Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Media and nuclear – Australia – theme for March 2017

The new media landscape – what does it mean for Australia and nuclear issues?  For one thing, the decline in mainstream media means that it’s cheaper and easier for mainstream media, particularly the Murdochracy, to abandon paying for true journalism and just regurgitate propaganda from government and the nuclear industry.

 Australia’s news media, print, radio and  TV continue to be under pressure, as people turn ever more to a variety of digital sources. Traditional news media lose advertising revenue, and good journalists lose their jobs.  I have written about this before. But now, it’s happening ever faster. Quality newspapers struggle, especially in the print versions. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are likely to move  from a daily to a weekend only printing. Still, print survives, and newer print news, like The Saturday Paper and The Monthly might just surprise us all.
 The ABC soldiers on, with TV,radio and online  news, in a climate of political pressure,and of repeated cutting  of its funds, and  threats  of  more cutting. In  some  areas,  such as ABC Radio National, one  detects dumbing  down of content. Late Night Live survives – Phillip Adams now calling it “Fake Night Live”
Online news – Independent Australia, Crikey, Online Opinion,  New Matilda etc battle on for financial survival, as the media landscape becomes an ecosystem of competing digital sources. Here some very fine journalism appears, from the usually unpaid critics of the nuclear industry, including internationally known experts on the subject, notably Dr Jim Green  and Dr Helen Caldicott.  At the same time, the well-heeled nuclear lobby also contributes articles.
 
Social  media is increasingly, where it’s at, especially for nuclear issues. Websites, Blogs,  Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Linked-In, Tumblr etc.
Environmental organisations have busy websites. But increasingly – it’s Youtube  and Facebook that now lead the pack.  Sadly, for Youtube, the pro  nuclear lobby has many sophisticated propaganda videos. Australia’s under-funded Aboriginal and environmental groups lack the resources to make great use of Youtube.
australia-social-media
 
Twitter is, at present, under-used by Australia’s nuclear-free activists, though Friends of The Earth tweets at @NuclearFreeAus

Meanwhile Australia’s pro nuclear lobbyistsare very active, and use sophisticated algorithms to churn out multiple tweets from just one source. Fortunately a lot of these seem quite stupid, spending much time on infantile trolling of  Dr Caldicott. Examples: @totterdell91  @thjr19 and a lot of their  fake clones, often adopting female names e.g Marcelina, EcoWife

 How do we manage  in the new media ecosystem?
 First, Australians who  care about their country and their planet need to make better use of social media in particular. And, we need to be aware of the traps in it. Our public social media sites are viewed by the nuclear lobby and Australia’s government, (often lackey to the nuclear lobby). Personal information can be used against you. Mistaken, inaccurate, unwise statements can be used against the environmental cause.
Above all, the new media landscape means that we have to exercise judgement in what we read and write. Look for accuracy. Look for credible sources, and quote these. As Donald Trump has taught us – there’s so much “fake news” out there.  I don’t think that Trump actually meant his own lies, here, But Trump has certainly been a force in hastening the already happening process of muddying the media waters.
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February 28, 2017 - Posted by | Christina themes, media

1 Comment »

  1. The Editor
    The Advertiser

    Excessive emphasis on electricity supply overlooks the important role of demand in keeping the lights on.

    In years of drought the South Australian public showed that it is capable of rising to the challenge by conserving water. Thanks to information and incentives from the SA Government the public demonstrated great resilience and resourcefulness.

    What applies to water also applies to electricity but the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is sending the wrong signals (The Advertiser, 1/3/17). Instead of encouraging consumers to conserve electricity AEMO is encouraging business as usual.

    As amply demonstrated in the last five months, this is putting SA at the mercy of the electricity industry.

    Conserving electricity is as simple as conserving water; in summer, turn up the air-conditioner thermostat by a degree or two, in winter do the opposite.

    The SA Government can do its bit by providing information and incentives for electricity conservation measures such as double-glazed windows. This will decrease the demand for air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter.

    Dennis Matthews

    Comment by Dennis Matthews | March 1, 2017 | Reply


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