Way way down this page, an article about how the Canberra Press Gallery is a closed shop
I found this article particularly interesting, because of the reasons given by David Speers Press Gallery Committee, for shutting out Independent Australia. In brief – because IA’s journalist Callum Davidson is “not established”, and because IA is “opinion-based rather than a news site”
This raised several questions in my mind. Davidson is a freelance journalist, has an Advanced Diploma in Journalism, (and lives near Parliament House). Well, in this climate of journalists being retrenched all over the place – pretty hard to get “established” . Do we, the public, have to wait until all the old Established journalists die off, or something?
Which brings me to an even more important question. Despite IA having broken some really big stories, Speers considers that it is not a news site. It’s an opinion-based site.
As if all the Murdoch media, and even the Fairfax are NOT opinion -based. This pretense of impartiality is one of the big weaknesses of the weak Australian mainstream media.
My guess is that they are scared of Independent Australia, crikey.com, New Matilda, Inymedia, Green Left and even little websites like this one. This one is called Antinuclear – no pretense of impartiality here. And if the mainstream media had any guts, its business sites would be headed “Pro Corporations” – and particularly “Pro-Nuclear” – Christina Macpherson
UKIP’s dangerous precedent for Australian conservatives, REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 6 May 2013″………modern media has trained their readers to consumer news and politics in uncomplicated sound-bites, and now want their policy platforms to be delivered in the same way. It’s worked marvellously for Tony Abbott. The Australian Opposition leader popularity is based around three-word homilies such as “Stop the boats” and “axe the tax”. Never mind the detail – these policies bear little scrutiny and are impossible or impractical to implement: In sound-bite politics, no-one cares.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that Abbott was delivered to the top job in the Coalition – and a likely prime ministership – by a highly conservative rump of the Coalition that ended bipartisan support on climate change policies. It was led by senior politicians, such as Nick Minchin, who didn’t and don’t accept climate change science. Many still remain in the party.
Even more dangerously, bipartisan support is now fracturing around renewables, despite the fact that theAustralian Energy Market Operator has found that 100 per cent renewables is emminently achievable, and not so costly, and that other studies such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that wind, and soon solar, are cheaper to build than new coal and gas fired generation – all of which needs to be replaced in the coming decades.
Despite this, all the state-based coalition governments remain married to the policy altar that deems that renewables are costly and useless, and don’t reduce emissions, and they want the renewable energy target killed or neutered.
Many of its new recruits – such Nahan, the Nationals’ Angry Anderson, the Liberals Angus Taylor and Zed Seselja, and the Canberra based would fit comfortably within the UKIP platform. As would many of the incumbents – Joyce, Corey Bernardi, Eric Abetz, Andrew Robb, Simon Birmingham, Michaelia Cash, Alby Shultz, Bill Heffernan, Ian Macdonald, and a host of others.
John Howard had just as many arch-conservatives in his own party, but he had the strength of leadership to keep the factions under control. The importance of this should not be underestimated. Even Labor’s right factions would have fought hard against progressive climate change and energy policies if they hadn’t been effectively neutered by the coalition with the Greens and the country independents.
The question is whether Abbott has the authority to keep these Tea Party and UKIP style politics under control, or even if he wants to. He owes a debt to those who thrust him into power in the first place, and has never convincingly laid his “climate change is crap” remark to rest. He may just gladly go along with those that want to extend those policies to curb renewables. Has anyone heard a Coalition politician say they shouldn’t? http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/ukips-dangerous-precedent-for-australian-conservatives-13428
As it turns out this is a difficult task to accomplish.”…..I hold an Advanced Diploma in Journalism and have been working freelance for a while now; but infinitely more importantly, I live a stone’s throw from Parliament House in Canberra……The press gallery is a bizarre and fascinating beast. Most of the Australian public still digest their political discourse from those guardians of information tethered to the cramped dorms on Capital Hill. All major mainstream news outlets, both television and print, have long had reporters stationed directly within our political elite. From Fairfax to News Limited to ABC, journalists mix with Federal politicians and their staffers, conversing with media opposition and rapaciously competing when necessary. But with the aspirational digital age and the declining fortunes of traditional media, would they let an outsider in?
[ David Speers Press Gallery Committee says ] ”The Committee has decided to decline your request.
Generally new entrants to the Press Gallery will only be approved if they are established journalists working as such.
Your website appears to be opinion-based rather than a news site……”.
