For the sake of the nation, the media should do its job

If you’re a reader of Fairfax newspapers, this is what you woke up to today:

‘It is time for Julia Gillard to stand aside as leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, as Prime Minister of Australia, so that vigorous, policy-driven democratic debate can flourish once again. Ms Gillard should do so in the interests of the Labor Party, in the interests of the nation and, most importantly, in the interests of democracy.’

No, really.

You’d expect to read something this pompous from the likes of Andrew Bolt or Gerard Henderson, both of whom are known for their grandiose language and outrageous sentiment. But from The Age? Offered not as one journalist’s opinion, but as the endorsed view of the entire newspaper?

It gets worse.

Assuring us that the paper ‘does not advocate this lightly,’ the editorial went on to say:

‘The Age’s overriding concern is that, under Ms Gillard’s leadership, the Labor Party’s message about its future policies and vision for Australia is not getting through to the electorate. Our fear is that if there is no change in Labor leadership before the September 14 election, voters will be denied a proper contest of ideas and policies – and that would be a travesty for the democratic process.’ (my italics)

It’s not necessary to quote most of the rest. Voters are ‘distracted’ by Labor leadership tensions. The electorate is ‘despairing’ of internal party tensions. Australia deserves a government that can clearly lay out its plans and policies. Oh, and here I will quote:

‘Mr Abbott is being allowed to run almost entirely unchallenged with his preposterous claim that a Coalition government would “stop the boats”, in part by turning back the pathetic trail of rickety vessels laden with asylum seekers’

It’s all in the interests of democracy, you understand. It would be a terrible thing if the Coalition gained control of both Houses, and Labor was unable to step up in Opposition to hold them to account. For all these reasons, the editorial gravely tells us, Prime Minister Julia Gillard should resign.

The arrogance and blinding irony in this editorial are unbelievable.

The Age apparently wants its readers to see it as a victim, shaking its head sorrowfully. ‘We would give you substantial policy debate. We want to discuss real issues, and get to the heart of things. If only, if only, we could do that. It’s not our fault. It’s all because of Gillard. If she was gone, everything would be better’.

Back up a step or two there. I have a few questions for you, Fairfax. And for the rest of the media.

At what point did Gillard hold a gun to your metaphorical heads and force you to write endless, speculative op-eds about the Labor leadership?

At what point did Gillard, or any of her Ministers, refuse to talk about policy?

At what point did Gillard put you in a position where you were ‘unable’ to challenge Tony Abbott on – well, anything, really?

For that matter, since when has the Federal Government had any control over your editorial standards or content? (With the exception of the ABC – and even then, the government can’t prevent coverage of issues.)

If the Australian people aren’t informed about policy, media, whose fault is that? The answer is very simple: yours. Every time you choose to give space to yet another tired op-ed that attempts to convince your readers that a leadership challenge will happen any moment now, that’s one less article about policy, or legislation before the house, or even – heaven forbid – question why we’re still being polled about whether we’d prefer Malcolm Turnbull to Tony Abbott as leader.

Forget the op-eds for a moment. What about the interviews, especially on television? There’s your chance to get some real back-and-forth going on policy. Get some Labor politicians in the studio with you, and make them answer the hard questions. There’s your ‘ideas and policies’ right there.

Except that’s not what happens. It’s practically formulaic by now. The script goes something like this: interviewer asks a question about the leadership; Labor interviewee answers and then tries to move on to policy; interviewer persists in asking the same leadership questions, ignoring anything else the interviewee has to say.

Here’s a particularly egregious example – click through to 15:50 minutes. Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade, was Leigh Sales’ guest on ABC 730 last Thursday. Emerson did not avoid the initial questions about leadership. When he attempted to move on to talking about policy, however, Sales repeatedly interrupted him with what amounted to variations on the Rudd/Gillard theme. Even as this was occurring, Sales asked why Labor couldn’t get its message out.

Emerson, rightly, pointed out that he was trying to do so.

And it’s in this atmosphere that Fairfax publishes its faux-reluctant editorial, blaming the Prime Minister for ‘distracting’ the Australian people.

Breaking news, Fairfax: if we’re distracted, it’s not because of the Prime Minister. It’s because what we see and read, day after day, is what you and News Limited want to serve up to us.

Try this for an experiment. See if you can get through one interview without mentioning Kevin Rudd, or ‘leadership tensions’. See if you can actually write one op-ed that is entirely focused on policy. Contrary to what you’d have us believe, there’s plenty out there – at least on the Labor side. You might ask the Coalition about their lack of policy while you’re at it.

But – to coin an unmistakably Australian phrase – don’t come the raw prawn with us. Don’t claim you have nothing to write about. Don’t claim the Prime Minister possesses some sort of press-gagging superpower.

If the lack of policy debate in this country is what truly concerns you – then start one.

For the sake of the nation, indeed.

UPDATE: After the incredible amount of responses to this post (and the debates that are still going), I thought that a follow-up post was needed. We can start the policy debate.

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178 Responses to For the sake of the nation, the media should do its job

  1. The traditional Hollywood studios can no longer specify just whatthe movie-going public want or can get as they would during the past. If you happen to add to that distribution on the Internet and, news reports, websites online, from rumor to complete movies. It’s really a brand-new world. A lot of it great, some not.

