Monday, March 11, 2013

WTF?

Just saw this link via facebook.

The media campaign against the Government revealed

This is unbelievable. I haven't read it all or closely but wanted to share ASAP.

16 comments:

little hat said...

I'm not one for conspiracy theories but I'm also not blind to reality. Nothing would surprise me about abbott and the Liberals and, in fact, this sounds highly plausible.
Sadly I'm exhausted by the last two years of shit from the coalition. They are, as Peter Costello described John Howard, relentless.

Alex said...

Given that it comes from an unnamed source, I have to take this with a huge grain of salt. Having said that, it's not exactly a million miles from what I already suspected to be true -- news organisations are chiefly motivated by their own interests, which are usually commercial; although what motivates the ABC to be so fuckin' crap is less clear cut and probably a little more multi-faceted.

To be honest, I never really know whether to be more upset with the poor quality of the news media or the low standards of the people who consume (and believe) it.

suze2000 said...

What has been bewildering me is why the ABC feels compelled to attend every single media event that TAbbott puts on. I don't remember any other opposition leader getting anywhere near as much exposure, ever.

Alex said...

Suze, I've had a few conversations and read a few opinion pieces regarding why the ABC does what it does, and the most common reasons that come up are these:

(1) In the old days of news, the ABC only really had to worry about Radio National and an hour of telly in the evenings (and 45mins a week of 4 Corners). Now it has a website and 24hr radio and TV stations to fill. When News24 first launched, I was overjoyed at the prospect of getting a channel chock-full of fine-grained political (policy) analysis, quality investigative journalism and insightful stories from around the world. Turns out I was a mug. ABC apparently has neither the resources nor the inclination for such a thing. Instead, it's just a bunch of journos, pollies, lobbyist, P.R. people, etc, crapping on about who said what and what's in the papers. Over and over. Endlessly. 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

(2) The ABC has historically been portrayed as an organisation full of people with left-leaning tendencies. So, to avoid accusations of bias, there may be a tendency to over-compensate in the other direction. Moreover, the currently favoured format for news-agencies around the world, that fear accusations of bias, is "he said, she said"; a format in which all parties to a discussion are treated as equally as possible and no attempt is made to find any sort of objective truth. In other words, the opinions of Flat-Earthers should be treated with the same seriousness and respect as everyone else's.

(3) Australia has a fairly small media ecosystem. Most journos at the ABC have and/or would like to one day work for one of the big commercial news organisations. Therefore, there's little inclination to stray too far from the narratives they dictate.

Since I don't work in the media, I don't know how true that last one is, but I've heard it from former journos. You only need eyes to see the truth in the first point, and I'd probably argue the same for at least the second part of the second point.

suze2000 said...

Alex, I love your icon! I've f*cking hated that c*nt since his time as health minister (I work in health).

I agree that on the whole ABC24 has been disappointing. You get far better news and analysis listening to 774AM. It's almost always the same news rehashed all day and then hours of talking head and question time which makes me want to murder all of the pollies, all of the time.

I caught the tail end of a discussion on Media Watch about "he said, she said" reporting and basically it was his conclusion that this is lazy journalism as a journalist is supposed to actually find out what's actually true and report the facts, not the opposing POVs. Let's hope the ABC listens instead of rebuking, which is what they normally do when MW points out that Aunty is being less than adequate.

I hate it when journalists I respect at the ABC move to other media outlets. I'm pretty possessive. I'm still upset about Virginia Trioli not being back on NewsBreakfast yet (is she ever coming back?) and I don't think she's gone anywhere else except for the occasional column in the suburban rags.

Melba said...

She's probably writing a novel, Suze. I used to listen to her ages ago and was upset when she went to Sydney. Didn't like the replacement, but stopped listening to radio probably ten years ago or a bit less. Had never watched news as an adult really. Now it's papers only, and some online stuff, but the papers (The Age) are bad-getting-worse. The Guardian will be interesting, maybe. Who owns the Guardian in the UK? Anyone know?

suze2000 said...

Hubby googled it last night and it's owned by something called the Scott Trust. Which was set up to ensure the independence of the left-leaning paper, something about minimal profits and the like. Interesting one of the few papers that's EXPANDING its readership is one that is not governed by the interests of its owner.

Alex said...

Suze, thank you for remembering. As I was saying to Melba earlier, it seems like such a rare and monumental feat when it comes to politics these days. I suppose, given what you do though, you'd have good reason to in this case.

