Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Ethics overboard: How to promote integrity in the moment of choice

In Democracy, Fifth Estate, Journalism, Margo Kingston, Media on May 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

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By Margo Kingston
January 14, 2003

MARGO: With all the talk about stronger shield laws for journos, I think we are edging ever closer to needing an answer to the question: What is a journalist? We cannot argue for special protections and exemptions from privacy laws unless we can distinguish ourselves from non-journalists. To me the essential requirement is commitment to a genuinely accountable code of ethics, yet this is still just a dream. I gave this speech to a 2002 corruption prevention conference in Sydney, and reckon my idea is still relevant to the debate. I will run several pieces covering different aspects of the ‘What is a journalist’ question in the hope of genuine discussion on this vexed and increasingly urgent issue given the rise and rise of new media.

Ethics overboard

by Margo Kingston, September 2002

When you think about ethics, by which I mean ‘professional standards of conduct’, your starting point has to be your own.

Just after I started work in the big smoke of Sydney many years ago, the Herald chief of staff told me in confidence that the paper was sending a reporter posing as a prospective student into a Sydney high school to report on the youth of today in today’s public education system. The editor was to pretend to be his father when enrolling him, but was too busy to do so. Could I pose as my colleagues aunt?

Weeks later, while the reporter was still at the school, another reporter stumbled upon the project and leaked it, resulting in political condemnation in the parliament and outrage from our readers and my colleagues. Thus I discovered that journalists in the journalists union were bound by a code of ethics.

This was the first time I’d heard of it. I had a duty, personal to me, to tell anyone I was speaking to for a story what my job was, unless the matter was of such compelling public interest that I was duty bound not to. Everyone in my industry believed that this was not a case where the exception applied.

The shock of the incident marked the beginning of my deep interest in journalistic ethics. I thought about my role in relationship to my readers, and my duties to assert my professional ethics to avoid abuse of power by my industry.

I was trained as a lawyer, not a journalist. I knew my ethical duties as a lawyer: My duty was not only to the client but to the court, and I should never knowingly use as evidence material I knew to be false. So I don’t agree with the idea that ethics are instinctive in all cases. Written principles are required, and they need to be vigorously communicated as a matter fundamental to your career.

I believe the principles should be general, not particular, as particularity breeds legalism and the dangerous belief that technical avoidance equals compliance with ethical duty. Every ethical code should include not only the principles to which adherence is required, but the reasons why. For ethics, in the end, is about ourself in relation to other individuals and to our society.

The elites are in relationship with the people, and professional ethics – by accountants, lawyers, engineers, clergymen, architects – are constraints on abuse of power by the elites. A sellout of ethics for money, power, or survival, weakens the stability of the polity itself.

Example

In the early 1990s, a construction company sued an establishment Brisbane law firm for its costs in a prolonged Federal Court civil action. The firm had acted for a developer, since jailed, who instructed it to resist and delay an action for payment of a debt due for building a shopping centre by alleging fraud. There was no evidence for this accusation. The ethical duties of solicitors and barristers forbid them from pleading fraud without supporting evidence.

When the developer went into liquidation, the plaintiff bought its legal files for a pittance and sued the legal firm. The barrister involved was Ian Callinan QC, since appointed a High Court judge.

So, a former leader of the Queensland bar and a partner in Queensland’s best connected law firm were caught red-handed with their pants down.

The Queensland Law Society, a body backed by legislation to police the ethical standards required by solicitors, would not say whether or not it was examining the solicitor’s behaviour. It was confidential. And the society implied that it only acted on a complaint, not of its own motion. End of story. Read the rest of this entry »

Pollies citizens need to pass media reforms

In Freedom of Speech, Journalism, Margo Kingston, Media Reform, MSM on March 17, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Artist Martin Davies.

Artist Martin Davies.

By Margo Kingston
March 17, 2013

Public support will be crucial to the success of the media reforms. Please contact the following key politicians whose decisions will determine the outcome. You CAN make a difference.