  2. […] to claim otherwise is a bald-faced lie. Today’s headline, though, goes one step beyond even Fairfax’s pathetic bleat that under Gillard’s leadership, it was impossible for the media to have a policy-driven […]

  3. Greetings! I’ve been reading your web site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

  4. […] bemoans the fact that they are “forced to report on leadership spills” remind them that it is their job to ask the questions. It is very hard to discuss caucus machinations when asked “what is the minister’s […]

  5. Barbara Smith says:

    Hear hear, hear hear. Since WHEN is it the right of newspapers to call for a throwing over of the incumbent Prime Minister?? Outrageous. And the Public have been SICK to death of the media’s one track questioning over leadership speculation withevery single interview or Op-ed.
    now that Rudd is in, show some journalistic skills and asks RANGE of questions from all politicians. Journalists have played an unforgivable role in creating chaos and mayhem in this country, rather than following up informative stories and properly exploring issues of the day.
    Go back to your proper journalistic standards. Lift your game. Be a newspaper worthy of reading

    • Rob Pittman says:

      Barbara, even though I am gutted by the way Julia was treated we must work to make sure Labor is re-elected because if that man Abbott becomes PM we will have lost.

      But after ensuring Julia’s work is preserved and not pulled down by Abbott we must, men and women work harder to overcome inequality in our dubbed down Australia. Women,52% of our population do not have the same rights as men and when they break through like Julia they are attacked incessantly.

      I believe the way to do this is through people power using social media. We need to enlist all the tech savvy people to bring this to fruition.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        I agree. Please note that former PM John Howard is now assisting Tony Abbott with his campaign. The conservatives really want the power through having their man in the Lodge, and his attitude to women does not bother most of them.

  6. […] Check out this post by the folks at Conscience Vote, which says what I tried to say above, but much more eloquently and […]

  7. Oscar says:

    People still read this trashy RAG?

  8. Dognam says:

    I think it is media fatigue on the electorate’s part, more than public apathy that may ooze Abbott into the Lodge. The main stream media and political spin employees have used ‘pester power’ and the Iraqi Information Minister’s, remember him?, indefatigable blinkered opinion technique to erode our ability to respond, or find a place to respond, with what we see as the truth of our concerns.

  9. Reblogged this on The Offensively Unfashionable and commented:
    I first read the headline “It is time for Julia Gillard to stand aside as leader so that vigorous, policy-driven democratic debate can flourish once again” emblazoned across the front of The Age on a freshly delivered bundle of papers out the front of a newsagent, while on a 4am stumble home on Saturday morning. I was drunk enough to think walking from the CBD to Brunswick was a good idea. But I was still able to recognise the blatant hypocrisy of a newspaper blaming Gillard for the lack of intelligent debate in the media when the same newspaper ceaselessly publishes articles on every rumour of a rumour of a “leadership crisis” or “spill”. And I use the term “newspaper” loosely. The Age has let me down.

  10. Carolyn G says:

    I think the level of media reporting in this country has sunk to a very depressing all time low…… and the problem is that a large percentage of the population accept it, which is why it keeps going. In my opinion, the media has been trying to destroy the Labour Government since it’s last narrow victory. Since that time, Labour has done extraordinarily well, considering what it has had thrown at it, and I have nothing but respect for Julia Gillard, who has never stooped to the level of her opponents, various disgusting shock-jocks, and other foul-mouthed critics. Australia has some serious thinking to do about how low it is prepared to let its national mindset sink. Quite honestly, I feel ashamed to be called Australian nowadays. It’s like we have gone backwards in our intellectual evolution…. God help us! And yes, I agree with various others who say that when (not if) the LNP and Tony Abbott get re-elected in September (a foregone conclusion) we can kiss goodbye to any sense of fair and compassionate policy for the people at all for a very long time to come. And, as someone else so rightly pointed out, who would dare to put up their hand to be a women PM after what Julia has been through? The right-wing media and it’s bloated illuminati are, sadly, the strongest voice of propaganda in this country, and the larger percentage of the population are too thick to wake up to it.

  11. Heather says:

    All I can say is Wow! that was brilliant. Blindingly obvious in fact.
    I have been spitting chips for days over the Age outrage. And Carlton, and the book about Oz PMs with Abbott on the cover, the list goes on and on…

    • Marie Dunn says:

      Such a relief to hear the legions of like-minded people out there. I think this election has not yet been decided… I’m serious. In the end, it has to be a contest between policies in every electorate. The ALP has a great story to tell.

  12. […] my last post, I took aim at The Age’s contention that it was ‘impossible’ to have a policy […]

  13. jamescnorman says:

    I didn’t have a problem with The Age coverage. They are entitled to take a position and it was clearly an editorial position. We are all supposed to read the media critically anyway and form our own views, The Age were merely stating theirs….

    • GShepherd says:

      As a so-called newspaper The Age, like the notorious Australian, has become the news by actively provoking and leading the anti-Gillard pusch since she was elected leader. They are no longer objective reporters of the news. They have an agenda. They line up commentators to support their agenda.
      Consequently their so-called opinions aren’t worth a row of beans.

      • jamescnorman says:

        Your entitles to your view as well. I think the age is a great paper.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        Once upon a time newspaper was recycled for toilet paper. The Age doesn’t even need recycling it is toilet paper to start with.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Toilet paper, here we go…in China in the 1970s a story did the rounds that a poor person at Fudan University got into very serious political trouble. Toilet paper was scarce and newspapers were recycled into service. These sheets usually had the name of the subscriber on them, unfortunately for the person who had wiped his bottom on the face of the great leader.

