• Saturday Magazine

    Saturday Magazine is JOY 94.9’s longest-running news and current affairs program. Hosted by David 'Macca' McCarthy and produced by Ben Rylan, Saturday Magazine is your weekly hub of intelligent discussion. The program covers topics such as international GLBTI news, politics, cinema, and local arts.

    Some of show’s regular guests include Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert DoyleChris Weinberg from OurSay.orgDr Andrew Kapsis from the Lort Smith Animal Hospital,Tanya with sport, and film critic Tara Judah.

    There's a lot more to Saturday Magazine than what you hear on the radio. Every show is the result of much planning by a small team of dedicated volunteers. Take a look at our snazzy new video above for an insight into what happens behind the scenes of Saturday Magazine.

Recent Posts

  • If you’re in public, prepare to be taken advantage of

    What’s wrong with sneaking a picture of a woman eating while she sits quietly on the train? Even if you don’t know the woman, and she has no idea that her photo will be uploaded to a website devoted to displaying similar images. These women are in a public space, shouldn’t they be prepared to be fair game for anyone to use as they please?

    Reading the above, you may well be puzzled that the internet could reach such a bizarre new low. Alas, a UK man calling himself an artist has gained notoriety for his website that specialises in allowing anyone to upload pictures they’ve snapped of unsuspecting women who just happen to be having a bite to eat on London’s public transport. Needless to say, many of the comments are a bit yucky, with some venturing into creepy and downright offensive. As Daily Life writer Caroline Zielinski puts it, “taking pictures of unsuspecting women not only violates personal privacy, but also places power directly in the hands of the photographer who, by posting the images online, derives pleasure from demeaning his (let’s face it – it’s probably a guy) subject in a largely anonymous space”.

    Caroline is our guest for the Liberation Conversation on this edition of Saturday Magazine. And later in the program, co-host Sammi Whitehead chats with Celtic Thunder’s Neil Byrne about the Irish wonder-group’s upcoming Australian tour.

  • Who’s really benefitting?

    After fifteen years working for aid initiatives across six war zones in the midst of numerous natural disasters, Andrew MacLeod is more qualified than most to comment on the overall effectiveness of some of the world’s leading humanitarian organisations. Joining Macca on this edition of Saturday Magazine, alongside special guest co-host Shannon Reid from ABC News Breakfast, Andrew’s insights had the studio captivated. In far-away lands plagued by poverty and violence, is it possible that some organisations might rely on the unrest to maintain their relevance?

    Also discussed on this program is the topic of ex-gay therapies. After the closure of one of the most infamous “clinics”, Inside Ex-Gay’s Dean Beck and Nathan Despott pop into the studio as we delve into the dark and murky world of religiously affiliated organisations devoted to “curing” homosexuality. An incredibly damaging practice with a string of tragic consequences, this discussion had many of us wondering how the practice is allowed to happen in our modern age.

  • The battle for LGBT rights in Ukraine

    Caught between Europe and Russia, the LGBT world in Ukraine is at its biggest turning point now. But in the midst of a revolution, about 80 percent of the country still hold negative views of homosexuality – with over 60 percent calling it a “perversion” or mental illness. In this Skype interview, Ben Rylan talks to journalist Maxim Eristavi in Kiev about his struggle to ignite change.

  • Former education minister calls for end to religious education

    Former Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike has said that religious education “has no place in our secular school system”, calling on churches to find other more constructive ways to participate in communities.

    Speaking on this edition of Saturday Magazine, Ms Pike said that while years ago she would have supported the idea of religion in government schools, she has “been on a bit of a journey in this area.”

    “I grew up in a very religious household, and my Sundays consisted of virtually the whole day of going to Sunday School, and youth groups and all of those sorts of things. And in-fact I worked for the church, and for many years was a church attender”, Ms Pike told today’s host, Macca.

    “The body that runs our Christian education in schools at the moment used to be much more representative of the mainstream religions, but now is overrepresented by the more conservative, evangelical sections. The more conservative fundamentalist groups, I think, are embracing a very discriminatory view. And I think anything that promulgates those kinds of views in our society are wrong. And I’m very concerned”, she said.

