Open warfare has broken out between the Liberal and the National parties with New South Wales National senator Fiona Nash joining her party leader, Warren Truss, in attacking the Liberal shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, for being “disconnected” from regional Australia.
The war began over Liberal party advertisements in the West Australian newspaper on Saturday which claimed credit for the $1bn national stronger regions fund Truss announced on Thursday.
The advertisement used a picture of the Coalition leadership team but Truss had been taken out and the word “national” had been removed from the fund’s title.
So, it’s finally over. Although it has been for a long time, really. What happened this week was just the full stop. Decades of mismanagement and executive asset stripping now sees Fairfax on its knees, bending to Gina. And the real prospect that hard copies of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will cease. What next?
It is not on to have one big newspaper group in Australia. Fairfax hasn’t done the job of serious, gutsy competition for years, but it was there. Now that Murdoch has just bought the excellent onlineBusiness Spectator, that refuge for top Fairfax business reporters and analysts, that method of getting the truth out about Murdoch is no more. And where’s the protest at the prospect that he will control Foxtel by buying out Packer’s stake? He nearly got a similar prize in the UK until The Guardian finally broke through on phone hacking.
The challenge is much broader than Murdoch, of course. Where was the investigation of the Slipper story, broken by the Murdoch media? It never made sense, but who did the work, who asked the questions? We’re going to be losing many, many journalists, and that means fewer competitors at the micro level. For example, there will be one film critic across Fairfax. And presumably one environment reporter, etc, etc. That gives enormous power to the few now covering special topics, in one way. In another way, though, it weakens their power, because if the boss puts the kybosh on a story, there’s no risk it will be broken elsewhere.
And with Fairfax a creature of Gina or an online only tabloid site, the ABC comes under enormous threat. What would an Abbott government do to funding? Think John Howard in 1996. Remember Murdoch lobbied hard in Britain to cut funding to the BBC. Without the ABC, no scrutiny. One agenda setter.
All in all, an awful state of affairs for Australia and our democracy. So what is the solution?
The way I see it, the various independent online media groups need to get together, pool their resources, and step up to a genuine media alternative to the dregs of Fairfax and Murdoch. Academic institutions engaged in media would also be around the table, as I’d see links with journalism students in the new group.
It will take real money, and as I’ve long argued, the best model is a trust with sufficient capital to finance a long term project of creating the new Fairfax. I’d like to see Crikey, the Global Mail, New Matilda and Online Opinion come together. And the best specialist bloggers need to be brought in, from Fairfax and independents.
Personally, I’d like to see the new entity produce, along with a 24 hour website, a daily paper, through an app., and a weekly magazine. Hard copy still matters, for gravitas, and for the status it offers to people who appear in it.
Ideally, a consortium of rich people who believe in quality, independent media would take over Fairfax, so they can have the mastheads. This doesn’t seem viable, given Gina’s interest, so new mastheads need to be created. This mightn’t be legal, but how about The New Sydney Herald and the New Age Melbourne (joke).
To my mind, the Webdiary model still has a lot to offer as a part of the mix. I haven’t seen anything like it yet - I could be wrong as I’m an internet refugee. The idea was to bring readers into finding and investigating the news, and to write their own pieces. A sense of community is crucial to success. In the same vein, I’m very attracted to Meg Simons’ idea of readers suggesting stories and donating to make them happen, and to contribute to their creation. You can review my ideas in that regard in my March 2006 piece.
When I took Webdiary independent, a rich man introduced to me by Webdiarist David Eastman suggested a foundation, with several people of wealth making contributions. There would also be sponsors like to Lowy Institute. Tony Fitzgerald agreed to sit on the board and be the ethics supervisor, as a transparent, enforceable code of ethics is fundamental to establishing the trust and authority to make a mark.
Imagine the difference a new media group as described would make to the almost non-existent debate on media regulation. Fresh air, folks.
The time for action is now. Let’s hope the people who can make it happen get together and do it. For all of us.
Murdoch The Unaustralian is playing dirty... (see poster above posted on the third of september, 2013...)
First as far as I know, Thomson has not been found guilty of anything so far. The evidence of wrong-doing "in this affair" sits more with the Friends of the Libs (CONservatives) such as Kathy Jackson... But the mass media, like the merde-och press, won't go there, because of the "inconvenient truth" contrary to their narrative...
On top of this Thomson is not in the ALP anymore and is presenting himself at these elections as an independent...
They only way Thomson can haunt the ALP is by winning the seat, as he should... But as the merde-och press stirs its own shit from the bottom of its own septic tank, it also tries to "bash" unions via the "AWU scandals" that have more to do with the way the Liberal (CONservative) mates were profiteering from the place...
Beyond this, would you believe that at this time, there is not much mention in the mass media of the "political conspiracy findings" by a judge against Mal Brough and a few other conspirators that may have included Hockey, Pyne and possibly Abbott for their role in the Asbygate affair.. There again, the "inconvenient truth" is not going with the mass media chosen narrative, thus the mass media HAS GONE SILENT...
AND THE POLICE should INVESTIGATE ABBOTT AND HIS SECRET TRUST FUND designed to kill off a competing political party for the far right wing votes...
Murdoch is still playing dirty — via his team of dedicated dangerous idiots...
Craig Thomson’s matter was due to be heard again later this month, however given we have a Federal election on Saturday, this was not convenient for the prosecution, which is acting for the State of Victoria — or, rather, the Coalition Government that runs it.
Instead of waiting until the scheduled court date, another mention was requested of the court on Friday 30 August by the prosecution. This request was granted and the mention was held the next working day, which was Monday 2nd September — yesterday, at time of writing.
So, what new revelations emerged from this rushed through court mention?
What new evidence was presented?
What new claims were made?
But what the hell! It meant that News Ltd got to run another negative piece on Craig Thomson in an election week.
The whole thing seems like it was set up so that prosecutors could stand up and rant unchallenged and use the court as a place for political grandstanding.
See picture and article above...
A scathing assessment of the ethics of Fairfax Media by the Press Council confirms Fairfax’s decision to follow the tawdry lead of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in falsifying ‘news’ for political ends, writes Alan Austin.
The Australian Press Council this week upheld complaints by law firm Slater & Gordon about reports byThe Age’s editor-at-large Mark Baker.
The adverse findings relate to two of Baker’s many articles on the matter of former PM Julia Gillard’s legal work for a trade union in the early 1990s. His stories have peddled innuendo, half-truths and falsehoods for nearly a year
The two in question were the short news item, ‘Gillard gave support for union group’s registration’ and a longer analysis piece, ‘Parting company: Brothers no more’. Both ran in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times last October.
The Council identified several deficiencies. There are others it didn’t.
The first false statement in the brief news item was that another law firm had been ‘pressing Slater & Gordon for more than a month’ to give former union member and self-proclaimed whistleblower Ralph Blewitt ‘access to the association incorporation file’.
The second was that a former lawyer had ‘accused the firm of stalling’ in handing over the file.
Baker wrote in the article:
‘The file is believed to contain a copy of the letter Ms Gillard sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission affirming the association would be devoted to workplace safety.’
The law firm has consistently said there was no file. The Press Council now confirms Baker’s claims were false.
read more at : http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/media-2/press-council-finds-fairfax-fabricated-awu-gillard-stories/
See also murdoch: still playing dirty
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