    • Rob Pittman says:

      The media is not entitled to tell our PM what to do. True journalism is reporting fact not gossip. How about they start calling for the opposition to put up or shut up.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Dear Rob, when I was growing up the pride was in learning the facts and reporting them, knowing that there was always so much more to seek and discover. Today mainstream journos seem to derive self-esteem from trying to prove they know it all, and moreover are the experts on every subject they cover. Can we all ask them for more reporting?

  14. faithfulsceptic says:

    I have rarely read such a load of hypoctirical, self-serving tripe. Did the issue sell enough copies to recover costs? That would be the most innoceent explanation I can offer for this editorial.

    Perhaps the anonymous author of this sanctimonious drivel can provide a list of all the Age articles promoting “vigorous democratic debate of policy” published in the last 3 years or more. Does it include fair and fearless coverage of the full spectrum of parties engaging in reasoned policy debate?

    Surely, if The Age intends to do a public service as great as the one they imply, in theirshameless spruiking editorial, they can put their historical record at the fingertips of interested readers.

  15. Fed up says:

    “. question: HOW is the ALP going to implement policy when they can’t even get their act together over leadership?
    instead of pretending the issue doesn’t matter something should happen.. and that something is SACK GILLARD AS LEADER!”

    Easy, they will carry on, as up to now. This government has been a productive and has implemented much more policy than most.

    Yes,while the noise has continued, the PM has got on with good severance. She has not faltered for one second in this regard.

  16. Marie Dunn says:

    Such a refreshing artculate article. Like rain on dry ground for those of us who despair at the current mainstream media’s relentless focus on “leadership tensions: and their disregard for the responsible interrogation of policy.

  17. […] For the sake of the nation, the media should do its job. […]

  18. wando says:

    i agree with the age.
    this issue is beyond tolerable and the ALP is treating us, the people, like a joke.

    if they keep this nonsense up there will be little left left of the left!

    it IS time for julia to stand aside and if you think the press in this country is unbiased then you are mistaken.

    gillard is NOT wanted by most australians. the polling clearly demonstrates that on a daily basis.

    rudd IS popular, was elected outright by the people of australia and was usurped in a cynical power grab because he drove caucus too hard.

    “The Age apparently wants its readers to see it as a victim, shaking its head sorrowfully. ‘We would give you substantial policy debate. We want to discuss real issues, and get to the heart of things. If only, if only, we could do that. It’s not our fault. It’s all because of Gillard. If she was gone, everything would be better’.”
    – entirely true!
    a question: HOW is the ALP going to implement policy when they can’t even get their act together over leadership?
    instead of pretending the issue doesn’t matter something should happen.. and that something is SACK GILLARD AS LEADER!

    policy won’t matter a TOSS until the ALP stops having tantrums and behaving like unruly children and LISTENS to the people. bill shorten getting all petulant and sulky on radio just adds to the picture of spoilt brats in the party.

    kev as leader: “blame kev”
    gillard as leader: “blame kev”

    if you hate him that much ALP then toss him out of the party!.. oh that’s right. you can’t do that.. you’d lose government.

    funny how kev never says anything but his magic powers stop an entire party from functioning and will cost them government.

    excuse me for injecting a bit of LOGIC .. but .. if the guy’s that magical then perhaps he’s the BEST choice for PM!

    the australian people think so and the age editor and staff are people too, not robots. they’re australians seeing an APPALLING DISGRACE occurring with gillard’s tin ear to the voters.

    time to go julia.. take a MASSIVE hint!

    • wando says:

      lol..i got sucked in.. cute joke OP.

      >opinion
      >EDITORIAL

      learn them

    • Rob Pittman says:

      What idiotic comments. Truly chauvinist.

    • Loz says:

      wando. you obviously don’t read or listen.
      There is no leadership issue. Gillard is leader. As stated by countless labour pollies – over and over again.

      • steve says:

        Oh there’s an issue and the press will bloody well tell you what it is, how big it is and what they think we should all do about it.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        There is no leadership issue. The media have been trying to invent the issue for three years and Kevin Rudd’s ego is being stroked by them to keep him prattling on. This is to cover the lack of Opposition Policies. The LNP will slow the growth of the internet to attempt to lengthen their master’s influence. Ultimately it will not work but they are destroying all decency as they go.

  19. Fed up says:

    “And when the media has focused on policy, PM Gillard has at times been inept, confusing and just as conniving as her real political hero: John Howard… viz: the asylum seekers issue.”

    Give some examples of such ineptitude. I have only ever seen her front up to the media, answering all that comes her way., Always on top of every topic. Yes and in the house, a every effective performer.

    On the asylum issue, she is very clear. Unless the full Heuston Plan is put in place, we will not know whether the experts are correct.

    Nothing clearer than that.

    What is clear, that a return to the Howard’s Pacific Solution is not working.

  20. Fed up says:

    Rob, it is a fact of life in this country, women have always treated woman leaders badly.

    I do not know why, but as a young person, I did not like women bosses.

    I suspect it comes from our history, where women where isolated, force to rely on men, for everything.

    In most countries, particularly the middle east, there is a culture of women sisterhood. I really believe women have not developed sisterhood in this land.

    Yes, women can be friends, can have hens nights and other outings, but that is far from sisterhood.

    We look at the history of women leaders across the h
    globe, including two PMs across the ditch. They are not treated, as we treat firstly women Premiers and now a PM.

    Yes, gender should not even be mentioned, when judging the worth of any PM.