    “Some people send their kids to those schools because they don’t want them to mix with the riff-raff that’s in the public system. That’s not a Christian value…. The very schools that say they are religious are by their very being entrenching un-Christian values.”

    Ms Pike cited a recent incident in Torquay involving material handed to year 6 children that claimed girls who wear revealing clothes are inviting sexual assault, and that homosexuality, masturbation and sex before marriage are sinful.

    “A lot of the different kinds of relationships that we have in our society are not fully understood and appreciated because we only hammer the traditional male-female nuclear family model in our schools”, Ms Pike said.

    “A lot of gay and lesbian people would like to ensure that people in education understand complex different relationships.”

    The former MP clarified that while she understood the importance of spirituality and the different forms it takes in places around the world, she believes that Australia is now a pluralistic society, and no one group should have the right to promote their particular set of religious views.

    “If the churches believe that they have a message that is worthwhile, then there are many opportunities in the rest of our society for them to express their faith”, she said.

    “There’s lots of ways that you can express your Christian faith and show acts of caring and love to people in the government school system without needing to have half an hour a week to basically ram religion down people’s throats.”

  • Proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act ignite rage

    The proposed changes to Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act have have been dividing opinions all over over the country. While some see the move as crucial to preserving free speech, others ask why racism needs protection under the law.

    In this edition of Saturday Magazine, Ben Rylan is joined by Jim Bourke for a discussion with Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson. A vocal supporter of repealing Section 18C, the part of the Act that famously saw News Corporation columnist Andrew Bolt taken to court, Mr Wilson defended the draft changes put forward by Attorney-General George Brandis.

    While Mr Wilson took issue at a failure to clarify that the repealed section would be replaced with differing legislation (even raising the issue during his appearance on ABC’s Q&A), a wide exemption for comment made in the public course of discussion means that any future instances similar to the Andrew Bolt episode would be legal.

  • Rebranding conservatism

    In a land once ruled by a strong conservative Republican base, the increasing splintering amongst conservative Americans has many wondering how far off another run in the White House might be. This week, Leith Marshall and Ben Rylan are joined by Dr Kumuda Simpson from the University of Melbourne. 

    Author note: I originally wrote this article whilst in New York City back in 2012, in the midst of the US election and a superstorm-ravaged Manhattan. With entire neighbourhoods literally washed away before my eyes, the political fallout following Governor Chris Christie’s embrace of President Obama was a mere hint at just how deep the Republican Party’s divisive problems may be. (Updated March 2014)

    NEW YORK CITY, USA – The 2016 US election is still some time away. But this is America, it’s never too early to start work on presenting yourself as a solid presidential option. And while Hillary Clinton quietly waits to make the inevitable official, the Grand Old Party just seems, well, old.

    After the shattering defeat suffered by Mitt Romney in 2012, there was little doubt amongst the long red state faces that the next Republican challenger would need to be leading a fresh new party into election mode. Yet when New Jersey was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, and Governor Chris Christie threw politics aside to embrace and praise the assistance offered by President Obama, the Republican attack dogs were quick to break loose.

    While news images of the Republican Governor and Democratic President working together certainly helped approval ratings on both sides, the GOP’s knee-jerk critique was a terrible misfire. Everything that happens in the world affects politics, but publicly politicising human suffering only serves to lose the respect of voters.

    And yet, in another move that frustrated many on both sides of the political firewall, the Republicans somehow arrived at a decision to stand firm in their opposition to President Obama’s healthcare law, eventually causing the government to shut down and federal funds to dry-up. While sticking to your guns is supremely admirable, there came a point where all political goals were lost amongst the symbolism. And the GOP missed it. The only thing won by the party was blame, and they limped away in tatters.

    Looking ahead to 2016, who can offer the party the unity, strength, and most importantly, clear vision it desperately needs if it’s to cut through the hype offered by Hillary Clinton? That’s a super PAC-sized question.

    Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough has already hosed down rumours of a run. And while Chris Christie licks his wounds in the continuing fallout from that bridge scandal, the memories of being the nation’s most popular Republican must feel a million lightyears away.