All news outlets are opinion based to some degree (some significantly more so than others) where does one draw the line? CertainlyIndependent Australia has developed a huge following not through opinion pieces, but through its original investigative reporting – that is, “new” news – such as the Jacksonvilleand Ashbygate investigations and the outstanding environmental exposés of Sandi Keane amongst many others.
The real question is, did Speers’ committee really take a close look at Independent Australia without any preconceived notions, or did they simply see it as just another “blog” and dismiss it out of hand? Is this another example of old media snobbery?……
Malcolm Turnbull recently made a rather hip appearance at the Woodford Folk Festival lamenting the current state of political media coverage.
“Broadcasters, or politicians or writers…who think that they are respecting ‘struggle street’, the battlers, … by dumbing things down into one-line soundbites are not respecting them — they are treating them with contempt.”
He urged bloggers et al to scrutinise politics and policy in the manner he believed necessary for a functional democracy. The question here is whether or not this is possible without complete ‘access’.
There are a number of brilliant online publications (with Independent Australia being right up there of course!) that do a fantastic job of sifting through the endless political data to provide material for palatable consumption to inform the public.
But, is this enough?
(For more information about how Canberra Press Gallery accreditation is awarded, please read this February 2013 Crikey article.) http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/media-2/how-the-canberra-press-gallery-shut-out-ia/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IA+Newsletter%3A+Our+Samizdat+Years&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term=Read+the+story+on+IA
The article below, from Independent Australia, talks about Samizdat. This was new to me. So anyway, I guess that the analogy is that we, in Australia, are now “informed” by the blanketing propaganda of the Murdoch media. So, we have to rely on alternative media, like Independent Australia, New Matilda, Crikey, and various blogs to learn the truth.
Samizdat n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samizdat Samizdat (Russian: самизда́т; IPA: [səmɨzˈdat]) was a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade officially imposed censorship was fraught with danger as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials.
Vladimir Bukovsky defined it as follows:
I myself create it,
distribute it, and …
get imprisoned for it.……
HistorySelf-published and self-distributed literature has a long history, but samizdat is a unique phenomenon in the post-Stalin USSR and other countries with similar systems of tyranny. Under the grip of censorship of the police state, these societies used underground literature for self-analysis and self-expression.…..
Our samizdat years, (includes 2 good videos) Independent Australia 4 May, 2013 Never before have we had a press so controlled, says Bob Ellis, with all the anti-Abbott or anti-Coalition news being deliberately minimised. “…… the Newspoll fraud continues, with Katter preferences going not to Labor but the Liberals, meaning an actual preferred vote for Labor of 49 is being disguised as 45.5, and landline surveys on holiday weekends are not adjusted, and shown as crises for Labor on days when they are winning or competitive. This is as serious as the Malaysian stuffing of ballot boxes will be tomorrow, but in Australia it has become routine.
Cult Murdoch is ruling us, and telling us what we should think. It is what Soekarno liked to call a ‘guided democracy’, where the Dear Leader conceals the bad news and gives himself 98 percent in the orderly elections.
Murdoch, a crook, derided by the House of Commons as ‘unfit to run an international organisation’, owns eighty percent of our newspapers and vigilantly decides what is in them, including Newspoll. And, as in America, where his pollster Rasmussen always showed Romney inexplicably doing well, he shows Abbott ahead still though he has lost policy round after policy round in the past two months and been repeatedly accused of criminality…..http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/our-samizdat-years/
I have been aware for a year now that Labor was competitive and the good policies ‘overshadowed’ by the Rudd challenge would eventually achieve the light of day and win for them, but now I am not so sure. It may well be that the Karl Rove-style implacability-of-attack of the broadcasters and pundits may have achieved its end, and so smirched Labor that it will lose, I fear, by one seat.
But it may not be so……http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/our-samizdat-years/
According to the Political Leaders and Climate Change Index (PLCCI) published in 2010 by the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, the number of politicians in the parliament who either don’t or won’t accept the science of climate change in Australia is significant.
The likelihood of a Coalition government winning in 2013 makes the public statement of personal opinions on human induced climate change an issue of national and global importance.
Your MP doesn’t ‘believe’ in climate change? Ask the tough questions, The Conversation, Brad Farrant, Fiona Armstrong, Karen Kiang, Mark G Edwards , 27 April 13 As we head into an election, you’d be justified in asking what your local member is basing their climate change decisions on.
If your MP says “I don’t support policies to prevent dangerous climate change” because “I don’t believe climate change is occurring” or “I’m not sure climate change is human caused” is this position justifiable simply because it’s his or her personal opinion?
