A few points and questions for you about Australia's media
You can see what's happening with Australia's media. I'm not talking about Pravda or the media arm of the government here in the ABC/SBS. It's the independent media that I'm talking about.
The advertising that used to finance lots of good journalists is drying up. It's moving to the internet and the medium for the ads (used to be the paper or a particular TV channel or show) is more separated from the medium for the journalism and thus so is the money.
The paper used to have ads in it as well as stories, you couldn't separate them. Not so on the internet.
It means there's not nearly enough money around for the kinds of enquiry we used to take for granted.
I want to know from you what you value in a news report. What's important to you. What matters in the way that your news is presented.
If I was to make an opinion based on what newspaper editors put their efforts into I would say that they value EXCLUSIVES. You see that red EXCLUSIVE tag flashed around heaps and heaps.
I don't see much value in the EXCLUSIVE tag at all. The news caper is such that if a story is real and genuine, the rest of the herd will pick it up and run with it straight away. I don't buy papers because the EXCLUSIVE tag.
For me there's value in a news paper or blog site reporting on the things that interest me in the way that I want to see them reported. Speaking in the way I speak, respecting the things that I respect, valuing the things that I value. As an example I've long given up on seriously reading say the Sydney Morning Herald because of all the greenie, lefty, climate change alarmism and other biases. Lots of people like that lefty stuff, good on them, it's just not me. I don't care to read what I think of as propoganda. The turning point with the SMH for me came when my radio show producer started crying one day reading the headline. She'd just had to ask for a payment plan to pay off her huge electricity bill. The SMH headline that day - Carbon Tax Not So Bad.
I also want to know the person who's writing the story. What's their experience, their biases, their favourites, their affectations. Who's edited their work, who are they beholden to? I love the fact that I feel I know Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine and David Marr. (just put that in to keep you awake) I personally think there's much more value in the brand Andrew Bolt than Sydney Morning Herald.
I'd really appreciate your quick comments please - why do you go to the news sources that you do. What do you value?
One thing that I absolutely despise in our media is the blatant misreporting that's designed for self-preservation of either a media company or a person or to advance a media company's commercial interests. What I mean is this. Julia Gillard is well known for saying things that don't come true, making promises that aren't kept and on my best efforts at making an objective analysis and being fair to her - she's a liar. Every single media figure with whom I've had a conversation about Gillard agrees, she lies, very easily without conscience.
So why is it that all of the major media outlets will carry her lies, presented as fact, without any warning, any objective statement that pours doubt on what she says based on her antecedents? Because of her office and the fact she can use it and her power to do media companies harm, there's a tendency to kow-tow and let her get or for that matter any PM get away with what they want.
She's just a person and in the eyes of the law her word is of equal evidentiary value to you or me and we're entitled to make a judgement about her based on what we know of her. Why do media companies give her word the imprimatur of fact - it's unconscionable that they'd do it to protect their own commercial interests, yet that is precisely what I have heard newspaper editors say.
Why then does a normal person like Bob Kernohan have to go through nigh-on impossible hoops to triple-prove every scintilla of every sentence he or someone like him would like to make about say the PM. Even when media companies and reporters know the assertions to be true, there's still a most un-Australian preponderance of weight in favour of the PM and that translates into the unspoken (well Kernohan, you know, he must be....Well Blewitt, you know, he must ........). It's just wrong and undemocratic and it really makes me very bloody angry.
I won't buy or be associated with any media entity that puts its own commercial interests before an objective analysis of the truth by favouring a powerful PM who's prepared to use that power to damage each and all of her opponents.
But could I ask a favour of you? Would you take a moment to jot down what matters to you when you think about where you'll get your news from.