    The world has changed since the last time a Republican president won the White House. The votes for fears over national security in 2004 have switched to economic anxieties. And social equality plays a much bigger role than it ever did, further complicating any conservative Republican’s message on the national stage.

    If the Republican Party is to be a serious contender in 2016, a complete party rebrand is vital.

    During the 2012 election, with a left-leaning African-American president in the White House, it was only natural for the Republicans to offer contrast in a true conservative fashion. Mercifully, Michele Bachmann’s campaign dropped off after a number of embarrassing attacks, largely against her staunchly anti-gay stance (one of the most memorable came from a gay robot; “not only are you a homophobe, you’re a robophobe”). Meanwhile, former Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin barely suggested entering the race before returning to her book tour.

    A former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney fought an unsuccessful battle against John McCain for the 2009 Republican nomination. His 2012 bid largely benefitted from the absence of both McCain and fellow former nominee and close rival Mike Huckabee, who has since emerged as a possible candidate in 2016.

    War is still splashed across the headlines, the financial crisis is still rippling, broader economical issues are playing on every American’s mind; both sides have plenty to scream about. However, one particular issue seems to be playing a much bigger role than ever before; social equality.

    On that topic, Romney lowered himself into a tank of warring sharks. During his campaign for governor of Massachusetts in 1994, LGBT voters were treated to promises of “full equality”, presumably in response to his more liberal rival Ted Kennedy. But when the Massachusetts high court allowed equal marriage, Romney (unsuccessfully) exercised every bit of his power to strike it down, proclaiming “We don’t want Massachusetts to become the Las Vegas of gay marriage.”

    Some observed that there appeared to be two Romneys – the liberal, friendly centre-right community man who proudly helmed Massachusetts, and the steadfastly conservative iron-fisted millionaire we saw auditioning on the national stage in 2012. Romney was quick to remind Republican supporters that he has always been opposed to gay marriage and in favour of legislation banning federal recognition of state-allowed gay marriage, as well as an amendment to the constitution. Despite this, Romney maintains that he does support gay rights, telling New Hampshire voters “I’m in favour of traditional marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage. At the same time, I don’t believe in discriminating in employment or opportunity for gay individuals. So I favour gay rights; I do not favour same-sex marriage. That has been my position all along.”

    Former nominee Rick Santorum (who was tipped as potentially playing a role in a Romney administration) is widely considered one of the most vehemently anti-gay politicians in America. Responding to questions in New Hampshire, Santorum aligned gay marriage with polygamy and said marriage in general was not a right, but a “privilege” bestowed by the government; “It’s not discrimination not to grant privileges”.

    A very distant rival for Romney in 2009, Ron Paul stuck to his campaign longer than most predicted. Considered less right-wing than some of his louder Republican rivals, he strongly opposed extending any federal rights to same-sex couples and supported the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He claimed to be neutral on civil unions and gay marriage however, providing it’s left for the states to decide.

    But autonomy for the states isn’t always a get out of jail free card. The recent close-call on the passing of a bill in Arizona that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against their own customers attracted enough negative press to take some sheltered Arizonians by surprise. For many extreme conservatives, it was the first time social equality issues held enough weight to translate into something even they care about – economics. Meanwhile, the next face of the Iowa Republicans is likely to be Danny Carroll, a former pumpkin farmer who left his job to focus on fighting equal marriage full-time. And he’ll likely be a national figure for the party in the lead-up to 2016.

    Healthcare, unemployment, and the economy remain key concerns among American voters. These are core issues that affect just about everyone. Until the GOP loses the old divisive brand of politics still practiced by a damaging few, the White House may remain out of reach for some time.

  • Are anti-abortion protesters about to be silenced?

    When the Napthine Government strengthened Victoria’s protest laws, including the introduction of so-called “move on orders”, the controversy was swift. Some pointed at the notorious loitering anti-abortion protesters who have long caused staff at one Melbourne clinic more trouble than they’re willing to endure.

    After news broke that the clinic was suing the City of Melbourne for alleged inaction against the protesters, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle claimed that his council had been incapable of forcing the issue.