I think I remember hearing that The UK Guardian loses millions every year and is basically kept afloat by the trust's other ventures. I also think the AUS Guardian is being financed by that bloke who kicked off The Global Mail and donated $1.5M to The Greens. Will be interesting to see how it goes long term.

Virginia is a topic of much discussion on mornings when my folks are here. When News24 first kicked off, we all found her irritating and abrasive, but she grew on us* and now we all want her back. Mum's theory is that she probably just wants to spend more time with the new bub. I suppose writing a book would be a good way to achieve that.

*I still find this incident highly frustrating and incredibly funny.

suze2000 said...

Well, Hubby loves Karina, but I find her continual pauses and ums and ahs irritating. Though having said that, she is much, much improved since she started, clearly has chemistry with Michael (possibly a little too much?). I also think she needs to stop bleaching her teeth so much (though it doesn't affect her job performance, it does make it distracting to watch her).

I am curious as to why you're frustrated by Virginia growing on you? Or is your post the victim of an unexpected edit?

Alex said...

You're right Suze, there was supposed to be a link in there.

On the one hand, I will always support the mocking of Barnaby The Dinosaur, because he is a tool. On the other hand, it's pretty bloody unprofessional and gives ammunition to people who want to portray Aunty as a distribution point for left-wing propaganda (as mentioned above). And more than that, it feeds into a trend I've noticed over the years, of journos (usually Sydney or Melbourne based) being disinterested, dismissive and sometimes completely derisive whenever someone wants to talk about things from a "country perspective" (except for anything to do with mining and gas). I understand it's tough when you have to talk to dickheads like Barnaby Rubble and The Mad Katter, but sometimes an issue deserves to be taken more seriously than the people who claim to represent it.

I thought Katrina always seemed a little too unsure of herself, but I agree that she came a long way in the time she was there. I think she's going to be doing the local news up here in QLD now. I can't say I ever found her teeth distracting, but then my Mum always used to knock Virginia's hair, and that looked fine to me too.

suze2000 said...

I think that there might be a lot of those kinds of signals going on off-camera on most live shows. Unfortunately Virginia was caught on camera. I didn't think much of it, most of us think Barnaby's a little loopy, even when he's making sense.

I don't get the same sense that nobody cares about what happens in the country. I live in Melbourne, I would have thought that the country would be even more important to Queenslanders, with farming and mining being so important to the economy there, and the tradition reverence for farming in the most conservative state of Australia.

So if Carina is heading to Brissie, who's going to be doing NewsBreakfast? I dislike the blonde woman who's filling in even more, she often sounds marble-y or lispy. Grrr. Why can't they just have a stable team?! Don't they know that people don't like change?

On the upside, maybe Virginia will come back?

Alex said...

I dunno; if it was a signal to someone off-camera, why was she pulling that face, and why did she apologise?

It's not that NOBODY cares about the bush, it's more about the right people (in the media) caring in the right way. I get why politicians do what they do. A lot of those seats are dead safe, so why bother, right?

As for the reverence given to farming in our most conservative state; I guess the classic example is the Coles/Woolies duopoly. Now, to be honest, that does get a bit of a run on the ABC; but usually you have to be a busted-arse farmer with a sob story that'll fit snugly in a cookie cutter human-interest piece with tinkly pianos, designed to tug on the heart strings. You don't see much about the dodgy cartel-like behaviour that goes on, the overall effect it's having on the nature of primary industries in this country and the long-term economic consequences that may or may-not flow from that. Understandable why the commercials would favour staying away from this topic when they're even too gutless to run political ads linking Woolies and pokie machines.

Then there's the roads. Some of the major highways out west are absolutely rooted little strips of bitumen that have been torn up by cattle trucks and lorries carting mining equipment (you should see the damage they do in the wet). In places that do see repairs and maintenance, it tends to be of such poor quality that it almost instantly falls apart again. Of course, you'd be lucky to see any of that rate a mention when compared to traffic congestion in the South-East corner.

And don't get me started on the effects council amalgamations have had on people in more remote areas and the dearth of coverage that's received in comparison to the more densely populated regions on the coast.

I know there's that whole needs-of-the-many argument, but sometimes it feels more like "the needs of the few are a waste of time". Which is a bit sad when you're talking about the few whose job is food production.

I don't mind the blonde woman that much (is it Bev?) but yes, a return to Virg would be nice.

Alex said...

This thread may be a bit stale now, but after listening to last night's Lateline Business, I couldn't help myself.

