Media release – ABC Friends Tasmania, 27 April 2021 Celebration of Andrew Bent the father of an independent press in Australia and World Press Freedom Day On May 1st, ABC Chair Ita Buttrose AC OBE will join with ABC Friends Tasmania at Shambles Brewery to highlight the importance of Media Freedom and celebrate the life […]
Media release – ABC Friends Tasmania, 27 April 2021
Celebration of Andrew Bent the father of an independent press in Australia and World Press Freedom Day
On May 1st, ABC Chair Ita Buttrose AC OBE will join with ABC Friends Tasmania at Shambles Brewery to highlight the importance of Media Freedom and celebrate the life of Andrew Bent, the father of an independent press in Australia.
Bent was transported to Hobart Town in 1812, became Government Printer in 1815 and began the Hobart Town Gazette the following year. On 4 June 1824, Bent sacked the official editor and censor of the Gazette and became the first publisher to conduct a truly independent Australian newspaper.
ABC Friends will also be celebrating World Press Freedom Day (May 3rd) which recognises that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights and are essential for a thriving democracy, for broadening of knowledge and sharing of experiences.
Holding those in power to account is never easy and not without risk. As Australia’s first fighter for press freedom Bent was jailed for libel. Globally, over 900 journalists have been killed in the course of their work over the past decade.
Journalists working in the media are an important and necessary source of information that citizens need to make sense of the world around them. For example, in a post pandemic environment we may want to know whether a vaccine is safe; how stimulus packages are being spent; who are the beneficiaries; and to understand government plans that impact on our future.
As Chair of the ABC and with a lifetime of achievement and leadership in the Australian media, Ita Buttrose will provide a keynote address on the importance of media freedom and its challenges. The event will be held at Shambles Brewery, not far from where Andrew Bent printed his first newspaper.
Both Andrew Bent and Ita Buttrose are members of the Australian Media Hall of Fame. Both have contributed substantially to the Australian media and have helped shape its development
One of Andrew Bent’s relatives, Sally Bloomfield, is writing a book on Andrew Bent and will also be in attendance. Sally grew up in Tasmania and is descended from Andrew and Mary Bent through their second daughter Catherine (b 1820) and her dentist husband Thomas Sydney Hall.
Storyteller Bert Spinks and musicians Ben Salter, Emily Sheppard, Georgia Shine and Michael Fortescue will perform during the event.
ABC Friends Tasmania recognises the importance of the ABC and all independent media as essential infrastructure for a thriving democracy. But as Christophe Deloire Head of Reporters without Borders warns,
“We are entering a decisive decade for journalism linked to crises that affect its future.”
“The coronavirus pandemic illustrates the negative factors threatening the right to reliable information, and is itself an exacerbating factor. What will freedom of information, pluralism and reliability look like in 2030? The answer to that question is being determined today,” Mr Deloire said.
Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/04/celebration-of-andrew-bent-and-press-freedom/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=celebration-of-andrew-bent-and-press-freedom