The self righteousness of the leaders who marched in Paris was there for all to see, but few in the media decry and point out the hypocrisy. How smug the World leaders feel, marching for freedom of expression and the media which they largely control and use for their political purposes. So who will speak out. Who will cry out in their own countries
s 162 (4) (a) (v) Education Amendment Act places a statutory obligation on Universities to be the critics and conscience of Society. It is worth quoting some of it in full here
In recommending to the Governor-General under subsection (2) that a body should be established as a college of education, a polytechnic, a specialist college, a university, or a wananga, the Minister shall take into account—
(a) that universities have all the following characteristics and other tertiary institutions have 1 or more of those characteristics:
(i) they are primarily concerned with more advanced learning, the principal aim being to develop intellectual independence:
(ii) their research and teaching are closely interdependent and most of their teaching is done by people who are active in advancing knowledge:
(iii) they meet international standards of research and teaching:
(iv) they are a repository of knowledge and expertise:
(v) they accept a role as critic and conscience of society; and
Jane Kelsey spoke of this obligation when recently interviewed by the SST and Dame Anne Salmond Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland and 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year refers to it today in her brief, but challenging, analysis of NZ’s role in silencing its own press voices for political purposes. Having “tenure” used to be a way to guarantee a lifetime position as a researching/teaching academic thereby removing the fear of sacking for speaking out. I understand those days are largely gone?
For those who want a better understanding of the critic/conscience idea there was a good paper written in 2000 which gives a good overview.
Kudos to Jane Kelsey, Anne Salmond and all those who put their heads above the crowd and shout “But he has no clothes on!” It is not enough to be smug because we have better freedom of expression than China, or other regime with worse record. One act of incursion into our press freedom is one too many if we want to decry the actions of others.
note: 2 comments were under Anne’s article when I posted this.
Hat tip to Olwyn and OAB