So, here's a discussion from 7.30 Report earlier in the week, where Pete Anderson from the Chamber of Commerce argues against a rise in the minimum wage because of the catastrophic impact it'll have on small business. Small business. Forget the big boys, it's the little fellas that'll really be hurt. See how he drives that point home.

Now, here's Pete Strong from the Small Business Council, on last night's Lateline Business, saying that a rise in the minimum wage is a good thing and what's really hurting small business is big business. Specifically (and he mentions Coles & Woolies a number of times) where businesses are big enough to cause market distortions, by -- for instance -- preventing smaller businesses from passing on rises in their operating costs. He also mentions the detriment of having a court system that heavily favours the party with the biggest bank account.

Why can't we have shit like this being properly, critically, journalistically investigated in prime-time every night instead of speculation about bloody Labour leadership and opinion polls. Fuck you, news media.

suze2000 said...

I agree. Fuck you, news media.

The roads outside of Melbourne to the west (even in the south west, towards Warrnambool) are in poor condition as well and the patching breaks down so more patching is needed. They never reseal the roads anymore. You know, dig them up and put down a new road bed and a proper bitumen surface. Unless it's a federally funded road/freeway, they seem to get resurfaced often enough. Or in Toorak. There's a couple of roads I use there as rat runs on the way home, perfectly good, better condition that my street (in a decent suburb, I might add), just a few tar patchings in some cracks, COMPLETELY resurfaced earlier this year. I wish they'd take that money and use it in the Mortlake Road or the Princes. Ridiculous.

I'm torn about wage rises. It's not like the cost of living isn't rising, but it's not so much the cost of LIVING but the cost of LIFESTYLE, for the most part. Nobody NEEDS to send their kids to private school. Nobody NEEDS a new iPhone, in fact nobody NEEDS a mobile at all, etc etc. I DO think the lower paid workers need a pay rise to survive. I am also insanely angry about the forcing of supporting parents onto Newstart. Like they need to be poorer. Punish them for being poor. Newstart is not enough money to survive. It's even less than not enough money to survive if you have children.

On the bright side, Virginia IS coming back to News Breakfast. :)

Melba said...

I don't think this thread is stale. I'll leave you to it, I have fish to eat, Life of Brian to watch and wine to drink! Happy Easter to all.

Alex said...

They never reseal the roads anymore. You know, dig them up and put down a new road bed and a proper bitumen surface.

Yes, and I've also been told by folks who worked on roads in the 70s that even when they do, the quality isn't what it used to be. Ah well, no doubt CanDoo is planning to solve the problem up here by selling off the main roads and converting them into privately maintained tollways (... you know, it almost wouldn't surprise me at this point ...).

I agree with you on the LIFE vs LIFESTYLE thing and I think there are a lot of people who don't seem to have a good understanding of where one ends and the other begins (there are a few in my own family). That load of bollocks Mr Gibbon trotted out the other day about families making a quarter million a year being on struggle street was a perfectly ludicrous example and richly deserving of the ridicule it received.

And I don't think across-the-board pay rises are a good thing either. I'm not an expert on economics by any stretch, but I can't see how that would do anything other than cause inflation (which might be a good thing, if you reckon the dollar is too high). But as you say, that's all very different to talking about minimum wage and welfare rates. After all, the last thing I'd like to see here is a situation like I've heard many complaining about in The States, where stacks of people are working solid forty-hour-a-week jobs and still qualifying for welfare because their pay rate falls well below the poverty line.

Punish them for being poor.

I haven't heard Hockey go over this in a while, but I have in the past listened to him espousing precisely that as the best method to combat poverty. Apparently it stops them becoming comfortable with their situation and therefore drives them to work harder at improving themselves. Of course, this should always be coupled with generous rewards (like low taxes) for high earners, so there is a carrot as well as a stick. The last thing you want to do is engage in class warfare by using the politics of envy.

And in the end, even if I'm misinformed about all of this, it only goes to prove my initial point; it shouldn't be too much to ask for some decent, informative, consistent reporting on an important matter like this. Not two lobbyists having a barney in a vacuum one night and a third throwing out a differing opinion on a different show a few nights later.

On the bright side, Virginia IS coming back to News Breakfast. :)

What, like straight after Easter? Cool. Oh, and here's a thought; what's Stephen Long doing these days? He doesn't seem too bad with this economic type of stuff. Why don't they just give him his own show? It's not like they haven't got oodles of wasted air time to fill on News24 anyway.

Life of Brian to watch

Now there's an Easter tradition I can get behind.