The relentless attacks by this government on our press is a far more serious danger to our country than people realise. These attacks include:
Repeated references to the Hate media and right wing shock jocks, attempting to delegitimise reasonably argued criticism in opinion pieces in newspapers.
Julia Gillard’s “News Ltd has questions to answer“, referring to British phone hacking investigation, unrelated to Australia.
Ms Gillard’s personal allegedly demanding phone calls to media management (chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan) relating to coverage of her past affair and legal dealings with an allegedly criminal Union Official.
Claims that Murdoch owns 70% of media when they own only 32% of titles, it is people who chose to buy one of their papers 60% of the times.
The ex-judge Finkelstein sending a letter to editors, impudently asking them to explain to what extent “you subscribe to the view that the press has social responsibilities.
Why is this frightening? Because this is the road toward authoritarian non-democratic state. You say – c’mon that’s being over-dramatic. But you don’t have to have absence of elections or people being shot in the square to be deprived of democracy. You only need to be mislead into voting for the wrong party, for example by government propaganda or by undue influence by a political party over the media. Intimidation of opposition parties, legal restriction of opposition parties, prosecution of opponents for trumped up charged during election time – all these are the tools of non-democratic governments. But unless you really have totalitarian regime with tanks in the streets, all of these can thrive only if they are hidden from the bulk of the population by compliant media.
The core of democracy is not elections, it is freedom of the press.
Under the communists in Czechoslovakia, we had multiple parties and elections, but no free press – it was government controlled and was very “socially responsible”. We did not have democracy.
Murdoch negative press on Labor is in agreement with Gillard’s own assessment Labor ‘lost it’s way”.
There is no problem with Murdoch press. It is dominant because more people chose to read the 35% of the titles it owns. There have been an unprecedented series of Governmental failures by Labor and thus the Murdoch press media has reported an unprecedented number of negative reports about Labor. Where is the problem. In fact, the Murdoch media’s predominant criticism of the government over the past 4 years is in agreement with Labor government’s own assessment that it had lost it’s way when Gillard knifed their first term Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. What is wrong with that. The country’s worst government ever gets predominantly bad press. Where is the problem?