Monday, 13 January 2020

The media must take more responsibility

for the way they behave.
Perhaps it is partly an "over the summer" thing here in Downunder but our media has been behaving badly lately. It might even be said that they have been behaving irresponsibly. 
Some of the "information" they have been disseminating is inaccurate. There is nothing surprising in that. It happens all the time. It isn't always easy to get the right information.
But there is a difference between that and deliberately misinforming people or manipulating something so that it tells a different story. Yes, many of you in Downunder (and elsewhere) will remember the "not my Prime Minister" clip - a clip which was deliberately shortened in order to put the Prime Minister in a bad light.  It was repeated thousands of times in  both social media and the mainstream. There are still many people out there who believe that the female firefighter who uttered the words was spurning the Prime Minister when all she was doing was pointing out that she was not a citizen of Downunder and her Prime Minister was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 
This sort of behaviour on the part of the media is dangerous. The mainstream media has a heavy responsibility to be fair and accurate and that responsibility only grows heavier as more and more people use social media as a source of "news". 
I had a comment "rejected" by a mainstream newspaper yesterday. I queried the rejection. The response was "it was critical of this paper".  Yes, it was - but I had put it very, very carefully and I later had an email saying, "Cat, we deserved it but we can't publish it."
It seems the media must not be questioned.
Is there bias out there? Yes, possibly there is. That is of concern but it is not surprising. What is of far more concern is the failure to tell people what is really going on and what the consequences of some actions will be.
There have been demands for a "Royal Commission" into the latest fires. There have been previous Royal Commissions. It is unlikely that another one will produce anything new that couldn't be discovered elsewhere in the reports which will be written. But it suits the opponents of the government to see one called. They have been demanding it but they will also condemn it as a waste of money and they will use it for their own political purposes.  It is all part of the political game.
The problem is that it isn't going to solve any problems. The people demanding "action on climate change" and saying "reduce emissions now" aren't really telling us how to take action or what the consequences will be. They are merely saying "renewable energy" over and over again. Renewable energy alone won't solve the problem - indeed it creates other problems. 
The media is not raising all the many and complex issues surrounding this and other problems - such as how the issue of the world's refugees might be handled. They are simply repeating the demands that "something be done".
The media needs to take more responsibility and work a lot harder to inform people.


jeanfromcornwall said...

Very off topic - our upover evening news had a piece about the fires, and there was a brief clip of a pair of your magpies. What smart birds they are and what a pleasant noise they make.

catdownunder said...

They are smart! They can also "dive bomb" you and do serious damage! There is a lovely poem by Judith Wright about them - and their "song". (I am not breaching copyright by sharing this.)

Along the road the magpies walk
with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white.

They look like certain gentlemen
who seem most nonchalant and wise
until their meal is served — and then
what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes!

But not one man that I have heard
throws back his head in such a song
of grace and praise — no man nor bird.
Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.