This list was kindly compiled by Barry Tucker @btckr

Adam Bandt Twitter @adambandt
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Adam.Bandt.MP
email adam.bandt.mp@aph.gov.au
Canberra (02) 6277 4775
FAX ACT (02) 6277 8583

Rob Oakeshott Twitter @OakeyMP
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Oakeshott/1415774696
email http://www.aph.gov.au/R_Oakeshott_MP
Canberra (02) 6277 4052
FAX: (02) 6277 8403

Andrew Wilkie Twitter @WilkieMP
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/andrewwilkiemp
Canberra (02) 6277 4766
FAX: (02) 6277 8579

Tony Windsor Twitter @TonyWindsorMP
emails www.aph.gov.au/T_Windsor_MP |
Tony.Windsor.MP@aph.gov.au
Canberra (02) 6277 4722
FAX: (02) 6277 8545

Craig Thomson @DobellThommo
No Facebook
Website http://www.aph.gov.au/C_Thomson_MP
no email
Canberra (02) 6277 4460
FAX: (02) 6277 2123

Bob Katter @RealBobKatter
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bobkattermp
email Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au
Personal website http://www.bobkatter.com.au/
Party website http://www.ausparty.org.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4978
FAX: (02) 6277 8558

Tony Crook
email http://www.tonycrook.com.au/contact.aspx
Kalgoorlie Office
Phone (08) 9021 1241
Mobile    1300 772 061
FAX (08) 9021 1506

Peter Slipper
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PeterSlipperMP
email
Peter.Slipper.MP@aph.gov.au
Website
http://www.peterslippermp.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4490
FAX: (02) 6277 8405

The Nationals (traditional supporters of media diversity)

Warren Truss
Personal website http://www.warrentruss.com/
PARTY website http://www.nationals.org.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4482
FAX: (02) 6277 8569

Senator Barnaby Joyce  @Barnaby_Joyce
Email senator.joyce@aph.gov.au
Personal website http://www.barnabyjoyce.com.au/
Canerra (02) 6277 3244
FAX: (02) 6277 3246

Darren Chester
Personal website http://www.darrenchester.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4029
Fax: (02) 6277 8402
George Christensen
Twitter @GChristensenMP
Canberra (02) 6277 4538
Fax: (02) 6277 8508

John Cobb
email John.Cobb.MP@aph.gov.au
website http://www.johncobb.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4721
Fax: (02) 6277 8543
John Forrest
email J.Forrest.MP@aph.gov.au
website http://www.jforrest.com/
Canberra (02) 6277 4550
Fax: (02) 6277 8532 Read the rest of this entry »

Last chance to rein in Murdoch

In Democracy, Fifth Estate, Journalism, Media Reform, MSM on March 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Created by George Bludger @GeorgeBludger via http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgebludger

Created by @GeorgeBludger via http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgebludger

By Margo Kingston
March 16, 2013

Here’s a history lesson on the long road to media dominance by Rupert Murdoch, aided by both big parties, via two chapters in my book. The Liberals said yes to Murdoch under Howard, and will keep saying yes. They are partners, or rather, Abbott is Murdoch’s puppet.

I also tell the story of how I lobbied minor parties to stop Murdoch’s law in the Senate in 2003, and describe Fairfax journalists’ long struggle to preserve our values of fearless independent journalism.

Murdoch papers’ incendiary reaction to Conroy’s reforms – led by Murdoch’s top executive in Australia Kim Williams – means Murdoch’s empire has something to lose. Two things, actually – less chance of even further dominating Australia’s MSM, and more chance of its journalism being just a little bit accountable to the ethics of journalism.

There is no chance the media reforms, weak as they are, will pass without strong action by citizens. Wilkie, Oakshott, Katter, Windsor and Thomson need to be convinced to negotiate with Labor to agree to a reform package they can sign up to and vote for quickly. They must understand that Labor has been crazy-brave to put up even this minimalist reform package, and that Labor must get this done quickly or bleed to death from Murdoch media’s relentless attacks.

Over to you. Apart from anything else, your NBN needs you.

UPDATE MARCH 17: Here are the key extracts from Conroy’s Insiders interview today:

Fixing Howard’s gift to Murdoch to become even more dominant

In 2007 the Howard government weakened our cross media laws that were introduced by Paul Keating. And we said from that day we would be campaigning to introduce a public interest test because we didn’t believe leaving the door open for further concentrations of media in this country were healthy.

I mean around the world: in the US, the top two newspaper groups cover about 14 per cent. Even in Canada, a country more akin to ourselves in terms of geography, 54 per cent coverage from the top two. In Australia it is 86 per cent coverage. We’ve already got one of the most concentrated media sectors in the world and we don’t believe it should be allowed to be shrunk any further.

