Monthly Archives: May 2012


You’re not playing fair
11 May 2012

Their Budget front page on Wednesday clearly demonstrates The Australian’s complete abandonment of any remaining pretence of neutrality or even fairness.

How do you justify the preposterous Maoist-style cartoon taking up a quarter of the page, the agit-prop headline “Smash the rich”, and the three unanimously condemnatory opinion pieces? By the failure of the government to reduce by 1% a company tax rate already lower than most OECD countries – a reduction which was in fact stymied by the opposition? Or was it the tiny rollback of tax concessions for very high income earners?

If a government ever came along which actually did something socialist, like renationalise the banks, The Australian have nowhere to go – its shrillness level has already maxed out over a little tax adjustment.

I don’t particularly care for this Budget, but I do care for honesty and fairness in journalism and democratic debate, and in that The Australian has thoroughly abrogated its responsibilities.



You won’t get if you don’t ask

Stephen Conroy (The Australian, 4/5) assures us there is “no evidence” that Australians have been victims of unethical News Ltd practices; and of course, there won’t be any while he doesn’t bother looking for it. In contrast, U.S. Senate committee chair Jay Rockefeller has urgently written to Lord Justice Leveson to discover if “illegal business practices occurred in the United States or involved US citizens”. If only Senator Conroy were as concerned with protecting Australian citizens as he is with placating powerful media interests.

News, limited

On May 1,  most of the world’s media outlets ran prominent news stories on the finding of the British parliamentary media enquiry that Rupert Murdoch is unfit to run an international corporation. But there were two notable exceptions: The Australian, which buried the story in the business section under the curious title “House of Commons media committee rejects attack on Murdoch as ‘not fit'” (what, it rejected its own finding?), and Melbourne’s Herald Sun, which hid a couple of desultory paragraphs on page 14, next to a distractingly large funny picture of Sacha Baron-Cohen. Can you guess who owns those newspapers?

Two days later, The Australian’s very sparse coverage of the  inquiry’s findings culminated in the coy “News Corporation accepts hacking report” (3/3), which tells us very little about the report itself but a great deal about the dissenting views of the panel’s Conservative members – not those of the rest, who are, apparently by contrast, “partisan”.

That’s not really news, it’s just News, limited.