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The Forum > Article Comments > The failure of Australiaís political media > Comments

The failure of Australiaís political media : Comments

By Peter McMahon, published 8/12/2006

Political journalists need to recall that fair and accurate reporting and informed debate are essential for a functioning society.

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Just as well that we 'ordinary' folk are capable of making up our own minds without the help of political journalists telling us what we should think.
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 8 December 2006 9:20:44 AM
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Strange eh? Most of the liberal politicians abrade the ABC for their supposed left wing bias and the so-called journalists from the "Australian" usually join in. Well they have to don't they as they work for a liberal biassed paper and as one of these 'clever, fearlessly independent' Australian s/c jounalists has been such grovelling liberal she has been awarded a place on the ABC board so now her workmates it seems are trying for the same or a similar reward. How proud these people are - look at me the only talent I have is to suck up to howard and now I'm on the ABC board and a nice little earner it is too, apparently no shame at all. It's so sad that jounalism has sank to the low standard it is today. One must remember that reading the Australian one is not getting news as much as one is getting 'paid?' liberal propaganda.The above is how I see things anyhow and there would be will be those who toady up to the Labour party for rewards as well. Regards, numbat
Posted by numbat, Friday, 8 December 2006 10:07:28 AM
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Peter, I agree with every word you've said. I quickly realised after the Coalition won power from Labor that media bias towards the Coalition bordered on pure deception and unfortunately, it's continued to this very day. The current Government should have been hung out to dry over issues such as Tampa, children overboard, IR laws and the biggie....the war in Iraq. From that has flowed draconian anti-terrorist laws by which any one of us posters could conceivably suffer at the Government's will should they take serious exception to something we write. I used to be an avid fan of the "Insiders" until I realised how biased the program was towards the Howard led Government. I often wondered in amazement just why they kept returning that fat slug Piers Ackerman every other week and gave him the gold key to the crapper so he could heap praise on everything Howard and all things negative on Labor. I stopped watching in disgust. So too have I stopped buying Australian newspapers. Their quality has deteriorated to a heavily distorted bias towards anything Liberal. Same with television news. One quarter general news, one quarter pro Howard crap and the rest is adverts. Thank God for the Internet. No wonder the young are disinterested in politics.
Posted by Wildcat, Friday, 8 December 2006 10:13:37 AM
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We need a new term to describe these people. They are not political journalists at all, they are opinionators.

Political journalism is supposed to be about communicating the bare facts (all of them, not just the barrow pushing ones) and, as Leigh points out, letting us make up our own minds.

What passes for political journalists today is just an elite club of gossipers with cushy jobs making a living out of our need to know and their own need for fame.

I want a bumper sticker: "Is that true, or did you read it in the papers?"
Posted by chainsmoker, Friday, 8 December 2006 10:23:04 AM
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In 2000, Denise Allen won the seat of Benalla for the ALP for the first time in 95 years. Sadly, she lost it two years later whilst recording 42% of the primary vote. As a constituent whom she helped, I lost a valuable resource to my detriment. Denise was effective because she was willing to challenge the political system in her constituent's interests. How healthy is that? When Denise resigned from the Labor party last year, one of the things she noted was the practice of being told what to say and do by some some junior political adviser in the Ministerís office. ALP and Liberal parties have mastered the art of suppressing local members lest they do anything that might involve the Minister/Shadow Minister. Well might it be the Ministerís job to churn out politically correct fare to be consumed by journalists, but it is the activist local member who is the true brewer of political debate. Their job is to promote local issues with local media, and if they do it well, the story merits attention by city and national media by its intrinsic appeal. The media is the ultimate arbiter of a good story Ė and boring stories donít run. No wonder political journalists spend so much time researching press clippings Ė theyíre looking for any snippet that will expose an alternative thought that comes from a real person. If political journalists are at fault for stodgy reporting, so too are local members. Itís people who make a good story. When local members make themselves the subject they censor the story. Political journalists donít write drivel by choice. When local members are too weak to promote issues that local people are passionate about, the political writer who is at the end of this food chain sups on very ordinary fare.

Greg Cameron
Posted by GC, Friday, 8 December 2006 11:05:22 AM
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The campaign to oust Beazley and denigrate Rudd (in advance) shows quite graphically the state of the so-called mainstram media. The tragedy is that we do not have a diversity of print media in this country - Packer or Murdoch - take your choice.

As for the commentariat, they have shaped opinion and decided the destiny of others for far too long.
Posted by perikles, Friday, 8 December 2006 11:10:19 AM
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