Opinion and comment by site operator Barry Tucker
29 October, 2012
There is a growing feeling in Australia that the bulk of the country’s News Media has been hijacked in a way that is threatening our democracy.
Opinion is divided, however. The Right says the News Media has been taken over by the Left. The Left says reporting and commentary is dominated by the Right.
It is to be expected that the commercially-owned print, radio and tv outlets would tend to favour the Liberal National Party coalition (LNP). It is also expected that the publicly-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) would rigorously maintain a fair, balanced and objective standard of reporting. In the view of mainly Labor supporters and some independent observers, the ABC has abandoned objectivity and has joined a LNP crusade against the federal Labor government. The LNP, its supporters and News Corp counters this argument by saying the ABC is biased in favour of the Left.
It should be noted that, in the UK, Rupert Murdoch has argued that publicly funded broadcasters (the BBC) are unfair competition to his commercial TV interests. The Institute of Public Affairs has recommended the ABC and SBS be broken up and sold. Rupert’s father, Sir Keith, was a founding member of the IPA and the Liberal party.
Overall, it seems the principles of objectivity and balance (which I had no trouble observing for some 46 years as a journalist, sub-editor and publisher/editor) have been gradually abandoned and comment, opinion, bias, distortion and imbalance have taken over — even among junior journalists.
Critics of the News Media say there is little worthwhile or in-depth analysis of the policies of either major party, almost no questioning of the rhetorical, slogan dominated and negative campaigning of the federal LNP Opposition, and opinion-sharing, following and repeating in the mainstream media (MSM) and in the ABC.
The question of whether individual journalists are biased, and which way, can be difficult to determine. However, sometimes a journalist exhibits a bias which is clearly one-sided, consistent and persistent. For example, Ch10′s The Bolt Report presenter, Andrew Bolt, is persistently biased against Labor and is a climate change denier. Ch10 is part owned by Murdoch, mining magnate Gina Rinehart and others.
This resource centre is intended to be a focal point and a place where concerned citizens can find contact details for government Ministers, News Media outlets, journalists, certain blogs, Twitter accounts and other relevant information.
Victor Hugo: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing.”
Concerned citizens are urged to use the information in this Resource Centre to take individual action to protest against distortion in any News Media. The Action Front for Truth in the News Media is not designed to become an organisation that people can join, or a petition to sign, or a Facebook page where people can comment and feel they have done their bit. It will remain a body without form, a movement with a purpose. The purpose is to campaign for the restoration of objective and balanced reporting in the MSM and in the ABC in particular. Informed comment is an area where some latitude must be allowed.
This site is operated by Barry Tucker, a retired journalist who has worked in all forms of News Media,
is an Australian Labor Party (ALP) supporter, but not a member of the ALP*. His personal political opinions are expressed in the blogs of The Sniper http://bit.ly/12CJae4 and Twitter @btckr
*I have withdrawn my support of Labor following the outcome of the 2013 federal election. In my opinion, Labor’s incompetence and self-indulgent behaviour handed the Liberal & National Party coalition an easy victory. You will find plenty of information in this blog and in The Sniper which makes my opinion of LNP Coalition leader Anthony (Tony) Abbott quite clear.