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The Forum > Article Comments > Ah, so you were a journalist: the deceit of spin > Comments

Ah, so you were a journalist: the deceit of spin : Comments

By Bob Hawkins, published 4/10/2007

What has happened to news journalismís traditional commitment to objectivity?

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Nothing new here.

The media has ALWAYS served the interests of its owners.

Noam Chomsky has been telling us this for 40 years.

Plus Sharon Beder in Global Spin gives a superb analysis of how corporations and right wing think tanks including, here in Australia the IPA and CIS, produce the spin which passes for the "news".

I quite like Media Lens too: http://www.medialens.org
And Tom Dispatch: http://www.tomdispatch.com

Plus if you want to see 24 hour a day spin just check out Fox so called "news" which is very much liked by many so called "conservatives".
Posted by Ho Hum, Thursday, 4 October 2007 10:05:32 AM
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I found myself nodding in agreement with this piece - Hawkins has nailed the situation precisely.

Few sectors have changed over the past decade as much as media, though concern over these changes are often perceived as either a journalist's conceit regarding their own profession, or else commentary aimed at protecting their own interests.

By and large, most journalism today is simply regurgitating comment: the 'he said, they said' style of reporting is one of the few methods that fit the tightened deadlines. With huge numbers of stories required by deadline, it effectively means there's little time for proper investigation. Indeed, few papers have genuine investigative journalists - it's far too expensive.

Yet when journalists make these kinds of comments, it is regarded as simply an attempt at an easier ride. The implications for wider society are often ignored.

I tend to think this increased volume of editorial required to be completed by journalists - quantity over quality - is symptomatic of the greater amount of information demanded by the public, which in turn leads to the indifference that the author speaks of.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Thursday, 4 October 2007 10:16:57 AM
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I too am saddened at the standard of journalism these days. Do they think that we are all besotted with Britney and Paris? What has happened to investigative journalism? Why not send a journalist into the RNS emergency department and detail a report on how long it took for emergency cases to be seen? How Ďbout a few shots of the 24/7 police protection outside our Premierís residence with a story asking why a family living at Mudville arenít entitled to the same level of protection? Surely thereís an interesting story to be told about a federal Justice Minister who stopped a federal brief being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding fraud by a federal treasurer. Why not use FOI legislation to open the file of a former high court judge who phoned the NSW Chief Magistrate seeking a favour for a friend. The Age seemed to be on the scent because it published extracts from a series of taped phone conversations involving that high court judge and other notables. Sadly the story has been killed off.

Instead of excellence in journalism weíre treated to stodgy collection of alleged journalists who can barely hide their prejudices.
Posted by Sage, Thursday, 4 October 2007 11:59:51 AM
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Yes we are besotted with trivia at least enough of us react boosting sales and by reducing the needs for accuracy let alone honesty increase advertising and thus profits.
The there is the high table of information from the important, which can and is denied, journalists who don't give the correct spin.
The of coure there is the Chomsky factor not only for the journalistic look alikes but increasingly for more of us, this in turn redcuing the number asking for information not spin.
Finally Governments have refined how their own spin is spun, dog whistling and deliberately confusing issues. They even employ their own advisors unaccountable to the elecetorate of course. Mark Textor apparently being one such.
Posted by untutored mind, Thursday, 4 October 2007 12:26:49 PM
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IMPROVED MEDIA DEPTH. I'd just like to say that I feel over the past few years there has been an absolute improvement in public broadcast and journalism, especially with SBS, ABC radio and TV.

I feel Radio National works really hard to be inclusive. Providing talkback to diversely discuss, probe and 'get to the bottom" of issues is groundbreaking given once...we the audience were not really part of the story. We were not engaged, rather we were talked at, by the medias superficial club-med.

From Cooktown I would be nowhere in attempting to understand what's going on in the rest of Australia - let alone many parts of the world if it were not for public broadcast.(TA)

I think Journalists have never had more competition as with the web, Burma, 9/11 and recent events have shown us.

We get few papers up here and things including NEWS PAPERS is expensive.

I make no excuse for bias, (unless stated) and I have no time for spin. Those people who carelessly fail to understand their role in helping us/audiences decide a balance-complexity inside a news item, snag the significance of journalistic code.

Today I see the follow-ups occurring in news essential. It builds Australia's learning capacity at every turn as a progressive knowledge base.

In terms of objectivie vs subjective, I am pleased there is more personal reflected engagement today in Australian journalism. I feel in a faceless world toward ie: Aboriginal Australia - Darfur - Sudan - Iraq - Asia - Burma - China... it is the HEART and HUMANITY of some journalists who have helped and DO help make these situations 'an ALL Australian experience and shared concern'.

While non-bias reporting is important I believe a LONG ARMED approach to the "every-day" life - is what got us into the human unsustaining mess we as humans are (together) in.

I'd rather plough through a bit of subjectivity here and there to understand those who are experiencing the subjects news - in its human context, then be sujected to the clinical - sterile words that do nothing in consequent.

http://www.miacat.com
.
Posted by miacat, Thursday, 4 October 2007 12:36:53 PM
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I neglected to mention omission of information. Here I must admit I no longer scan the media with much attention for fear I of being misinformed so maybe Hersh was mentioned.
If so then part of the blame for the inanity and inaccuracy of the press lies at our feet. For if Hersh's piece was recorded indicating as it did probable atatck on Iran, not for nuclear arms now admitted five years away (shades of Iraq?) but as part of American not liebensraum but rather Rohstoffe.
Nelson is said to ahve indicated interest on behalf of the Australian Government. Surely such would cause many letters and comments but I see none, serving to at laest irritate the press moguls. Maybe even the Government-doubtful for they have their own set of astrologers.
Posted by untutored mind, Thursday, 4 October 2007 12:40:09 PM
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