Hobart’s Mercury slips one past the keeper

By Barry Tucker                    26 February, 2013

Australia’s mainstream news media (MNM) has become so biased against the federal Labor government that when a newspaper bucks the trend it makes news.

It makes bigger news when the medium concerned is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited. It happened again yesterday, when Hobart’s Mercury ran a story calling on the MNM to play fair with the Prime Minister.

The story, by the Mercury’s Greg Barnes, coincided with one in the on-line magazine Mamamia, ironically suggesting Australia was not ready for a female Prime Minister, especially one with red hair, who is critical of “misogynists”, etc.

I have noticed a few stories supporting Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her reforming Labor government elsewhere, but mainly in on-line, Fifth Estate magazines and personal blogs.

The Mercury story was also interesting for lines like these:

“So biased is the commentary and news reporting by some media outlets and the Canberra press gallery that there is little or no scrutiny on the man who will be the beneficiary of the constant disparaging of Ms Gillard, Liberal leader Tony Abbott.”

Mr Barnes even has the audacity to point out that the MNM has ignored Liberal Party involvement in the Ashbygate affair while devoting acres of coverage to the ACTU affair, concerning Ms Gillard’s actions as a lawyer 20 years ago; allegations that remain unsubstantiated and untested in any court.

My concern is that the kind of news media bias we have witnessed in Australia during the past 30 months is doing a lot of damage to the credibility of my former profession. It is also damaging our democracy.

As Mr Barnes writes:

“It is far from healthy for the media in a liberal democratic society to become so unbalanced on matters pertaining to politics.”

Read all about it: Media should play fair with PM