in the UK Independent, on the ominous signs of sectarian…

How Israeli abuses splinters Jewish identity

Any thinking Jew (and/or human being) has major issues with the ways in which Israel occupies the Palestinians. It’s something I’ve written about and struggled with for years. Al-Jazeera journalist Matthew Cassel (a visitor to Australia in 2011 and we shared a stage talking about the Arab revolutions) has produced a moving, telling, revealing and…

What robust journalism should look like in 2014

My weekly Guardian column is published today: 2013 was the year of Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor, voted the Guardian’s… person of the year… (after Chelsea Manning the year before), unleashed a vital global debate on the extent of mass surveillance in the modern age. “Among the casualties”,… writes one reporter, “is the assumption that some of…

Why the mainstream media is broken part 9754322

The kind of debate that can prove either endlessly boring or vitally important for the health of democracy. Take your pick. The beautifully produced literary magazine Island asked me recently, after deep coverage of the new book by writer Tim Dunlop called The New Front Page, to write a few words about my vision for…