    We should also be able to look at issues, that concern only women, without being accused of using the gender card. In fact, it is essential we do, as it is necessarily to address what has become apparent in the last few years, sexism, along with all the other “ism”, thrive, which is not healthy for our society.

    • Rob Pittman says:

      As a mere male I hope now is the time for the sisterhood to rise up to overcome this scourge. It really needs to happen. In this day of the internet and social media it is possible,

  21. nicko says:

    The more the MSM tries to flex it muscle the more irrevevant it becomes.

    • Rob Pittman says:

      But Nicko the relevance of the media isn’t the point. The point is we as a population are about to surrender to an American Murdoch led assault on our common rights. This Parliament has been very successful and has passed lots of great legislation but it is never talked about. Policy is never talked about. The relevance of the media has only to pull the population down to the lowest common denominator and to stop them thinking. This is why the Nazis burnt books and controlled the newspaper propaganda and believe it or not that is what is happening right here right now in Australia.

  22. Bazzio101 says:

    How pathetic and small-minded political analysis and commentary has become in Oz. “Journalism” has become nothing more than over-hyped gossip-rag content written like a script from The Bold and the Beautiful.
    Ditto the two major political parties that implicitly accept hollow rhetorical drivel in place of intelligent discourse.

  23. Rod Mac says:

    Excellent piece. And while we’re at it, what role does the Age have in saying that Abbott’s policies are uncontested? Since when did they become the arbiters of democracy.

    I was outraged by that editorial on a whole number of levels. Its arrogance was simply breathtaking.

    The Age remains on the pile now. I’ll opt for the Oz or the Fin — at least they’re not pompous in advocating their views.

    • Deena Bennett says:

      Rod, I heartily agree with your comments, and the article above, but please, please, not The Oz. That opinionated rag is so well known for its vindictive, venom filled response to any who dare cast doubt and uncertainty onto its agenda.

  24. stephrogers says:

    Very well said. Finally someone has said what I have been saying all along, only better!

  25. Adrian k says:

    This upcoming election is turning into an excuse for people to behave badly – with nobody about to threaten wrist slapping, or 6 of the best..
    That’s what Anarchy is. Unfettered bad behaviour, that creeps into business practices, daily discourse, and the show-and-tell kindergarten headlines that make the media the level of playground discourse.
    Did anyone wonder what the implications would be of the main newspaper media losing most of its journos as the internet has ‘taken over’ news distribution?
    Well, you’re absorbing it everyday now. A loss of Standards.

  26. Sungod says:

    You can have years of debate on policy and still get no closer to consensus on “the facts” let alone a decision.Politics is about cutting through and governing. This PM has failed to take the country with her despite a booming economy and an unpopular opposition leader. Suck it up and take some responsibility instead apportioning blame.

    And when the media has focused on policy, PM Gillard has at times been inept, confusing and just as conniving as her real political hero: John Howard… viz: the asylum seekers issue.

    This editorial has not sprung out of some information vacuum.

  27. Fed up says:

    Rob, please do not get upset, I acknowledge men like you.

    Many are waking up to the fact, that when a man and woman share the load, they gain much.

    Sadly, there are still many that have the above view of men and womens work.

    In fact I had a father and grandfather, that never thought twice about doing the cooking, housework or care for us as kids. My father was born in 1900. He was not the norm.

    My sister and I were bought up with the belief that there was no work that one could not do. There was no thing as men or women’s work.
    That was not the norm back in the 1940″s.

    Rob, it is the men like you that give us hope.

    You lot have to get your voice heard above the small minority of those, who fear women being seen as equal.

    Keep up the good work.

    • JenniferGJ says:

      And I agree with her, Rob. Good on you, and know that many of us are raising sons to be wonderful men.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        I respect your views but am confused as to why so many women are disrespecting the PM because she is a woman. I am very confident this Parliament has been a good Parliament led by a good leader who happens to be female. However my happiness on witnessing the rise of our first female PM is now sending me into a despondent state as a lot of women are either joining the fray against a woman or just sit passively. I just simply call on women to recognise their equal rights battle, our battle, is about to go down the pan for no good reason and in fact for many bad reasons including media controlled by a traitorous American Murdoch.

        Women of Australia rise up and seize the moment or you will give it to male rulers for generations to come.

      • GShepherd says:

        The Age has been waging this campaign since the change of leadership 3 years ago and their own madcap policy change to be the news rather than report it. They managed to get Michelle Grattan and Katharine Murphy on the bandwagon and, of course had Amanda Vanstone shovelling her usual poison. Nicholle Flint needed no encouragement and Kaye Darveniza is just following the long established tradition of politicians being their own worst enemy. With Gina R. at their back it looks a fine mess.

        However, as this article and mountain of comments show, there are some very articulate women on the right side of history. Whatever traction they can get, they will have my support.

  28. ken manley says:

    Writeon!

  29. Elliot Brice says:

    Agree entirely! Well said.

  30. Fed up says:

    Women find it easy to do mens work. Many manage the work of dad, when he shoots throwout.

    Sadly there is only a handful, of brave men, that can do womens work.

    • JenniferGJ says:

      There is a challenge to men. So many men could do “womens’ work” and do it well after the usual learning curve. But how many want to disturb the status quo and leave their comfort zone? And is cleaning, and cooking daily meals, and shopping for basics, and being with children when they are ill, and losing sleep so often attractive to anyone who can get away with not doing it?

    • Rob Pittman says:

      I am sorry but that is also a sexist reply. A lot of men do shirk their duties but a lot don’t. I have fostered children that have been dropped by their mothers. We should be working for betterment not mud slinging.

      • steve says:

        ‘Women’s work’ is giving birth. After that it’s who ever wipes the shit from between their legs.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Dear Rob, that is good talking about duties. For many Australians these duties are regarded as duties of women and invisible until something goes wrong or falls down. Tony Abbott says this work is done for love! I imagine that is so he can ignore it all, especially when he is running a government which should be looking after everyone and distributing our economic abundance accordingly.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        Hi Jennifer. Yes it is a fact that two people bring a child into the world and duty should not be a chore but a love. Every couple is different and need to work things out. However I have witnessed many women who will not return to the workforce even after their children are independent or their partner offers to become Mr Mom. That is sad and goes against our country using the skills available as many of these women are very talented. I think a lot is to do with role perception and that is what is playing out with the PM. She has dared to take the top job in a masculine Australia. The sooner we turn Australia toward the more feminine the better. Except for Maggie Thatcher I would normally have said more women in power = less war. May be I am wrong but we need to test this theory.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Thank you Rob. Did you hear the speech Nicola Roxon just gave to parliament last week? You can access via the ABC for the full sixteen plus minutes. She explained how she managed to hold down that high job, with the support of many people around her. Worth listening to every word, just as I appreciate learning from what you write.

  31. […] that I thought quite telling. The first was from Conscience Vote; politics for the Human, entitled For the sake of the nation, the media should do its job. I think the quintessential quote is this […]

  32. Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking.

  33. L A Watson. says:

    Furthermore, as for “at what point did Gillard, or any of her Ministers, refuse to talk about policy?” note the June 13 article:

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/big-national-debates-sink-in-the-sands-of-ignorance-20130612-2o49g.html

    Maybe the readers of The Age – myself and you included – aren’t so innocent in the matter. Reading the whole paper – not just sensationalist editorials and op-ed’s – is the reader’s responsibility if they are going to write critiques like yours.

    • GrahamS says:

      LA Watson, perhaps you might declare your relationship to John Watson, the journalist to whom you have now referred us twice. John Watson, may be a good journalist for all I know, but he is not independent nor is he fearless. And it shows in his articles. He should leave The Age and join Alan Attwood at The Big Issue. Or join Al Jazeera and get back to proper reporting. Let him get a taste of independence and empowerment. The Age is in terminal decline, so any intelligent employee would get out now.

      • L A Watson. says:

        I’ll happily say I’m related to him, it is a case of “my Daddy said” yet it does little in the way of bias.

        The articles linked weren’t for the sake of The Age – I favour Al Jazeera myself – but instead for the reporting of fact, regardless of where it appears. To further reference the above article:

        “Today in Australia, the gaps between the facts and the premises of public debates can be vast. Arguments seem to be driven by pure, and often wild, assertion – for instance, the claim Australia could end up like Greece. Evidence, it seems, is confusing or boring or too complicated for a sound bite.”

        My relationship and supposed lack of independence seems to be of more interest than the valid argument being put forward.

      • GShepherd says:

        No, I wasn’t questioning your independence, only asking you to reveal your interest, which you have done graciously. But I do question John Watson’s independence and also that of any journalist working for a politically interventionist paper such as The Age has become and such as The Australian has always been. When your daily bread depends on pleasing a boss with a strongly vested interest, you have to watch your back. The Age has moved to a position of subservience to the wealthy and powerful. It is a mistake. They have slashed their own artery and are bleeding readers irretrievably. Can they recover? Not if the remaining quality journalist don’t take a stand. News first. Analysis second, commentary last. Opinions, only those of the readership.

    • steve says:

      Yes, you will find policy debate…but you will have to wade through piles of bullshit to find it. Not sure how the link you provided relates to the quote provided. The context of that statement is clearly related to the relentless distraction with leadership over policy. The link you supplied reminds people to look out for it. The critique doesn’t reflect ignorance on the writers behalf or have much to do with the info given.

  34. L A Watson. says:

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/political-games-create-a-culture-of-contempt-20130618-2ogkb.html

    An article published in The Age on Wednesday, 4 days prior to Saturday’s editorial.

    It is equally the media’s and society’s responsibility to maintain reporting standards.

    As for “At what point did Gillard hold a gun to your metaphorical heads and force you to write endless, speculative op-eds about the Labor leadership?” Well, no one held a metaphorical gun but when reports on the leadership receive responses such as your article and similarly sparks debate on social media…

  35. Juan De Ramos says:

    Thanks for the article, my response was less reasoned although my reaction is the same. The Age has become an irrelevant profit-driven rag subservient to the dollar not bothering to do it’s job. Only alternative is online journalism from a range of more credible sources. Julia Gillard has been fantastic! It’s the boys behind the scenes who can’t handle a really tough politician who puts good policy before personal gain.

  36. JR says:

    In case you don’t know these sort of enlightening articles can also be read on independentustralia.net and many other sites as well.

  37. Wayne Groom says:

    Your article is breathtaking in its naivety. The Labour Party has been hijacked by right wing union thugs. The broad church candidates which once invigorated the Labour Party have been eliminated, we are left with former DLP hams. Julia knifed an elected Prime Minister, with the backing of these inarticulate power hungry union hacks. She then led the party to a humiliating hung parliament. Now her morally bankrupt leadership (think Craig Thomson) has plunged the party to astonishing low poll ratings and the party is approaching decimation at next election. I am a Labour voter and I am appalled. Julia owes her position to a bunch of mafia crooks, she has never won the confidence of the people, she is a terrible leader.

    • steve says:

      Hijacked, right wing union thugs, eliminated, knifed, power hungry union hacks, humiliating, morally bankrupt, plunged, astonishing, decimation, appalled, bunch of mafia crooks, terrible leader. (You can edit this down and it makes just as much sense)

    • JenniferGJ says:

      Wayne, if you feel strongly then get up and participate. And try to be constructive and balanced, will you?

    • Marie Dunn says:

      Wayne
      If you examine the fruits of this minority government’s labours – led by PM Gillard – you will find: a solution to the 100 yr old Murray Darling problem, justice at last for people with a disability and their carers, a national broadband for everyone, and a more equitable education funding scheme that tackles the embedded disadvantage experienced by minority groups. No trace of right wing Union thugs or undue influence, just reasoned policy based on values we cherish, and navigated through a minority parliament with the help of strong independent cross benchers. I applaud this wonderful article and ask that you too actually consider policy and policy outcomes, rather than focussing on your “claims” about influence and your dislike of the strong, legitimate, gracious woman whom history will judge to have been a very effective Prime Minister.

  38. margaret says:

    The Australian Media is controlled by the vested interests of powerful business. They are not interested in fair play.They do not like any Labor Govt no matter that the ALP has policies that are a long way from any socialism…the ALP does uphold some ideals of social security etc. Julia of ocurse is hated as a woman who dares to to take on the role of PM. The endless critiicism of her hair her voice , her dress sense ,her nose, bottom et- is insulting and designed to lower her status as PM. She, as the first female PM, is suffering the mysogny of the conservative, right wing males in parliament and in the press. It is an old old struggle for equality

    • Kane says:

      This is Politics, and Margaret, the PM got into this knowing she is painted with the same stripes needed to be a politician. Just because she gets treated the same as any other running pollie, albeit the top one so deservedly even more, stop blaming misogyny or conservative right wing males (last I looked Julie Bishop is not a bloke). You want a struggle for equality then try posting your comment in one of the many other countries that actually put women down. You are the sexist one here and it is not because you are a women but because you jump on the misogyny bandwagon. The struggle for equality is alive and well in Australia because people like you need to find a reason for failure. She ousted Rudd due to opinion polls and yet she is staying. Where is the equality? There were a lot more deserving woman out there who would have been be worthy of the first female PM and yet we got her from dodgy dealings. Oh and a quick question for you, did you actually watch the infamous speech or simply what was in the media? as it was Fairfax that reported how Abbott was wreathing in his seat. Maybe you could point to the exact time thgis happened because I can not find it.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        If you can’t see that Julia is not treated as a PM but as a woman who dared to take a man’s job I pity you.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Best to ignore Kane I suggest. He reminds me of a regular writer to our local paper who wants Tony Abbott to be PM for all of the wrong reasons.

      • steve says:

        Last I looked Julia Bishop isn’t much at all in the LNP. If Abbott drops dead she won’t be filling them blokey shoes. As for other countries putting woman down…are we talking stoning them to death or raping them into marriage. If so…then Julia should just take it like a man I suppose. Wake up!

      • Kane says:

        No Jennifer, I am just sick of this whole misogyny rubbish. As for voting for Abbott – nice try to bring the argument back to Lib or Lab I just did not like Margaret’s spin.
        Steve nice rhetoric but that is all it is.
        Rob, pity all the people who continually defend the current PM simply because she is a woman. At least I give her the credit and respect to treat her like a person and don’t change my tone due to her gender.
        I best stop or suddenly because I disagree and am speaking up I will be labelled a troll.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        I do not defend Julia Gillard because she is a woman. I defend her because I think she has been able to maintain a strong leadership under trying conditions. This Parliament has been one of the most active and productive Parliaments in our history despite all the rubbish bandied about by the Opposition and media. However they have used her gender as a weapon and I am afraid they have proven what a sexist, racial and stupid population we really are.

        My points about 52% of the population are because women deserve better and if this Government is defeated more than half our population is effectively disenfranchised. I might think entirely differently if Julia was a dill but she has proven to be very effective as PM in a hung Parliament. Let’s not let bully boys like Murdoch and Co win this one.

        I am however realistic enough we are pushing the proverbial but that just means we should fight harder.

    • JenniferGJ says:

      I am enjoying this alternative media, thanks to the Conscience Vote creator. If this sort of great writing and debate continues I will have very little time left to check the mainstream media.

    • JenniferGJ says:

      Glad you are speaking up.

      • Kane says:

        Also. I have voted Lab all my voting years so when someone disagrees you should accept that some Lab voters are ashamed of Gillard and Shorten. But that is your opinion to believe that all Lab voters think alike. One reason the party is exploding.

      • Rob Pittman says:

        Kane I can see where you are coming from but Labor needs to show guts and unite against the American Murdoch and his puppet. This Parliament despite all the rubbish heaped on it has been one of the most successful in history. Are we letting them destroy our democracy, YES.

  39. david leys says:

    The labor party blames the media each time they report on leadership tensions, but the media isn’t making this up. Rudd was knifed, then he has challenged Gillard. These are facts. It is risible to blame the media for wondering if Gillard will be deposed. It is in the public interest, after all, to know if our prime minister will remain our prime minister. The fact that is an ongoing issue is the responsibility of one group only: not the media, but the labor party. Are you seriously suggesting the media should ignore the fact that there is such caucusing going on?

    • GrahamS says:

      This is the constant refrain, “Gillard knifed Rudd and deserves what she gets.”

      It’s funny how the everyday political event of changing leaders has been turned into a Shakespearean tragedy in Gillard’s case and is swallowed by so many. It permeates so many romantic minds that they can’t see past the drama to the real history.

      The real history is incompetent leadership by Rudd which was stultifying the party and the need to put it into the hands of a proven achiever. Well, she has achieved, and in spades.

      Another bit of real history: The Age, under its new leadership, has lost the plot and has become the news instead of reporting it.

      The Age is dead. Nobody I know under 40 reads it anymore.

      Vale, The Age.

    • Rob Pittman says:

      Rudd was not knifed, no more than Malcolm Turnbull. It is the media and Rudd who keep inflaming this so facts don’t get reported. Leaders of both Parties are elected by their caucus.

      I used to like Kevin Rudd but he has proved to most thinking people that he is and never was a Team player. He was given the Foreign Ministry and did and could have continued to play a great role in Government but he fed the media because of his ego. The other ego in this Parliament that can be as destructive is Tony Abbotts.

      • Mary says:

        That is correct , mud sticks and people have short memories. Kevin Rudd was not stabbed in the back,How do we know if he wasn’t warned before hand that happened. He resigned without fighting, that showed he was a weak PM. I liked Mr Rudd too but now he has shown his true colours by stlll sucking that dummy, he won’t get my vote neither will Joel Fitzgibbon in my area.

        Julia Gillard has earned another term in the Lodge with the hard work she has done for this Country.

        Did people forgive Howard for taking Australia to war?of course they did, and many lives has been lost like today. but yet we don’t hear any angry words from those who accuse Julia Gillard for taking over her party . We don’t get to hear what really went on do we?

        Tony Abbott has been the cause of all the unrest in Government for nearly three years now and yet we don’t hear a word about his policies just Visions, He hides from the media when hard questions needs to be answered,

        He will never be the Prime Minister of this Country when more truths will come out as days and weeks go by, when he will put his big foot in his mouth one way or other.

        Julia Gillard is a strong, intelligent , inspirational, and determined woman and may the people of Australia support her when she mostly needs us.
        And to the Abbott supporters please wake up to whom you are giving your supports to because he really isn’t who you think he is.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Dear Mary, I wish I were surrounded by people like you. Living in the electorate where Tony Abbott is the federal member I don’t often hear such common sense. Too many sycophantic people, and even some threatening bullies, man the polling booths on election days.

      • Kane says:

        Mary – you and people like you are the reason the Party has self destructed. You sit in your homes and preach. Get out and help the party back on its feet instead of complaining when things get bad. A weak PM – you are a disgrace and we do not want your vote.

    • Ian says:

      The issue is only ongoing david ley because the media want it to be so. Three leadership challenges, in two of which there was only one contender? They ain’t leadership challenges mate. Move on, nothing to see here.

    • steve says:

      Fairfax rub their hands to together…”Go David. That-a-boy.”
      Please entertain the idea that you may be completely mistaken by the ink on the page. Scratch the surface David. Rudd wasn’t knifed David. The media told you that. The on going issue is supplied, fueled and promoted by media. They shine a torch and everyone looks at the spotlight. The reason you think the ALP creates this problem is ….drum roll…THE MEDIA TOLD YOU THAT!

    • JenniferGJ says:

      The issue is to ask the leadership question once, each day, then move on to other matters.

  40. Valentine John TysonI says:

    Yes, a good article, but the message should not be restricted to one organ or publisher. Just this morning, on AM Agender,(Sky News) the resident journalists sent me away from the show, after they could not get off the leadership issue. So boring, and I love politics.

    • Rob Pittman says:

      I agree but that is the whole scenario with no media bothering to make their case, explain facts rather than fiction or call the Opposition for what it is, effectively a policy free zone.

  41. Pat says:

    Thank you, very well written….these tactics, this kind of bait and switch, are tried and true are happening here in New Zealand with the current Labour party’s leadership always under media scrutiny.

  42. GrahamS says:

    Who reads The Age anymore? The Age abandoned news for opinion a long time ago. In this case it has conducted a blatant anti-Gillard campaign for two years pushing forward obscure Liberal Party hacks such as Nicolle Flint as though they represent mainstream female opinion. Michelle Grattan was a central part of this until she had the sense to get out. However, she hasn’t had the guts to speak out. She has another income stream to protect now. The rest of the world recognises PM Gillard for what she has achieved in legislation and in standing up for women against the unspeakable Abbott.
    In its latest pathetic issue The Age not only demonised Gillard but emasculated Rudd and the Labor Party.
    Oh what wisdom from a once lofty, idealist newspaper.
    R.I.P.

    • JenniferGJ says:

      Michelle Grattan has been pretty good over the past years. However, WE need to ask the journos to ask the questions we want answered. They can get into habitual patterns of what they think needs to be written about, unless someone alerts them that readers want more and different issues addressed.

  43. Sue says:

    I too am bothered about the way Faifax media is reporting at the moment. The editorial features at least one “get rid of Julia” article per day. All we ask for is reasoned debate, which we don’t get from other papers. I’m not sharing this with others though – as often only the star of an article is read…

  44. ann says:

    lots of interesting opinions here, I am still trying to find out what Tony Abbott and the LNP have planned for us, if they win government,???