While everyone may be entitled to their own opinion, are our elected leaders being ethically responsible when they justify inaction on climate change based on personal opinions? Sustainability ethicist Donald A. Brown, from Widener University School of Law, emphatically argues, “no” – they are not.
In a recent widely republished blog post on ethicsandclimate.org, Brown argues government officials have an ethical responsibility to understand the state of climate change science. Politicians hold crucial leadership positions where they can enact policies that can prevent or minimise great harm. These policies, to put it bluntly, affect millions, if not billions, of people around the world.
Governments and elected officials cannot ethically choose to rely on their own uninformed opinion or ideology instead of the scientific consensus. Read more »
- Public broadcasting – gone. The ABC to be broken up and sold off, SBS to be fully privatised.
- Corporations to be allowed to make secret payments to political parties.
- Medicare gone for most Australians.
- A return to WorkChoices, just by another name.
- The clean energy fund and the renewable energy target – scrapped.
- Funding for sport and arts – including the Australian Institute of Sport – axed. Same for science, with the CSIRO to be privatised.
GetUp! to date on the IPA’s radical plans for Australia http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/getup-to-date-on-the-ipas-radical-plans-for-australia/ 11 April 13, Tony Abbott has said ‘Yes’ to many of the IPA’s 75 radical policies to transform Australia — but which ones? Progressive thinktank GetUp! is concerned, writes Graham Jackson.
Not-for-profit community campaigner GetUp! is another independent group highlighting the stark contrast between the Institute of Public Affairs recent indulgent dinner and the austerity plans it has for Australia. With Margaret Thatcher’s death and legacy currently in the news, GetUp’s recent email to its members (reproduced in part below) provides a timely reminder that arrogant Thatcherism is still alive and well. Call it whatever name you like, but the IPA ‘vision’ for Australia is a dog eat dog world. The alternative vision embraces the idea of community. What kind of country do we want? September 14 will provide the answer. Read more »
Active Radio – not Radioactive http://nuclearfree.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/active-radio-not-radioactive/ Aboriginal and comunity representatives have today launched a state wide radio campaign highlighting the risks posed by uranium mining in WA. www.votenuclearfreewa.org
The campaign features a series of advertisements to be played on radio stations from the Kimberley to Kalgoorlie ahead of the March 9 state election that describe planned uranium mining as ‘today’s asbestos’ and condemn the use of Royalty for Regions subsidies to private uranium projects. The ads have been produced by the West Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, a network of Aboriginal, environment and public health representatives and organisations concerned about the long lasting and negative impacts of uranium mining on communities and country.
The ads are set to run on commercial, community and Indigenous radio stations across the Kimberley’s, Goldfield’s and the Pilbara.
“WA has an abundance of clean energy resources and resourceful people, our future is renewable not radioactive,” said WANFA spokesperson Mia Pepper.
“The Liberal and National Party’s plans for uranium mining have been flying under the radar so we have decided to put the issue on the airwaves.” Read more »
it does not accurately represent Pachauri’s thoughts on the subject – namely that as discussed in this post, global surface temperatures have plateaued (though over the past decade, not 17 years), and that this in no way disproves global warming.
To hear what Pachauri actually thinks about global warming without first passing through The Australian’s filter, you can listen to interviews with him on Radio Australia and ABC News. Also see a similar debunking of this myth by The Australian Climate Commission.
Did Murdoch’s The Australian Misrepresent IPCC Chair Pachauri on Global Warming? 25 February 2013 by dana1981 As we have discussed many times at Skeptical Science, although the warming of global surface air temperatures has slowed over the past decade due to a preponderance of La Niña events, the rate of heat accumulation on Earth has not slowed at all. In fact over the past 15 years, the planet has accumulated more heat than during the previous 15 years (Figure 1). That’s global warming.
Unfortunately many people (often even including climate scientists) mistakenly equate the warming of global surface air temperatures with global warming. That is simply inaccurate. Approximately 90% of global warming goes into heating the oceans.
So the reality is that global warming continues unabated. Despite this reality, an article by Graham Lloyd in The Australian (paywalled) claims that the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri agreed that there has been a 17-year pause in global temperature rises. Unfortunately we don’t know exactly what Pachauri said on the subject, because Lloyd did not quote him directly (which is a red flag). Read more »
Here’s what Roger Helbig sent me today: ” Your first immediate action is to take my name out of your
e-mail subject line. I have already advised WordPress and I will make
every possible effort to take down your WordPress blog and eliminate
your ability to ever have another WordPress blog.” along with a lot of other threats of legal action.