Why self-regulation needs to be strengthened

I’ve been entertained by the claim that this is a solution looking for a problem. Well let me read you some quotes from evidence given publicly to the Finkelstein Inquiry. It may come as a surprise to you, Barrie, they didn’t get a lot of coverage in the mainstream media.

Let me read to you Professor Ken McKinnon who was a former chair of the Australian Press Council. He said: “I had an editor say to me if you promise not to uphold any complaints from my paper we will double our subscription, is that a deal?”

We have the current head, Julian Disney, he said: “The possibility of reduced funding remains a significant concern fuelled on occasion by the comments of publishers who dislike adverse adjudications or other council decisions. And the Council’s almost total reliance on funding from publishers, and especially from a few major publishers, is widely criticised as a crucial detraction from its real and apparent independence.”

And just finally, if I could, one more, another head chair of the Australian Press Council, Professor Dennis Pearce: “Indeed we had one period where The Australian newspaper did not like an adjudication we made and they withdrew from the council for a period of months”. And Mr Finkelstein asked: “Was that a direct consequence of the particular adjudication?” And he said: “It was indeed. They said our adjudication was wrong and they were not going to publish it, and they didn’t”.

So, people who want to argue … Read the rest of this entry »

Sane analysis and comment on media reform

In Fairfax, Journalism, Margo Kingston, Media Reform, MSM, News Limited on March 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

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By Margo Kingston
March 15, 2013

In this post we’ve linked to sane analysis and commentary on media reform. We’ve also asked you to nominate a fair, accurate and balanced MSM news story  – the criteria print media groups tell their self-regulation body the Press Council they strive for. If you can bear it, here is Crikey’s wrap of the print media reaction.

I have been told by an informed source that Murdoch’s media have gone troppo on strengthening self-regulation as a bait and switch tactic. On this view, freedom of the press is a smokescreen for their real objection, that the proposed new laws would seek to limit even more concentration of media ownership by rolling Foxtel into News Ltd. Murdoch also wants all cross media laws abolished. ‘They are playing different game to the one everyone is watching’.

So questions for Abbott, if anyone in the MSM can be bothered – do you support the governments proposals on cross media ownership and strengthening provisions to protect Australians from more concentration of media ownership?

Abbott is a puppet of Murdoch. Be afraid.

Anyone seen anything on what the media reforms would mean for the size and reach of Murdoch’s Australian empire? Is there anything out there?

Here are the sane pieces we’ve found so far. More nominations welcome.

ABC The Drum

Tim Dunlop: Consumers won’t pay for news they don’t trust

The Conversation

Terry Flew: Low-key Conroy proposals are media reform lite

Martin Hirst: From ‘hate media’ to another fine mess: How media reform got derailed

Susan Forde: Media reform: hysterical attacks on weak Conroy suggestions tell the real story

Crikey

Bernard Keane: The Stalinist nightmare of the media regulating itself

Bernard Keane: If you want to see government control of journalism, try this:

Matthew Knott: Freedom of speech at risk? How Conroy’s advocate could hurt

Magaret Simons: Minimalist media reform that only starts the job (Paywall)

NewMatilda

Wendy Bacon: Conroy’s All Or Nothing Media Reforms

Ben Eltham: The Media And The Arts Both Need Diversity

The Global Mail

Mike Seccombe: The New Growth Industry: Fact Creation 

The Failed Estate

Jim Parker: The Real Despots

Macro Business

Of comrade Cconroy and the loon pond

Fairfax

Elizabeth Knight  Shrill response to media reforms

The Australian Independent Media Network

Alan Austin: News Limited’s tawdry campaign proves Conroy’s point

ABC

Barry Cassidy: ‘Breathtaking’ reaction from News Limited

Richard Aedy: Reporting on yourself – Media coverage of its own reform and regulations

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Laura Tingle reveals why some policies don’t get covered any more

In Jane Cattermole, MSM, Refugees on February 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM
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Laura Tingle

By Jane Cattermole
February 23, 2013

On Friday I attended a forum at the Perth Writers Festival titled Refugees; where do they come from. The speakers were Robin de Crespigny, author of  ‘The People Smuggler’, Kooshyar Karimi, refugee and author of ‘I Confess: Revelations in Exile’ and Carina Hoang, author of ‘Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus’. The forum was convened by Laura Tingle from the Australian Financial Review. After the presentations and discussion there was time for a couple of questions. Here’s one asked of Laura, and her reply.
Question:
Don’t you feel that the media has a much greater responsibility to act rather than to simply mouth what is the party line? You’re in a privileged position where you can speak with a far greater volume than most of us, so I would like to ask you, why doesn’t that happen? Who’s stopping you from speaking out? Why won’t more journalists have the courage of our convictions?

Laura Tingle answer:
image

Right!

This is a complex question which I’m trying to answer very seriously and successfully, and we’ll also be having a discussion about media tomorrow.

A few things have happened. One of them is the way the political debate in Australia is reported has changed dramatically over the last ten or fifteen years in particular. We used to have people who wrote about immigration and refugees and asylum seeker policy. We used to have people who were health policy experts.

I work in Canberra and this is what I can tell you about best. The change in the economics of the media and the change in the way the media works means that we no longer have specialists in those areas anymore. Now that sounds like a really small thing but it means that when a story is reported it’s reported by generalist reporters.

In Canberra we’re political reporters and we tend to report it, and I’m using the Royal We here. I’ll take responsibility for the sins that are mine and that aren’t. We report it as a political story, as a matter of political controversy. There aren’t people in the key offices of the newspapers who would have written really detailed, well informed pieces backgrounding these issues, but that’s a sweeping generalisation. The guy who won the Gold Walkley in December was Steve Penros from The West Australian and he wrote about the Christmas Island tragedy – but it is now a rare thing that it happens.

Now the Financial Review, which isn’t your mainstream Refugee policy paper I fairly concede, but we actually had a period, and this shows you how these things happen, where there are a whole heap of issues which the editor, the previous editor, there were a range of issues that business was just not interested in.

Refugees was certainly one of them. Climate change was another, and we literally couldn’t get them into the paper. That extended to immigration generally, which was I thought was, well, a bit stupid because, you know, it’s the labour market. Read the rest of this entry »

Building Bridges

In AFHP, Fairfax, Margo Kingston, MSM on February 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston

By Michael Taylor (TheAIMN)
February 24, 2013

There is an old movie line I often recall: A life filled with activity suggests a life filled with purpose.

I have no hesitation in borrowing that line in applying it is an apt portrayal of well-known Australian author and journalist; Margo Kingston. I’ve been a big fan of Margo’s since her book Not happy, John hit the shelves in 2004, so I was chuffed to be granted an interview with her last week. I was to discover just how active and purposeful her life has been, and still is, and that there is far more to Margo than the book which first introduced her to me.

But first, a little background.

Margo, a Queenslander, graduated from university with a degree in arts and law and practised as a solicitor in Brisbane before lecturing in commercial law in Rockhampton. The move to journalism saw her working for The Courier-Mail and within a year moved to The Times on Sunday. She had since worked for The AgeThe Canberra Times and A Current Affair before moving to The Sydney Morning Herald, where she worked until her retirement in August 2005. Her first book was Off The Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip which recounted her experiences (as a journalist) on the One Nation Party’s election campaign in the 1990s. She is also known for her now defunct blog, Webdiary.

“Writing the book about the One Nation Party experience was a testing time for me and I vowed never to write another book again. I didn’t consider myself an author or a person willing to be one. A journalist, yes. An author, no” recalled Margo. At this point I was wondering why she later decided to write Not happy, John, however, a slight hesitation on my behalf gave her the opportunity to proceed with an explanation. “While I was working for the Sydney Morning Herald I was invited by Phillip Adams (from Radio National’s Late Night Live) to be on the discussion panel of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. It was there that Phillip tapped me on the shoulder and said I needed to write a book about John Howard. Of course, the answer was an insistent ‘no’ but the response was “it’s your duty” and one thing led to another and before I knew it I found myself writing Not happy, John“.

Not Happy John

It wasn’t long before the book put her on the outer with her employer.

“After a long-term Government everyone in the media seems quite happy with how the country is governed and so after many years of Howard the Sydney Morning Herald had drifted slowly to the right. The publication of the book was frowned upon and my run-ins with the SMH editor are now famous”.

