These days, a one-dimensional political 'culture' ensures that few writers write, or speak out, as they did in the last century.
They are talented, yet safe. In the media, the more people watch, the less people know. Beneath the smokescreen of objectivity and impartiality, media establishments too often ventriloquise the official line, falling silent at the sight of unpleasant truths.
Renowned independent journalist John Pilger speaks about complicity and compliance and what the rest of us can do- Melbourne Writers Festival
John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, who began his career in 1958 in his homeland, Australia, before moving to London in the 1960s.
He regards eye-witness as the essence of good journalism. He has been a foreign correspondent and a front-line war reporter, beginning with the Vietnam war in 1967. He is an impassioned critic of foreign military and economic adventures by Western governments.
"It is too easy," he says, "for Western journalists to see humanity in terms of its usefulness to 'our' interests and to follow government agendas that ordain good and bad tyrants, worthy and unworthy victims and present 'our' policies as always benign when the opposite is usually true. It's the journalist's job, first of all, to look in the mirror of his own society."
He believes a journalist also ought to be a guardian of the public memory and often quotes Milan Kundera: "The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."