This humble little website is now in the company of some much more illustrious sites. For example – “It has come to our attention that an individual by the name of Roger Helbig, has been going to great effort to damage our reputation” http://www.salem-news.com/
There are dozens more .. you see, Roger Helbig makes a profession of harrassing and preferably shutting down, any voices that criticise the use of depleted uranium.
The Australian corrects the record on climate change Crikey, CATHY ALEXANDER | JAN 17, 2013
The national broadsheet has issued a correction for a recent story which claimed rising sea levels were “not linked to warming”. Read what was in the story, and what was wrong with it, here.
The Australian has issued a rare correction on climate change, for a story which claimed rising sea levels were “not linked to warming”.
The story, which appeared under an “exclusive” tag on Tuesday and was written by environment editor Graham Lloyd, was based on a recent scientific paper in the Journal of Climate. Lloyd wrote that “the latest science on sea level rises has found no link to global warming”.
Crikey read the research paper, looked into Lloyd’s three articles on the subject, and highlighted inaccuracies in the way the research was presented(read Crikey’s stories here and here). A correction appeared in The Australiantoday, and the original story has been taken down….
The Australian has been criticised in the past for running stories which some perceive as misrepresenting the science on anthropogenic climate change, but it has rarely issued corrections on its climate change stories.http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/01/17/the-australian-corrects-the-record-on-climate-change/
A first wave of David Bradbury’s critically acclaimed filmography is now available for immediate streaming video on ScreenZone.tv:
ON THE FRONTLINE: A ScreenZone interview with David Bradbury, 15 Jan 13 ”……DB: My current film examines the three stages of the nuclear film cycle on a very personal level. It started when I met an aboriginal woman called Isabelle Dingamah (sic) about four years ago, and I started to film her story. She is one of the traditional custodians of the land at Roxby [Downs]. As a little girl she’d had the British atom bomb dropped on her and her family when she was 18-months-old. It’s kind of Shakespearian.
It’s unfolded organically, which is how I make my documentaries, and filmed as I go. Read more »
Firstly, there will be no legislation to inhibit the absolute freedom
of the press in Australia. They will be able to print any damn thing
they want. Truth will be shredded and thrown out the window, personal
privacy of targeted individuals will be rampantly invaded and their
Murdoch will insist on selling the ABC
Australia will never again abstain in a U.S. promoted vote in the
United Nations. Australia will return to lockstep the US in
If Rupert Murdoch wins in 2013 , (includes video) Independent
Australia, 29 Dec 12
Rodney E. Lever provides a chilling preview of what will happen if
Rupert Murdoch gets his wish and Tony Abbott & Co win the Federal
election next year. LET’S JUST PUT our thinking caps on for a minute
and imagine what Australia would be like if Rupert Murdoch gets his
wish and in 2013 installs a coalition government led by Tony Abbott,
Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop and Mal Brough. Read more »
The day The Australian died, Independent Australia
28 December, 2012
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky reports on the exchange that finally,
completely, destroyed Australia’s national newspaper credibility.
“………In May 2012, The Australian ran an opinion piece by Mr James
Delingpole in which he riled against wind energy under the title:
“Wind farm scam a huge cover-up.”
Wind turbines actually constitute an increasingly important tool in
our arsenal of alternative energy to wean the planet off fossil fuels;
however, Mr. Delingpole begs to differ. Among other arguments, Mr.
Delingpole cited an unnamed Australian sheep farmer’s opinion that:
“The wind-farm business is bloody well near a paedophile ring. They’re
f . . king our families and knowingly doing so.”
Yes, that did appear exactly as quoted in The Australian. Read more »
The Australian print media have been criticised for inaccurately reporting the carbon pricing mechanism (CPM), and in some instances for actively campaigning against the Gillard government. Research from the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, before the start of the carbon price, reinforced these claims. It found an overwhelmingly negative coverage of the carbon price by News Limited papers in a study of ten national newspapers.
We found that these newspapers are contributing to an uninformed and inadequate public debate on the carbon price and Australian climate change policy…….
The carbon price follows logic set out in the Stern Review. It advocates for investment in climate change mitigation now, to ensure continued economic prosperity and minimise later economic costs from climate change impacts or delayed climate change mitigation.
Not only was this fundamental argument barely mentioned, discussion of climate science was almost non-existent. This is critical to public perceptions of the carbon price, as without reinforcing the motivations for introducing such a policy, readers are less likely to believe it is necessary….
the overall media coverage does not discuss the need for action on climate change, nor does it balance the short-term economic costs against long-term gains. http://theconversation.edu.au/biased-newspaper-reporting-on-the-carbon-pricing-mechanism-11373