Friday 22nd of August 2014

of the mediocre main mass media de merdia in australia...


The mainstream media are not giving us the full story, says Peter Wicks of Wixxyleaks, who considers the reporting of the recent March in March rallies and that of Arthur Sinodinos.

Some of you will be shocked by what I am about to say — shocked and appalled.

The mainstream media are letting us down.

Yep, I said it. I know it's something I don't often say, but it’s true we are being drip-fed a distorted view of the news.

The commercial TV networks all seem to sing the same tune, except for the occasional blip which is probably intended to provide the illusion of balance.

If the ABC step a fraction too far towards the sensible centre, Tony Abbott is liable to attack it on one of his shockjock mates’ shows and launch a review into its funding the next day.

As subtle as a sledgehammer.

As for those in the printed press — it’s true we don't expect a lot from News Ltd, but despite those low expectations, they still manage to disappoint.

The Australian has continued to show itself as having about as much relevance as a safety warning label on an AK47. They may as well rename themselves the Far Right Daily.

The irony of a newspaper that wastes so much ink and paper dehumanising asylum seekers ‒ who are, after all, foreigners seeking to become Australian citizens ‒ is not lost on me. A foreign-owned newspaper that calls itself The Australian can’t really be too critical of those seeking to become Australian I would have thought. Especially not when the owner gave up his Australian citizenship to become a naturalised American.

As for the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph, they seem to have become the essential reading of the average bogan. They are nothing more than rags full of propaganda, such as asylum seeker drivel, climate change denial and the reprinting of Coalition MPs press releases. But with a bit of news thrown in somewhere, probably because they kind of have to.

I’m only surprised the page three girls haven’t made a comeback in the Tele and Hun, as that seems to be the demographic aimed at by News Ltd, with its back pages full of brothel and prostitute adverts.

I have no issue with political bias at all as that would be rather hypocritical of me, however News Ltd should at least be upfront about it, instead of trying to suggest they present balance.

Fairfax, however ‒ if we ignore the rantings of their shock-jocks on the radio stations they own ‒ has, for me, been a beacon of light amidst a fog misleading journalism.

The problem with Fairfax is not so much what they report and how they do it, but often when they report it or if they report it.

Examples of this would be the travel rorts saga that plagued the Abbott government in its early days. Details of Abbott’s spending of the taxpayer dollar on travel to fun runs, bike rides, weddings and even the marketing promotion of his book were known long before the federal election, yet Fairfax chose to wait until after the election to run with it.

Online news has yet to hit its stride in Australia, with most of the traffic going to the online versions of Fairfax and News Ltd. New online player The Guardian is showing great promise but, as yet, doesn’t seem to have the Australian resources for complete coverage of Australian events.

As for Crikey, they have shown themselves to be a fantastic spamming organization, with inbox’s around the country filling up with desperate bids to make you pay for their version of the news at 25% off, or 30% off depending on what day you look at your spam folder. Unfortunately, aside from a great cartoonist, First Dog on the Moon (real name Andrew Marlton) ‒ who has just been poached by The Guardian ‒ they have little that would make you visit their site for free, let alone for a price.

So, what has made me vent about the media today, you may well wonder.

For starters the coverage of the March in March was abysmal, inadequate and completely at odds with coverage given to similar events in the past.

The events in the past I speak of are the Carbon Tax Rally and the Convoy of No Confidence.

The Carbon Tax Rally is something that made front page news and was discussed weeks and months afterwards, even still spoken of today. ABC Four Corners even dedicated an entire program to the event.

Attendance at the Carbon Tax Rally was estimated at around 5,000 — although organisers optimistically claimed 10,000.

The Convoy of No Confidence attracted a handful of trucks and around 300 people showed up, although many of them were actually press. The press attended, despite shock jock Alan Jones’s best efforts to scare them off, berating Fairfax's Jacqueline Maley for asking a reasonable question, and then being caught out lying about a police blockade that turned out to be a police escort.

Estimates have the March in March being attended by over 100,000 in events held all over Australia yet it has not received even a fraction of the attention.

