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Ratbags, revolutionaries and free speech: The Queensland radical press in 1968

Volume 10, Issue 1

April, 2004

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Knight, Alan (2004). Ratbags,revolutionaries and free speech:The Queensland radical press in 1968. Pacific Journalism Review, 10(1): 153-170.
Author(s): Alan Knight
Publication date: 
April, 2004

Australian governments have made continuing attempts to restrict the public’s right to know. This article looks back to 1968 when radical Queensland university students challenged state government restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly and information. They did so by using then new offset press technology to create alternatives to a mainstream press monopoly. In a world without internet, community radio and television, or even mobile phones, leaflets and small newspapers were the primary media for such minority groups wishing to spread their critiques to the wider community. The article examines the radical newsletter’s themes including freedom of speech, civil liberties, Australian racism, press ownership and the anti-war movement. It includes references to Queensland produced cartoons and posters. It was produced with material from the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland.