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The Australian and Pot Kettle Black….

My alternative title for this post was going to be… Leadership is needed to reclaim Australians National Paper

So the Australian writes an editorial. Of course, we don’t know who wrote it, cause The Australian attributes things to itself as an entity… but still it is worth looking at.

“In an age when spin doctors, lobbyists, publicists and political activists outnumber journalists by at least a dozen to one, reporters need thejudgment to pick through the spin and report the facts.”

Yes, now pick yourself up from the floor from laughing, I think they are trying to be serious here. A paper that has on more than one occasion said that its aim is to destroy the greens, cancel the NBN and ensure that the rightful govt (aka the guys that lost the election (also known as the libs)) is installed in power. A paper that currently threatens people with defamation cases over a tweet which was just reporting, or spends countless column inches defending its right to out a blogger for what turned out to be no gain what so ever… and yet…

The failure to observe these basic editorial principles is at the heart of the malaise in ABC news and current affairs.

Ah, see, it isn’t the Australian that it being biased, one eyed and focused on one goal, it is the ABC. See the ABC and News Limited are “competing” in the same space. By competing I mean, that the ABC produces balanced journalism, which is accountable through the Govt, has detailed reporting of balance. An organization that has on countless numbers of times been proven to be balanced, to the point they are giving more creditably to for example non scientists with climate change.

Next the article goes on to name three ABC “personalities”, but wait, why isn’t the author of this article placing his (a presumption I know) name to this article. Oh wait, turns out.. “we also know that all three share this newspaper’s distaste for middle-class welfare.” So what, you are upset they agree with you…..

But moving on…

Under Mark Scott’s leadership, the ABC no longer aspires to be“Your ABC”, the slogan it adopted on Australia Day 1997 to launch its now familiar wave-form logo.

Couple of facts, sure it is the Australian and facts should never get in the way of a good rant, but firstly, the “your abc” was a campaign for branding the ABC, try looking it up. Yes it was very popular, and certainly I prefer it to the current “think entertainment etc” branding. But that aside, if the Australian bothered to say for example look up the wikipedia entry, or even the ABC website they would find out that funny “wave-form logo” dates from 1965. But moving on…

A sly coup by a coterie of like-minded, inner-city staff has commandeered the ABC’s transmitters and stipend to broadcast almost exclusively to the vocal minority who share their prejudices.

What…. sorry, a broad statement, that contains no fact, oh wait, it is the Australian, facts are not required, sorry my bad.

Next we have a whole par about a history lesson

The ABC was established 79 years ago on the democratic, liberal principles of Lord John Reith, the BBC’s first managing director, who believed that a government-funded wireless service should be a companion atthe hearth of both rich and poor.

Yes, which also seems to say, hey ABC, stick to radio cause that is all you were founded to do, and don’t dare innovate or move with the times. Certainly don’t do things like move into Social Media, offer on demand streaming of your tv stations, a catch up service like Iview and encourage open discussion around topics with The Drum.

But moving on from that ranty para…..

Public broadcasters should not be discouraged from specialised programming. Ah but if they ABC dares offer something to a limited audience, the Australian will talk about a waste of tax payers money on some small minority group. So which is it you want?

Of course here is where they go into a long and detail explanation abou thow the ABC didn’t cover the death of bin Laden live. It is ofno surprise that in over looking a few facts which don’t fit their narrative they get the strong wrong. Facts that get in way like say, it was carried live on the 24 hour new service. Carried live on local radio around the country. You know in the middle of the day when people are at work, not in front of a tv. Sure ABC 1 didn’t jump on the ball, but to say the ABC didn’t cover it live is an out and out lie. Via local radio, news radio, and ABC 24, streaming on the web and constant updates on the website, the coverage reach more of the population of Australia in real time than a newspaper ever would or could. But no, the Australian says “If someone in the ABC’s control room decided to flick the switch, albeit belatedly, to the Qatar-based al-Jazeera for the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, something would be going very badly wrong. Yet that is precisely what occurred earlier this month..” I was watching ABC 24 on the day, at 12:30 they pulled normal programming waiting for the press conf to start. A press conference which still at 12:30pm was conjecture to what it contained. The ABC jumped to al-Jazeera to fill time waiting for Obama to talk, that was all. But hey, lets rewrite history to suit our own ends the Australian is.

And a few more ranting paras go here, well that is what the Australian has done, no need for logic for facts, just rant a while and throw in the odd personal attack. Remember in journalism you have to play the man, not the ball as it were.

Instead of sustaining civil society it sustains itself as a permanent, moral-political oppositional force, with its journalists at the mercy of favoured lobby groups and activists.

I’m fairly sure the Australian is talking about themselves again. This behavior is commonly referred to as projection, where you blame someone else for your own ills.

I’ll finish with this… via the Australian

If Chris Mitchell, cannot pull his staff into line, the national paper will wither on the vine. If journalists at the Australian are to lift their standards by learning to ask themselves where the real facts fall and how the mainstream will be effected, they need to know that, when the phone rings, it could well be the managing director or another senior editor on the line asking: “Why?”

You may have guess that the bits not in italic are mine, but the argument stands just as strong, only by changing one MD/Editors name and the name of the organisation

For those that want to read the original article go here but if you want to comment or engage in conversation, don’t go to this article, cause they wont allow it.