In Melbourne, an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people marched in protest, despite talk of protesting being made a criminal offence by the Victorian Coalition Government the week before.

That is at least six times the number of those who attended the Carbon Tax Rally, or triple the number at the most optimistic of counts by those with seven fingers. It is also 100 times the number that attended what Anthony Albanese accurately described as the Convoy of No Consequence.

And that’s at just one of the March In March locations. There were March in March protests in capital cities and regional cities and towns all over the country — in fact there were more protest sites for the March In March than there were trucks in the Convoy Of No Confidence.

Yet where is all the coverage? Where is all the press outrage over Abbotts many lies and broken promises already?

Tony Abbott brushed off the protest, saying with a knowing smirk:

“My understanding is that the only big rally in Sydney is the St Patrick’s Day parade."

The most interesting side note has been the mock outrage from Andrew Bolt about one of the banners at the Melbourne march, that simply read ‘RESIGN, DICKHEAD’. The response to Bolt from the banner waver, published on IA yesterday, was simply breathtaking.

Like Tony Abbott, however, the mainstream media seem to have also brushed the event aside and told those who attended they don’t count. Well not as much as those who attended carbon rallies anyway.

Another story that still has a long way to travel and will be interesting to watch is that involving the current ICAC investigation, which has seen Arthur Sinodinos step aside from his position as Assistant Treasurer.

When former State Labor MP’s Eddie ObeidJoe Tripodi and Ian McDonald were being exposed by ICAC and having details of their corruption laid out for the world to see, the press were all over it like a rash and rightly so too. The coverage was massive and seemed never ending.

In Sydney, for added effect, News Ltd in the Telegraph decided to use a bright red graphic saying ‘NSW Labor Inc’ to brand the actions of a few corrupt individuals for each article on the hearings and its findings.

The damage done to the Labor Party by these individuals was enormous and almost certainly contributed to the downfall of the Federal Labor Government at the last election.

Heath Aston of Fairfax has written an excellent background piece linked here that gives a great overview of the case Sinodinos has to answer before ICAC.

Arthur Sinodinos, for those who don’t know is a Federal Liberal Senator who, until stepping aside this week, was also Assistant Treasurer. He is also the man responsible for the upcoming changes that take away the protections that investors have from predatory financial advisors.

Sinodinos was John Howard's right hand man after Grahame Morris fell on his sword when Howard needed a scapegoat after his own travel rorts scandal cost the jobs of three Coalition Ministers. Morris is a man most remember as the guy who made the “kicking her to death” comment about Julia Gillard.

Sinodinos is also a former Treasurer and past President of the NSW branch of the Liberal Party.

In the last year, we have seen a string of NSW Liberal MP’s hauled in by ICAC and even seen a raid performed on a serving Liberal Ministers electorate office, after which a minister, Chris Hartcher, was forced to stand down.

Despite this, we have yet to see News Ltd start using a graphic branding the articles — ‘NSW Liberal Inc’.

It is not only Sinodinos who is implicated in this corruption inquiry — there are also Liberal lobbyists such as Michael Photios, a former state MP who was also formerly a member of the NSW Liberal Party State Executive.

With the Liberal Party State Executive involved, one would expect that there may be far more people involved in this scandal than of which we are currently aware, thus I’d expect many more tough questions to be asked of many current and former Coalition MP’s.

Given that the alleged corruption centred on the infrastructure needed for water supply in the Liberal Party member dominated North West of Sydney and the firm was based in Rouse Hill, I suspect there may be questions asked of Liberal MP’s and perhaps councillors in the area — particularly those with previous or current connections or influence over the Liberal Party State Executive.

I just hope that those in the Coalition members who are dragged before ICAC are blessed with the same style and amount of coverage that former Labor MP’s received and continue to receive.

I won’t, however, be holding my breath.,6299


on the case since 2005 on YD, but since 1950 overall...


See other articles and toons about "news" on this site... Please note that when the South Sydney Rabbitohs supporters marched to the Sydney Town Hall against "News Limited" AND Mr Mudroch (sorry about the freudian slip) around 2000, there was two rallies about a couple of weeks apart... The first protest had an estimated 40,000 people and the second had around 80,000 people. 

If my memory is correct though the protest marches made the "first page" on all channels and some of the press, the first protest did not rate a mention in the merde-och press while the second was mentioned on page 44 in two short paragraphs in the Telegraph. The pitiful excuse for failing to mention the protests by news limited was something akin "that they made a mistake"... BOLLOCKS! according to my sources at the telegraph, it HAD BEEN DELIBERATE...

wake up... it's our nightmare as well....

The whole thing was interesting because it demonstrated the widening gulf between what is popular on social media and the internet, and what traditional media organisations consider newsworthy.

Sometimes the two overlap, but whether the bloggers, tweeters and other internet denizens like it or not, newspapers still get to make that call.

Newspapers, edited as they are by humans, do get it wrong, and the Herald should have covered the marches. Contemporary newsrooms have constrained resources, papers have fewer pages due to declining advertising, and the increasing clutter of the internet and the 24-hour news cycle makes news selection confusing.

But the left does itself no favours if it resorts to insult, vitriol, and mad muttering in dark corners of the internet. It does much better if it communicates with sense and civility, like Timothy Pembroke, who I hope will keep buying the Herald even though we disappointed him this once.

Read more:

Most people on the "cyber space" were expecting better from Jacqueline Maley... Jacqueline, you goofed... goofed big time... Don't pluck excuses out of the "dark corners of the internet"... The left does not resort more to insult and vitriol than the mad monks of the rabid-loony-right... But sometimes you have to indulge the frustrations of a people who see how they are being shafted up their arse by a cunning right-wing Abbott regime. Cunning? You should understand that premise!... If you do not see this, you are just a little bourgeois girl who cannot see the damage done by Tony and his henchmen because they control the debate and you prefer it that way...
The destruction of the environment which Labor minimised to a great extend with "red and green tape" is now up for grab while global warming is accelerating at warp speed. Okay, you may not "believe" in global warming, but should you do, you have to hit the master of porkies, Tony Abbott, in the gonads with a baseball bat...  And as far as ALL OTHER POLICIES FROM EDUCATION TO ASYLUM SEEKERS,  Tony Abbott is dragging this country through mud while parading as a fair dinkum bloke. Tony is an idiot. As far as Tony detritus is concerned, time for niceties has long gone.
WAKE THE FUCK UP! And don't try to smooth us with two-sided sandpaper crap...

I was going to apologise...

I was going to apologise for using a rude word in the comment above... My apologies...  But then I came across this article reproduced below on the ("real"-journalists-"despised") bloggosphere... I still apologise but I rest my case:



The full import of the activity by Tony Abbott and his extremist cohorts is crystal clear and unconcealed, yet still it eludes the grasp of the mainstream commentariat, writes Judy Crozier.

I HAVE LONG BEEN PUZZLED by our media commentators’ failure to grasp the full import of current political activity by the far Right in Australia.

That is, of course, speaking of commentators other than those employed by Murdoch — the agenda there is clear.

But for the rest, the mystery remains.

It is, I suppose, a ‘woods for the trees’ thing.

You don’t get the sense of a sentence through defining one word from it. Words say nothing on their own; each clause lends meaning to the next.

Neither do patches become a quilt until sewn together.

A dot is just a dot until it’s joined with all the others.

And you do not get a sense of politics and the directions they move in by taking each statement, declaration, policy outside of context.

Quite some time ago, Aristotle said:

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

Yet so many are unwilling to parse the sentence, complete the quilt, see the whole picture, add the elements together. It is – in this age where it is uncool to discuss ideology – an exercise in logic that is assiduously avoided.

And so opinion-makers fail to discuss what’s behind political policy,  are puzzled by the coming together of a hundred thousand Australians under banners decrying many policies.

Yet context is all.

Put all this together, for example:

  • It was Abbott’s mentor, John Howard, who assembled WorkChoices. It has always been the Liberals who have sought to limit how much oversight of industry practice unions may have. This is despite the correlation between worksite practices and the level of workplace accidents. Unions, not surprisingly, regard oversight of worksite practices as part of their purview.
  • There is no clear jobs plan in place by this government, yet – and in spite of the subsidy of auto industries by governments the world over – the mainstay for the network of manufacturing jobs in auto-dependent industries was put in very real jeopardy when the Tories refused to continue the subsidies for Holden and, by implication, Toyota. These industries are highly unionised.
  • When SPC-Ardmona sought Federal Government support, part of the unacceptable line from government was that the company should reduce wages by up to 40 per cent. The Feds then sought to spread tales about outrageous conditions at the factory — tales that even local member, Liberal Dr Sharman Stonejust couldn’t hack.
  • And of course, there is the continuing loudhailer screech conflating Craig Thomson’s corruption with all unions and unionists, topped up with a Royal Commission. Another Liberal-instituted Commission that will cost a lot of taxpayer money for many headlines and not one conviction.
  • In quieter moments, Abbott muses about how workers and employers alike would love to ditch the penalty rates that, dare I say it, make sense of all those struggles for the 8-hour day and the 40-hour week. Or weekends, come to think of it.
  • The Federal Government is now also attacking 457 regulation, even to the point that companies need not actually truthfully declare how many people are being imported. I assume this also means we will not know their conditions or work, what they are being paid, or whether Australians were in fact available and trained for that work.
  • Meanwhile, trade deals are being made that tie practices and policies to foreign corporations and their agendas. Abbott is about to sign one with China, which includes the right of Chinese workers to flood our workplaces. Would I be right in assuming they would be paid less, work under worse conditions and be offered jobs Australians are also qualified for?

Now, I’m not a professional journalist/commentator. But is it so unreasonable to assume, from what we know of Tories and what we have seen of their current activities, that the aim is the creation of a pool of unemployed or people in insecure employment, who are not protected by unions and who will end by begging for work that is paid at a fraction of today’s rates and whose conditions will range from barely adequate to downright dangerous?

It’s about ideology — it always has been.

This is the context — and what is perhaps scariest of all is that, while our Tories dish out three-word clichés to augment popular mythologies and generally to distract, their aim is crystal clear and has been stated.

The wish list of the right-wing think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), says it all.  It has become a check list.

While media comment looks at each statement, at each action of this government without any reference to other statements and other actions, the Tories feel perfectly assured that nothing will be matched against the IPA declaration.

The bleeding obvious will remain unnoted.

Abbott will be confident that, while he makes feel-good declarations about Aboriginals, no-one will note the contradiction with his cuts to fundamental social programs for Aboriginals — legal aid, domestic violence, education….

And while he plays with smoke and mirrors on education, no-one will notice that his Gonski promises are a chimera, while its original and fundamental planks are dismantled. Remember, please remember, that the Liberals’ main contribution to school education has, under Abbott’s hero John Howard, been to divert funds to wealthy private institutions.

Who recalls the rather startling support of funding for nannies, and then links it to the PPL proposal that seeks to reward rich women who have babies? Who then sees this in the context of underpaid childcare workers, whose pay increases has been quashed? Who notes that access to quality childcare is far, far more valuable than a six-month bundle of notes? Who speaks up for the calibre of childcare workers, and of the women who most need their ongoing services (well beyond the six months of the Coalition’s PPL policy)?

Childcare workers are joined by aged care workers in this betrayal.

And here again, the links exist.

I note that two union-led successes are being singled out for destruction. May I conclude that well-paid workers are not a priority of this government’s and neither are the kind of education attainments that inevitably bolster a nation’s intellect? May I conclude that universal health is, to them, secondary to health as investment for corporations? Do I have good reason to assume that women’s issues and voices are of no interest to the Coalition?

I know damn well that the Coalition broke with bipartisanship on refugee policy simply because it wanted to divert red-neck votes from Pauline Hanson. They broke the system, along with countless lives and psyches, and they continue to do so. It has been, frankly, in their interest that an industry has grown up that puts people at risk at sea and it suits the Coalition that any policy put forward to create a regulated system that does not seek to punish the innocent is ridiculed into oblivion.

Similarly, xenophobic voters and the well-known effects of fear politics are why we now have such appalling relations with our regional neighbours — who know very well why they are being used this way, and that this region is the key to a well-regulated and fair refugee system.

Well, I could go on. And on.

I could mention the loss of rights now legislated in Queensland and Victoria; I could mention the undoing of work on the preservation of our environment.

I could make a sad joke about how many scientists it takes to change policy on climate change. (A: One, if he’s on the board of a company owned by Gina Rinehart.)

I could go on.

Perhaps this inability to think clearly is in part a result of Howard’s belittling of comment as ‘chattering’.

Suffice it to say that, for the rest of us, one big march in March represented the parsing of Abbott’s politics.

It is sum of what the Coalition stands for that, frankly, scares us to death.

Pity our commentators can neither read nor add...,6301


Wake up.... I mean wake the F%$#@ UP!

the MMMM de mierda deliberately missed the news...

Why nobody is happy with the media coverage of the March in March.

And finally tonight to other things left unsaid. 

Last weekend’s March in March provoked a rash of complaints from Left and Right about the way the event was covered. 

JEREMY FERNANDEZ: Rallies against the Federal Government have drawn tens of thousands of people across the country ...

LOUISE NEGLINE: United by frustration and anger

LOUISE NEGLINE: March in March rallies have attracted crowds in their thousands across the country. 

— ABC1, News, 16th March, 2014

A bevy of right-wing columnists have accused the ABC and Fairfax of failing to condemn some vicious anti-Abbott placards, carried by a handful of marchers. 

These placards, as Andrew Bolt told readers of his News Corp column , carried messages like this: 

... “Kill Abbott”, “Kill the Politicians”, “I vote for retroaction abortion of Tony”, “Resign d--khead” and “You racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic fascist”, next to a picture of Abbott as Hitler.

— Herald Sun, 19th March, 2014

Now there’s no question that ABC’s TV News did NOT condemn those banners. 

But neither did it show them or indeed capture any pictures. 

As Bolt told his readers:

The ABC published 43 of the rallies’ signs in one story, but omitted all savage or threatening ones that might discredit the protest.

— Herald Sun, 19th March, 2014

Now you might argue that was the right decision: to deny publicity to the lunatic fringe. 

Or you might think the ABC missed the story.

But they weren’t the only ones to take this course. 

Sky’s news reports didn’t highlight the vicious signs .

And nor did Channel Nine.

Ten showed several anti-Abbott placards but did not condemn them. 

So why did Bolt just accuse the ABC? 

Well, I guess we know the answer to that. Bolt has written about the public broadcaster 132 times since the start of this year and has attacked the ABC on 125 occasions. 

Alan Jones is another tireless critic of the ABC and he soon joined in : 

ALAN JONES: ... both Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine wrote brilliantly about this ... about the March in March rallies last weekend, and the vicious hatred, promoted against prime minister Tony Abbott, and not a voice raised about it. As I said, it’s ok to say it about Abbott, you can’t say it about Miss Gillard ...

— 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 21st March, 2014

So does Alan Jones have a point? 

Back in 2011, when Tony Abbott was urged to Ditch the Witch at an anti carbon tax rally, was the media quicker to highlight the attacks? 

Well, yes. 

But one look at this picture from News Corp’s Herald Sun, and you can see the media had little choice 

Because Tony Abbott delivered his speech to that rally standing in front of two now notorious signs: 

Ditch the Witch and Ju-liar, Bob Brown’s Bitch.

You could hardly ignore them or black them out, especially on TV news. 

Another big difference is that Mr Abbott and other senior opposition politicians were supporting the protesters. 

Had Bill Shorten spoken up at the March in March the anti Abbott placards would have been a much bigger story. 

Especially if he had been in front of these signs. 

But of course he was not.

But it was not just the Right that was unhappy with the way the March in March was covered. 

Many protesters felt that 31 marches and tens of thousands of people deserved far more attention.

Monday’s Australian had only a small item in the state sections of the paper, while the print editions of the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald couldn’t find any space in their news pages, prompting one angry SMH reader, Timothy Pembroke, to write an open letter asking:

... was there really no room for the March In March? At all? Nothing?

... Yesterday was a big day and you blatantly ignored it.

— Timothy Pembroke, Open Letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, 17th March, 2014

By the end of last week Pembroke’s letter had been viewed more than 90,000 times. And on Friday the Herald’s Editor in chief Darren Goodsir admitted they had made the wrong call: 

I was as surprised as many of our readers to see no mention of it in the next day's newspaper. 

This was an error of news judgement, and it is regretted.

— Darren Goodsir, Editor-in-Chief, Sydney Morning Herald, 21st March, 2014

On Saturday, the Herald’s Jacqueline Maley also acknowledged the error in her column 

But there were no regrets at the Daily Telegraph, which not only failed to cover the march as a news story in the paper, but found space for three columns, one editorial and three letters attacking the marchers. 

When we asked the Tele why.. it turned our inquiry into a news 

THE ABC’s Media Watch program has fired an astonishing series of questions at The Daily Telegraph, continuing a long-running taxpayer-funded attack on the newspaper’s columnists.

— Daily Telegraph, 21st March, 2014

The paper went on to quote a Telegraph spokesman: 

Perhaps it’s different at the ABC, but at The Daily Telegraph we do not issue Stalinist style directives to our columnists telling them what to write. They individually saw coverage of the March in March elsewhere and felt it was something that would appeal to their audience.

— Daily Telegraph, 21st March, 2014

But to balance its barrage of scorn the Tele could not find room even for one pro-March letter. 

So reader Kathy Sant sent her letter to the Tele’s editor to us :

Dear Editor, 

I am a middle-aged professional. I am proud to be an Australian, believe in democracy and feel lucky to live in one ... I Marched in March.

— Kathy Sant, Letter to the Daily Telegraph sent to Media Watch, 18th March, 2014

Sant sent her letter to the Telegraph twice and also rang the editor’s office.

Her phone calls were not returned, and her letter was not published. 

All she wished to say was that the marches had been entirely peaceful, along with the vast majority of signs. 

One read simply, ‘Hey Tony. What would Jesus do?’

— Kathy Sant, Letter to the Daily Telegraph sent to Media Watch, 18th March, 2014

Sant’s parting shot was that mature democracies “embrace dissent and encourage participation”. 

Sadly the Tele could not find space for that thought.

the mainstream coverage has been shallow and cynical...

At his March 16 press conference, Abbott feigned ignorance of the March in March – even though he had bagged it out the day before. His spin doctors must have warned him off commenting given his negative approval rating and declining support for the government. Just six months into its first term, the Coalition’s support stands at 51% of the two-party preferred vote.

The corporate media have been conflicted.

Some have tried to run with “The protesters don't know what they're protesting about”. But the many articulate and sharp placards give the lie to that.

Mostly the mainstream coverage has been shallow and cynical. Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald put up photos of March in March online but decided to ignore it in the hard copy edition (while devoting space to the much smaller St Patrick's Day march).

Murdoch's Australian ran a story on the Queensland March in March with the headline “Man collapses in anti-Abbott Qld march”.

Significantly, social media has provided the best and most in-depth coverage.

Since the weekend's events, thousands of citizen journalists have posted pictures, YouTube films and comments wondering about the huge size of the rallies, where they sprung from and their political significance.

In Sydney, the crowd stayed positive despite heavy rain: they listened to (rather than talked through) the speakers, sang along with Billy Bragg, and then marched. It took about three to four hours. Photographers had a great opportunity to showcase the size, colour and multi-generational nature of this long march.

First-time rally goers – both older and young – were invigorated by the feeling of collective power that comes from masses of people taking to the streets with a clear message.

March in March was the conduit for the first (hopefully of many) national collective mass political actions against an already very unpopular government.

While it appeared to be entirely spontaneous, in fact it relied on the work of many hundreds of communities and social movement groups, which are mostly not seen or heard, including those concerned about refugees, the environment, service cuts, housing rights, Aboriginal rights, union rights and more.

If it wasn't for all these more permanent social movement committees doing a lot of the on-the-ground organising of their networks, March in March would not have worked so well.