Just Words is a seven-part series by Sydney community radio station 2SER 107.3FM. Its focus: to present an in-depth exploration of the so-called ‘culture wars’ over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, beyond the heated ideological exchanges about Australia’s race laws.
Section 18C, if you haven’t heard of it, is the line in Australia’s human rights law which forbids acts that are reasonably likely to ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ someone because of their race or ethnicity. As 2SER’s first original podcast series, it’s an ambitious topic to tackle. As one of Australia’s more controversial political flashpoints of recent years, tricky questions are discussed including whether the law protects or threaten our fundamental rights, what constitutes ‘free speech’ and who gets to exercise it. Will removing 18C really give people ‘the right to be bigots‘?
Just Words is an important contribution to an controversial national discussion. It’s especially effective in its exploration of the complexities of the law, via 30-40 minute stories from ‘those who have used the racial discrimination act – and those that have had it used against them’.
As you’d expect for such an undertaking, 2SER has assembled its finest to produce the podcast, including Anthony Dockrill (creator), Emma Lancaster (executive producer), Miles Martignoni (supervising producer and sound mix), Nic Healey (host), Ninah Kopel (producer), Jake Morcom (producer) and Ellen Leabeater (producer). Certainly, you can hear the work in the production. At time of writing, the series is halfway through its run; in its entirety, it’ll make for a tidy collection of well-made stories about this particularly complicated issue.