Media fact and fiction


“It is an obvious truism that a democracy cannot function without an independent and strong media that holds the powerful to account and provides the public with a diversity of opinion. What is often overlooked but is equally essential is that the diversity of media opinion must be based on a uniformity of fact: people are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.
In Australia, part of the media have lost sight of this constraint and have replaced the reporting of factual reality with the spin of ideology and opinion. The Australian media —- foremost among them the large News Limited organs — have failed the public in their reporting of climate change by creating a phoney debate about climate science that is notably absent from the one arena where scientific knowledge is debated, namely the peer-reviewed literature.
The inquiry announced today sends a welcome signal that recognition of the deplorable state of the Australian print media goes far beyond the scientific community. However, the terms of reference neglect to address two crucial issues.
First, the concentration of media ownership in Australia, where one media conglomerate owns 167 newspapers and controls 70% of the national market—with nearly complete dominance in several cities.
Second, it appears that the inquiry will not examine the actual track record of media outlets but will instead focus on strengthening the Australian Press Council, the body responsible for handling complaints against the media.
While this can only be welcome, today’s front page headline in The Australian, which spins the inquiry as being a probe of the ‘media guardians’ rather than the media itself, provides a striking illustration of why the terms of reference fall short of what is needed.”

- Stephan Lewandowsky, Australian Professorial Fellow, Cognitive Science Laboratories at University of Western Australia and media observer. | Broad Terms for media inquiries but what about ownership?,  The Conversation, 14th September 2011

The Hollowmen. Brilliant.

"Australia and China… welcome the opportunity to affirm our commitment towards acknowledging the need to emphasise the importance of recognising the very real dangers of greenhouse gas emissions, and remaining cognisant of the issue we have agreed to a bilateral co-operative pact involving technological exchanges aimed at reaffirming our commitment"

From Say Yes Australia: “The talented Jarra McGrath made this mock up of the Coal Association’s “no” advertising, launched today.”
From Say Yes Australia: “The talented Jarra McGrath made this mock up of the Coal Association’s “no” advertising, launched today.”

Challenge Abbott: Tony Abbott can’t name a single economist who backs his plan

Mr Abbott has spent months terrifying workers and talking down the Australian economy. He has threatened that entire towns will be ‘wiped off the map’ by reducing pollution. But what you won’t hear from Tony Abbott is a credible idea about how to make Australia’s economy smarter and cleaner.

- The Greens