Family First hopes Into The River Ban will set precedent

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie told Morning Report today the group was originally satisfied when the book was given an R14 restriction, but the Censor’s office stepped in and removed the rating altogether.

“It has sexually explicit material and it’s a book that’s got the c-word nine times, the f-word 17 times and s-h-i-t 16 times.”

McCoskrie said he would be happier if the book was made R18.

But Bernard Beckett, chief judge of the 2013 Book Awards which crowned Into the River as the Book of the Year, hit back at Family First today, saying they were seeking to establish an “incredibly unhelpful precedent”.

Mr Beckett told Nine To Noon that his main objection to any kind of rating system on young adult novels was that restrictions would come from a privileged value system which did not reflect the target audience.

“Something we’re trying to do is increase literacy, especially amongst young males from educational deprived backgrounds, and we’re looking for material to engage with them. As soon as you put R14 on it, you have to ask who are the people who have heft in society to go through the process and get their value system imposed.”

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