I could sense that Margo is more excited about her post-SMH life, even though when she began her new incarnation she did so as an emotionally shattered soul. Read the rest of this entry »

Grattan’s abrupt exit ends idealist’s dream

In Fairfax, Margo Kingston, MSM on February 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

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By Margo Kingston
April 1, 1995

WHEN the managing director of The Canberra Times, Ian Meikle, told Michelle Grattan on Wednesday afternoon that she was sacked as editor of The Canberra Times and should leave the premises, he suggested a monetary settlement. Grattan refused. “I don’t want to salve their consciences,” she said privately later.

It’s one of the things those who admire Grattan learn to accept without demur. The extremism. The strict and idealistic private code of ethics.

Grattan, 49, did not even have a contract. She left her position as chief political correspondent of The Age after the 1993 Federal election as one of the most powerful and respected political journalists in Australia to join a provincial, under-resourced paper without even discussing how much she would be paid. (She appalled her deputy, Jack Waterford, soon after joining when she asked him what would be a fair salary.)

Grattan – workaholic, fanatically devoted to journalism to the extent of never taking holidays except to tidy up her latest book on politics, who will wake up ministers at 3 am to check a fact – is an extraordinary woman.

Having negotiated her exit from The Age amid a frenetic 1993 election campaign, Grattan started work immediately as editor of The Canberra Times. She had embarked on a journey which, two years later and despite her intense will to succeed, would end with a brutally honest admission of defeat on Wednesday night:

“The experiment has failed.”

Asked whether she would take a break, she replied: “Work is the best remedy.”

GRATTAN had been disturbed for some time that her paper, The Age, was taking a direction she could not accept under its new editor, Alan Kohler, who was determined to change her dominant role on the paper in Federal political coverage.

She was thrown by the loss of certainty of her pre-eminent place in The Age, whose values she had come to symbolise, and believed, perhaps wrongly, that Conrad Black’s management wanted to drive her out.

Grattan saw her chance to break free when The Canberra Times editor, David Armstrong, suddenly resigned for an overseas post. She approached the owner, Western Australian businessman Kerry Stokes, and offered herself for the job. Her vision was a serious paper with national influence.

She believed she was risking all and that failure would destroy her reputation. She was not prepared to fail. Her demands: a five-year commitment and Stokes’s promise to fund six more reporters. Stokes desired a national profile and East Coast respectability. He said yes.

Grattan refused to take what would have been a six-figure redundancy from The Age. “I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of saying I was redundant,” she said then.

The Canberra Times news staff and management were profoundly shocked, as was The Age. Canberra is still a small town, The Times having a circulation of 41,000. The editorial staff is dominated by people who had joined young and intended to stay for life.

It was a family, doing what they could, and succeeding sometimes, to achieve quality no other paper with their circulation even wanted to achieve – but an unambitious paper nonetheless. Read the rest of this entry »

Confessions of a News Junkie or Bye, Bye, Outdated Media, I’ve got a New Dealer

In ABC, MSM, Space Kidette on February 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The End of Newspapers

By Space Kidette
Source: 
Satellite News Network
February 3rd, 2013

Space Kidette Note: To put this post into context, you may want to read About page.
How did I go from being Outdated Media’s biggest fanboi to a consumer openly advocating against a media’s vile product?

News vs. Opinion 

The first and biggest problem for me was the almost insidious shift from fact-based news to the relentless drivel from small minded people being passed off as faux intellectual ‘opinion pieces’.

Somewhere along the line media outlets decided what consumers were clamouring for was their opinion. The who, what, when, where, why and how much of any news event often gets brushed aside, or totally ignored, in the journalist’s rush to furnish you with their personal take on events. Worse, the arrogance with which it is delivered manages to imply the audience are mindless drones who should feel privileged to perch at their feet, catching their pearls of wisdom.

News without much in the way of facts is just opinion and opinions are like arseholes – everybody’s got one. Let me make it clear. I don’t give a rats arse about any journo’s opinion. I’m quite capable reviewing and assessing facts, ascertaining their validity, conducting my own analysis and finally, determining my own view. What I want is from journalists is to deliver verified facts clearly, succinctly and in a timely manner – leave the rest to me.

Filters
It became apparent to me news was rapidly being filtered through the various lenses of political news publishers. The particular hue of the filter being applied to journalists, editors, and sub-editors varies with each outlet but is consistently cast over every article or broadcast. While I understand, and totally support, the right of any publisher to shape their news business, I will never subscribe to the belief that news businesses should be permitted to deliberately, methodically and ruthlessly shape political outcomes.

