Daily Tele’s irresponsible reporting

The past few days I noticed that the Daily Telegraph was on an all out campaign against the current NSW Government, with headlines lambasting their mini-budget.

Admittedly, it’s quite a state we’re in. The Government has admitted it’s nearly broke, but the Telegraph would no doubt cry foul if the Government increased taxes. Of course, by cutting the budget, as the Government did, they also get hauled over the coals.

When I read a Telegraph piece on the mini-budget, it a) proposed no alternatives to how the Government would cut expenditure and b) did not actually show any analysis as to where else in the budget where cuts could have been made. How we’re meant to be “informed citizens” from what passes as journalism over there is beyond me.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. I was going to write a blog about how the Telegraph had basically set itself on a campaign to oust the Labor government and that this was irresponsible journalism. I was going to say “just come out with it and call on the premier to quit”, which was obviously what they were aiming for.

Well, at least they had the courage to put their agenda on the front page. That article, however, points out that the Telegraph’s editor is leaving their post. I’m interested in the details: was this because they stepped over the line and were sacked?; or because they felt the direction of the paper was heading in the wrong direction?

In either case, perhaps the change of editors will restore the paper to some semblance of journalism, rather than activism. The Telegraph has, of course, for a long time been less about news and more about headline grabbing and entertainment, but recent events go far beyond what I consider journalism at all.

In my opinion, good journalists report the news, not set out on politically motivated campaigns. Especially so when they continue to pretend that they’re “unbiased” and “have no agenda” as so many journalists do.

In a global credit crisis, with the State nearly broke, we don’t need this kind of bullshit passing as journalism. We need to actually get some analysis and some help understanding how we can realistically get out of this mess.

Sacking the premier and calling an early election (which I’m informed via @neerav on Twitter is wishful thinking) is not the solution.

Not least of which because the opposition is a ridiculous mess – I don’t even know who the opposition leader is, let alone what the Liberal’s policies are and how they plan to get us out of this mess… (The two party preferred system is broken at the best of times, but it’s especially poor with such an appalling group of pollies that this State has.)


Update: Just a quick clarification: I mention the Liberal leader and policies as I know that, in the end, a swing away from Labor means a win for the Liberals. And this “two horse race” view of political races continues to be propagated by mainstream media, further perpetuating the myth.

With this in mind, even with a significant swing to another dominant party such as the Greens, the preferential system is likely to install either Liberal or Labor into Government.

Personally I vote on the basis of the local candidates’ strengths and approach to things, not on party lines. But I’m aware enough to know that in the current system such a backlash is likely to result in a Liberal win – thus my comments above.

Manufacturing Consent

A few months back now I rented the DVD of Manufacturing Consent, the documentary based on the classic book by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman.

The production is pretty rough, but the substance is incredibly relevant even today. What I found most interesting about the film was how much of the “future of media” that was presented is now coming to fruition through blogs and internet-based activism. Anyone that’s read Jay Rosen’s PressThink blog probably won’t find a whole lot of new stuff here, but it’s still very good.

Chomsky, as always, is full of factoids and amazing examples that demonstrate the issues he sees in the media. But one quote really stood out to me. Unfortunately I can’t find an exact reference – but paraphrased, it went something like: history likes heroes – in history social movements are often attributed to individuals, but it is the social movements that make the individuals historically significant.

In other words, heroes are often born out of mass social movements, the heroes don’t create them – but our history presents things the other way around. Maybe if I get the DVD out again I can find the exact quote – I don’t think I’m doing it justice here (and if anyone knows the quote I’m referring too, please leave a comment)…

Dumbo Feather, pass it on…

One of my favourite magazines is Dumbo Feather, but unfortunately the website for the mag has been a little bit of a disappointment given how amazing the mag is.

Well, as of Saturday, the site has been updated to be a blog – which seems to me to be the perfect tool for the job. I’m subscribed already and looking forward to being inspired…

P.S. A subscription for Christmas would be awesome 😉