I don’t think this is so black or white as …

Comment on Federal media laws: Will we become a dictatorship? by Ian Sharp.

I don’t think this is so black or white as you suggest Erwin. Did you see the 7.30 Report last night? Worth a look.

And Richard Ackland in The Age today? “I remember the words of Dulcie Boling, then editor of New Idea, as she explained the ethical struggle that accompanied her decision to be the first to publish portions of the intimate phone conservations between Prince Charles and Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles.”

The “tampon” tapes. Dulcie said: “I agonised very hard over whether or not New Idea should run those tapes. I was personally very offended by some parts of the conversation, but decided people needed to know.”

Dark Arts are practised. To name a few: threatening sources not to speak to rival publications otherwise they’ll be “punished”; misquoting or out of context reporting; blagging (reporters pretending to be someone else); insufficient disclosure by journalists of commercial interests or friendships; the use of private detectives to steal information; bugging celebrities; and the use of “bogus balance” techniques.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/shock-horror-freedom-of-speech-under-attack-20130313-2g0mn.html#ixzz2NULQezmJ

The media, like the rest of us, is not perfect and there is room for improvement. Especially given the power they have.

[Hi Ian, of course there need to be judgments made about good journalists and bad, those who abuse their power and flout the commands of the Code of Ethics, those who conscientiously serve their audience, those who prostitute their craft for commercial advantages they or their employers may be seeking – how long have you got? But it’s not a government’s role to make those judgements. That privilege belongs to the reader, viewer, listener, browser. And they are making those judgments countless times every day, by turning off, clicking delete or tossing a newspaper into the bin. – ED]

Ian Sharp Also Commented

Federal media laws: Will we become a dictatorship?
Erwin, I don’t accept your pregnancy analogy, some journos are out of control and the current self-regulation system ineffective at reining them in. Did you see Media Watch last night? Jonathon Marshall needs a good kick in the clacker.

Federal media laws: Will we become a dictatorship?
@Dianne the anonymous contributor. You can’t believe I have written what I have? And you are gobsmacked by The Age and the ABC? Well, you are easily gobsmacked.

Yesterday’s Age editorializes about Conroy’s proposals “Remind us Minister, what is your media goal?” (“The Age” Thursday March 14), a long and thoughtful piece, that includes this line “These laws are not necessary, nor are they reasonable”. You might like to read the piece, hardly “barracking”.

As for the ABC, you might like to refresh your memory as to what Jonathon Holmes said on Media Watch last year: “I’d rather put up with unfairness, and inaccuracy, and bias, than see a statutory authority play policeman over the press.”


So I’m a bit smacked in the gob, as you put, it by your aspersions about The Age and the ABC, I don’t think they are the one-sided barrackers you seem to think they are. They present a variety of views, far more so than many other media outlets.

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