The Following was posted by Jenauthor over on Pollbludger:
An open letter to the Australian Political Press Gallery:
Credibility and respect comes from doing a good job right, and with integrity. You are the conduit between our members of parliament and the people who ELECTED them.
As a conduit it is encumbent upon you to report with impartiality and not be seduced to favour the interests of sections of the community that have the resources to drive the narrative for their own benefit. That is the job of advertisers, not journalists or editors.
This farcical encouragement of politicians’ game-playing, the reporting of their untruths without prior research, and the general dumbing down of the electorates’ information is a serious breach of the role you are supposed to fulfill.
Alternately, the deliberate ignoring of, or twisting of, any favourable news shows willful negligence and deliberate partisanship.
You answer my contentions with ‘you get what you ask for’ but I beg to differ. You have the power to influence large numbers of the public. A person buying the newspaper for its sport coverage is NOT automatically endorsing of that paper’s current affairs coverage. Indeed, by collating a newspaper into a single whole, a news organisation prevents its audience from such discernment.
Many Australians are fleeing to online media and ‘new’ media out of dissatisfaction. If you want to have ANY hope of keeping you jobs in the long term, it might be time to be a bit more honest with yourselves and the public who SHOULD have the confidence to rely on your coverage.
Twelve years of a Howard govt. which slowly but surely pushed every aspect of this country toward the ‘right’ has developed an acceptance of right-wing thinking as being the norm. This is now perceived as ‘middle ground’. If you cannot step back and see how partial you have become, then the occupation of journalist in this country is lost. Even the former bastion of impartiality, the ABC has succumbed to unresearched tabloidism.
If this self assessment and correction cannot be done, then we as a nation seriously need to think about renaming our publication/programs and barring them from using the term “News” at all. As it stands, today’s publications and broadcasts really need to be labelled “opinion”.