I flat-out refuse to pay media outlets to deliver to me their pre-packaged, political outcome driven opinions!

As for the ABC I believe, as a national broadcaster, their role should be to deliver the unvarnished facts. As an ideal to aspire to, the citizenry of every country should be able to access at least one news source that is devoid of opinion. In Australia we are incredibly privileged to have such a broadcaster. However the quality of political news being delivered today is questionable.

Much of the news presented is positively laden with politically affiliated opinion. Political news is distorted beyond all recognition by the many dubiously-sponsored shills and to my mind, as it stands at present, the ABC fails abysmally in its role as a trusted national news source. I can pretty much pre-empt, almost verbatim, what each political guests opinion will be!

Australia’s universities are chock-full of experts in their fields. As a country we are blessed that many of them are global leaders in their speciality. If the ABC is going to host discussions eliciting opinion, surely we should be ensuring those invited are real experts who are professional enough to discuss the matter without a cast-in-stone political bent! Read the rest of this entry »

We buy your papers, so give us a little respect! Where is the #Ashbygate judgment coverage?

In Ashby Conspiracy, Noely Neate on January 8, 2013 at 3:52 AM

By Noely Neate
Source: YaThink
Date: December 13th, 2012

Screenshot | 10 October 2012 | Sunshine Coast Daily | Readers, Brough say it’s time for Slipper to quit politics | Caption: “KEEN VIEWER: Mal Brough watches from the Daily’s news room as Peter Slipper resigns.” |

Regional areas rely on National media to ensure that we get a very full picture of what is happening in the Nation and the World.  Living in a regional area can be great, more relaxed lifestyle, awesome place to bring up a family etc., the flipside is that you are limited in choices and it can be easy to become a big fish in a little pond.  If the power being wielded is good, than that is not a problem, unfortunately when you’re the local newspaper and the big fish too long it can be detrimental.  Obviously there are area specific issues when you are the only show in town, you can’t go too hard on say Council or sitting MP’s as they may not talk to you at all or give you no access which means you have nothing to report?  On the other hand it can also mean that when you ‘go after someone’, there is no-one else to in the region to give an opposite view, this is what is happening on the Sunshine Coast at the moment.

Our local paper has been onto Peter Slipper for years.  Invested time and money into Travel rorts and the like.  At some stages it has been almost fanatical.  As Peter Brent in the Australian commented in his article “We can all dream” on the 19th of December “But Slipper is no ordinary sitting MP. He has a negative personal vote. Between the 2007and 2010 election his local rag the Sunshine Coast Daily went after him about entitlement transgressions. They went hard, and they were effective.”  This is very true, look at “Topic: peter slipper” in the Sunshine Coast Daily and you will see how long and hard they have been chasing Peter Slipper.  Even though the man has not been convicted of any wrong-doing the average local now thinks he is the biggest crook in the state? Read the rest of this entry »

Where is the #Ashbygate Outrage? Keeping an Eye on the media.

In Ashby Conspiracy, Noely Neate on January 8, 2013 at 3:34 AM

By Noely Neate
Source: YaThink
Date: December 13th, 2012

Keeping an Eye on the media

The day after Gillard’s (now famous) ‘misogyny’ speech I woke up thinking I was in the twilight zone.  Everyone I knew was amazed or affected in some way, yet, the morning news and papers barely referred to it, instead focussing on Slipper resigning?  I was seriously, WTF?  Thankfully over the next few days the so-called ‘serious’ media commentators were basically shamed into at least acknowledging it (even if in some terribly conservative white male stances) by social media and overseas media.  This whole #Ashbygate (as it is referred to on twitter) episode is a major déjà vu, the only difference is, not only am I am in the twilight zone, I am outraged!

Yes, Slipper had some repulsively juvenile texts, though of course without the “abuse of the process of the Court” (Justice Rares words, not mine, see “full judgement here” we, the public, would not even have been aware of the sexists texts, BUT, in reality the texts have now not been found to be illegal, just ‘vulgar’.  To be perfectly honest, the texts reek more of a man suffering a mid-life crisis trying to impress the perceived cool kid on the block, not so much aggressive sexism.  Regardless, it is not a good look, though am sure there are worse out there in MP land if we grabbed all their texts for the last 5 years?  What outrages me is the fact that a few people through their actions decided they would try to change the face of our democratically elected landscape. Read the rest of this entry »