    “I think it is going to take an intervention such as the Premier has initiated through the Move On Laws through the Parliament of Victoria… I welcome the day when those young women at this vulnerable time in their lives, can go about their business without being harassed in this obscene way,” he told ABC News.

    But as the Australian Sex Party’s Fiona Patten said on this edition of Saturday Magazine, laws that could be used to protect the clinic from this kind of behaviour have existed for a long time, and a failure to effectively enforce them should not be used for what some may call ulterior motives. Joining hosts Macca and Katie Purvis, Fiona was clear in her opposition to Victoria’s new laws aimed at cracking down on nuisance protesters, pointing out various unreported consequences of the legislation.

    Are you concerned about Victoria’s new protest laws? Are today’s hosts fair in their opposition to the legislation? Let us know over at the Saturday Magazine Facebook page.

  • International Women’s Day 2014

    The team behind Saturday Magazine are taking Labour Day weekend off, but in its place is a very special broadcast presentation.

    JOY 94.9’s International Women’s Day special features a collection of on-location radio reports made by JOY broadcasters on a range of topics. A women’s circus, domestic violence affecting people on the Solomon Islands, and the Sisterworks Refugee Centre are just some of the topics covered, as well as a male perspective on women.

    There are also some guest reports from Sudan radio makers, and a local author gives an insight into how women authors can get published. A resident alternative therapist discusses gender and past lives, while there are some live discussions with Victoria Police, Switchboard, and local Indigenous elder Annette Xibberras welcomes us to the country as she shares her stories of the power of women in our community.

    This is a very special JOY 94.9 presentation for International Women’s Day 2014 – inspiring change.

  • Protecting Uganda’s “moral values”

    When the east African nation of Uganda first proposed a law that would see homosexuality declared a crime punishable by death, the response from the western world was swiftly critical. The death penalty has now been replaced by life imprisonment, but it has not cooled much of the world’s outcry.

    Denmark, Norway, and the World Bank have all cut or diverted aid worth about $110 million, while the US is still reviewing its ties. But if Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati is worried about his country’s fragile economy, he isn’t showing it.

    “(The law) is very much worth it because it will protect our values. I think a society that has no moral values is a contradiction to development,” he told Reuters.

    Uganda’s Red Pepper tabloid has started outing those it calls Uganda’s “top homos”, with reports of night time house raids and anti-gay harassment on the rise.

    In this edition of Saturday Magazine, co-hosted by former Victorian health and education minister Bronwyn Pike, Dr Douglas Pretsell, a board director at the Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation, gives his insight into what can and should be done by western nations about this horrific human rights situation.

  • Who’s looking out for LGBTI asylum seekers?

    Asylum Seekers are fleeing violence (low-res)Asylum seekers make their way to Australia because their homelands are dangerous war-zones, right? Well, the truth is that there are many people across the globe willing to put their lives at risk to come here for a whole variety of reasons. And living in a war-zone isn’t always the case.

    As Amnesty International’s NSW Branch President Senthorun Raj describes in this edition of Saturday Magazine, some people seek asylum here simply because they identify as LGBTI. That’s because countries all over the world prohibit and persecute homosexuality. But as was indicated on last week’s Dateline program on SBS, the Australian government seems worryingly unconcerned on the matter.

    Also on this edition of the show, Melbourne’s White Night shone its way to a roaring success at the weekend, with around 500,000 people making their way to the CBD to marvel at the bright lights and carnival atmosphere.

    In just its second year, the even has already surpassed all expectations to quickly become one of the state’s most successful attractions. Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has indicated that next year’s White Night may need to begin on Friday to accommodate the interest.

    Melbourne’s Lord Mayor (and Premier Napthine’s former boss) Robert Doyle joins hosts Ben Rylan and Macca as they discuss not only the bright side of the city, but also the darker undercurrent of long-term homelessness.

    After January’s murder of homeless man Wayne “Mousey” Perry, Melburnians have been forced to face the very real problem of homeless people in the city. And as this edition of Saturday Magazine reveals, it’s never as simple as many believe.


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