Many column inches have been devoted to ideas about who gets to be heard. The ubiquitous cry of ‘cancel culture’ is bandied around to suggest that we have a collective cultural problem with free speech, but the nature of disagreement in the public sphere suggests that the real difficulty lies elsewhere. Different platforms speak at different volumes, structural power rejects dissent and our discourse is increasingly polarised. Panelists Jeff Sparrow (Fascists Among Us: Online hate and the Christchurch massacre), Randa Abdel-Fattah (Coming of Age in the War on Terror) and journalist Kishor Napier-Raman explore the loaded ways we understand the privilege, responsibilities and dangers of public speech, with host Sophie Black.
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor, broadcaster, and Walkley award-winning journalist. He is a columnist for The Guardian Australia, a former Breakfaster at Melbourne’s 3RRR, and a past editor of Overland literary journal. His most recent books are Fascists Among Us: online hate and the Christchurch massacre; Trigger Warnings: political correctness and the rise of the right; and No Way But This: in search of Paul Robeson. He lectures at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne.