(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
AUSTRALIA’S ‘UNBIASED’ MEDIA!
If ever it was suspected that
Australia’s media suffers from chronic institutional bias then the Cairns
Weekend Post, Saturday 18 August 2007, proved the matter beyond any doubt.
In a functioning democracy the
media has certain responsibilities and to see those responsibilities so
blatantly disregarded is a great disappointment. Whether it was a blatant
disregard of responsibility or a simple case of self-interest could be argued,
but the exclusive publicity given to party candidates as distinct from all
declared Leichhardt candidates, is patently deceptive.
There it was for all to see on
page 3, under the heading ‘Who are they?’ and went on to say, ‘…ONLY one
in 11 people polled could recognise and name all
three Leichhardt candidates in this year's federal election, The Weekend
Post's street survey found.’
Firstly, I must correct the
Post’s intrepid journalist’s mathematics on candidate numbers, as there are
actually a minimum of four (4) publicly announced candidates, which includes
myself, a fact the journalist should have known had he read a few back-copies of
his own newspaper.
However, even thought the Cairns
Post went into some rubbery statistics as to which of their ‘party
preferred’ candidates was least recognised, the message being sent to those
seeking party political ‘power’ was somewhat different.
Arguably, it could well be
perceived as a reminder for the political parties to ‘… pay the piper’!
Perhaps the survey, if it can be
graced with that title, could equally be construed as a less than subtle message
to the major parties that although an election has not yet been formally called
there is plenty of advertising money being splashed around and it’s about time
a bit of it fell into the coffers of the Cairns Weekend Post!
In the lead-up to a Federal
election, the incumbent political party/ies spend huge amounts of taxpayers
‘money’, millions in fact, to ‘soften-up’ the voting public with
newspaper, television and radio advertisements in an effort to highlight their
chosen party/ies past ‘achievements’ and, float their future ‘policies’.
Obviously, there is no mention at all of systemic “under-achievement”. There is no mention of their complicity in engaging in foreign wars on false or misleading pretexts occasioning the destruction of countries and causing the death and maiming of civilians both young and old, to say nothing of the military losses.
There is no mention of their ongoing failure to deliver services such as those associated with health, particularly mental and dental health. Nor is there any mention of their inability to properly manage aged care.
Their financial management is
more hype than reality with public debt at dangerous levels and interest rate
increases being a rising threat to those with young families and first
homebuyers. The list could go on to include the absence of intergenerational
responsibility, but we have enough to form an opinion, particularly with regard
to the so-called ‘core and non-core’ policies.
Nor is there any mention of the
plight of Australia’s primary producers decimated by deregulation, economic
rationalisation and free trade agreements.
‘Policy’ announcements by
the political parties are matters of the utmost speculation, as we all know that
there has NEVER been a single ‘policy’, by any political party, which has
EVER been implemented, or enacted, in the manner that it was originally
presented to the Australian voter.
The obscene untaxed profits of
the multinational banks were created by the deregulation of the banking system;
the privatisation and sale of the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, airports, roads
and other infrastructure were all as a result of a covert ‘policy’, enacted
under the guise of the term… ‘political mandate’.
From this ‘political
mandate’ arises the ‘political power’ so jealously guarded by the parties
who currently hold it, and coveted so eagerly by the opposition that wants it.
fund the media, and, as we all know, Governments’ do not have any money!
Governments’ are the trustee’s of taxpayers’ money, though it’s a fact
However, when elections are
imminent the media ‘reminds’ the major parties that it is they (the media),
who control what is, or is not, published for scrutiny by the voting population.
Put simply, the media looks
after the major parties, as it is one of the major parties that will ultimately
control the public purse, a purse that is almost bottomless when it comes to
advertising in Australia’s ‘unbiased’ media.
AND, let’s face it, credible Independent candidates do NOT have access to the massive amounts of corporate funding, nor do they want it, as they struggle to portray a selfless image in a genuine effort to ‘… represent the expressed majority will of the people of the electorate’, and not some self-serving political party hierarchy.
In the remaining weeks of this current 2007 Federal election campaign, whenever you witness the names and/or photographs of the major party candidates being given a 'free kick' by the media, pause for a moment, and give a little thought to the almost $42 million dollars of taxpayer-funds paid primarily to the major political parties as 2004 Federal Election funding payments, largely as reimbursement for media advertising!
THE MEDIA TRUTH...
One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, the then pre-eminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft.
(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais)
What is required in Australia is our own 'John Swinton', a journalist with integrity, a journalist who is prepared to expose the truth and the myths about Australia's corporate media deceivers!
RETURN TO: AN INDEPENDENT'S VIEW
Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870 Australia