Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Murdoch media: The Australian, Herald Sun and Courier Mail downplay bushfire news

The Australian: Murdoch-owned newspaper accused of downplaying bushfires in favour of picnic races  https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jan/04/the-australian-murdoch-owned-newspaper-accused-of-downplaying-bushfires-in-favour-of-picnic-races  

Herald Sun relegates bushfires to page 4 while Courier Mail brings good news via ‘Onion Oracle’Amanda Meade, Sat 4 Jan 2020 The Australian, Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper, has defended itself against criticism it downplayed unprecedented bushfires by failing to put a picture of the disaster on the front page of an edition, even as newspapers across the world featured the harrowing scenes.

Many of the world’s leading mastheads featured pictures of the devastation of the Australian bushfires on page one on Thursday. But the Australian’s first edition ran an upbeat picture story about the New Year’s Day picnic races at Hanging Rock.

Sources at the newspaper said the newsroom was short-staffed over the holidays, however it was noted that resources were found to attack the ABC with gusto over its New Year’s Eve concert.

“Our readers have been fully informed across the nation both online and in paper all week,” editor John Lehmann told Guardian Australia.

The national broadsheet’s lead story on Thursday was about a secret proposal by police to ban alcohol in Indigenous communities in Western Australia – a story deemed more important than the bushfire report, which said eight people were dead and mass evacuations were underway.

There wasn’t a single photo of the catastrophic bushfires until page 4.

Before readers got to that coverage, they were given an exclusive interview with “rebel marine scientist Peter Ridd” who has challenged reef scientists to test whether or not human actions have caused a collapse in the growth rate of corals on the Great Barrier Reef.

The later editions of the paper dropped the racing story and replaced it with photographs of bushfire victims surveying the damage.

The Australian is not the only Murdoch-owned newspaper that has been accused of downplaying the bushfires.

On New Year’s Eve, Melbourne’s the Herald Sun also relegated the bushfires to page 4, even as thousands of Victorians faced a serious bushfire threat.

On the same day, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph blamed the Bureau of Meteorology for inaccurate weather predictions, which may have “lulled residents into a false sense of security about conditions”.

But it was the Courier Mail’s story about the “Onion Oracle” that had some readers wondering what was going on at News Corp.

The Queensland tabloid carried the optimistic news that “Onion Oracle” Halwyn Hermann was predicting rain using an old German tradition. They even compared the Onion Oracle’s predictions to those of the bureau of meteorology.

The Australian has been consistent on one front. Throughout the bushfire season it has kept up its coverage of climate denialism.

Before Christmas, the Australian attempted to smear Greg Mullins and his Emergency Leaders for Climate Action group as “largely a vehicle for Tim Flannery”. Flannery is a leading environmentalist and chief counsellor at the Climate Council.

The former fire and emergency chiefs from multiple states and territories say Australia is unprepared for worsening natural disasters from climate change and governments are putting lives at risk.

The Australian says they are a front for Flannery who is an “alarmist” for urging that coal-fired power stations be shut down.

On New Year’s Eve, the paper led with another “exclusive” report that pushed the line Australia should not speed up its response to global warming.

January 4, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media

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