  45. Wendy says:

    Thank thank you thank you. Didn’t realise how hungry I was for a reasoned media voice until I read your piece. Brought me to tears!

    • Mary says:

      Hear hear, this article should be read by everyone who can vote. ,We will fight tooth and nail to do so , The Editor of the Age should stand down so should ABC Leigh Sales, her behaviour when she interviewed Craig Emerson ,was a disgrace once again when interviewing a Labor MP.. Chris Uhlmann is another one who is very bias towards Labor, anyone who has access to other media outlets everywhere should post this article. It needs to be seen. I have already posted it to the UK.media.

  46. holmesr64 says:

    Great piece, and in spite of the barracking both ways above. I wonder how many people actually read it before they took up arms- in fact you tore the media apart more than anything else! This is a serious problem within almost all political journos- they all want to MAKE the news, to BE the news. No matter who you support, it’s bloody boring!

  47. JenniferGJ says:

    What a great job you are doing, Conscience Vote. Here is what you have provoked one individual (me) to think…

    One question on the leadership at the start of an interview should be sufficient. The repetition suggests journos are as tired and stressed as the people who have been running our federal government for the past three years. After that one question, ask all the other questions about policy and what the interviewee has been doing with his or her portfolio. Otherwise the journos play into the hands of those who want to paint out all the good things the government has done for ordinary people.

  48. lmrh5 says:

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  49. Anna Mycko says:

    THANK YOU – could not agree more – at last someone is saying what I have been saying for MONTHS – OPINION POLLS are NOT headline NEWS, leadership speculation IS NOT political analysis. Millions of voters will go to this election with no grasp of the issues because tripe is all the mainstream media reports – its sickening and Australia deserves better. (and no the local newspaper didn’t print my letter protesting about this issue)

    • JenniferGJ says:

      Funny thing about letters to the editor of local papers. My local sometimes prints mine when they are short and making a simple point. However, I recently tried one which did not suit – talking about not having Sydney’s northern beaches families turn on Mosman families by insisting on a rat run through someone else’s streets. Maybe my letter was too long but I was trying to get people to stop turning on each other and instead start thinking about taking public transport more often. Any ideas on how I get that message through?

  50. Mal Content says:

    I liked it. Go Julia, Go, Go, Go!

  51. Deb says:

    Maybe the part of the solution is not to click on stories about leadership speculation. It seems that page visits influence content and outraged or disheartened people reading stories about leadership challenges, even to actively object in the comments just encourages further stories about leadership challenges.

    I’m not disagreeing with the article or trying to divert the criticisms away from the media industry to its consumers, I’m just commenting that this could be one of the drivers behind it.

  52. Honestpuck says:

    Reblogged this on Tony's Texts and commented:
    I would find it hard to put it any better. When will the Australian media stop talking about Labor leadership and start talking about the real issues facing Australia.

  53. mad says:

    I’m old, Ive seen it all before, Abbot was always an asshole ( have people forgotten ) and Julia is a great prime minister.. seriously have a look what shes really done. She makes Abbot look like a child.
    This is a brilliant time for this country. The wealth passing though Australia from all our industries is enormous.
    It should be mached by our humanity. well derrr.. its not.
    I know the fashion of public opinion is swayed by the lowest of human bitchiness in media ( Its so damn ugly to watch you have no idea ), but I don’t think I can handle another liberal in power again, backed up by a rich psychopath miner…..really….just think for a minute, please guys. Its not all about your bank account.
    The news papers are not for the people. they are bought and sold by those with a political axe to grind. Always have been.
    But they are dying. we watch the death throws and unfortunately they will take us with them.

  54. Julia says:

    Julia Rocks!

  55. TruthSayer says:

    This rant/whinge is truly hilarious. Yes, media standards in Australia leave the public wanting, yes Labor has lost the ability to convey it’s message, yes left-leaning papers are calling on Gillard to resign, but the reason for this isn’t some grand cop-out. It’s the inevitable conclusion of a failed government who spends more time focusing on itself than running the country. Why can’t journos stop mentioning Rudd? Because LABOR MP’S KEEP BRINGING HIM UP!

    For goodness sake angry person who wrote this, wake up and smell the coffee. Labor are going to die because they both their feet off and refused to cauterize the wounds The fact that you expect newspapers to be cheerleaders for a left-leaning government is laughable. I suppose it’s only outrageous when News Ltd do campaigning?

    Grow up children, Daddys coming home AHAHA

    • jane says:

      Well you can tell a barracker every time.

      Labor MP at presser, 7.5 ready for questions on policy.

      Media hack:Will Kevin Rudd challenge for the leadership?

      MP: I’m here to talk about NDIS, Gonski-name your policy Labor’s got plenty .

      Media hack: But has Kevin Rudd got the numbers?

      MP: We think Victoria is ready to sign up for Gonski……

      Media hack: Tony Abbott says the PM should resign. What do you say to that?

      Yes, Labor talks about Liealot, Rudd leadershit all the time

    • Anna Mycko says:

      looks like you bought the media spin hook line and sinker

      • TruthSayer says:

        *sigh* Look, I’ll explain this very slowly because some people here are clearly emotional that their lefty papers are finally saying what the rest of the country has said for a while now.. Labor is destroying Labor. Not Rupert, Not Gina, Not ‘media hacks’, Labor.

        The reason journos ask about the leadership speculation, is because the Labor MPs keep speaking as “unnamed labor sources” talking about the need for a new leader. Do you think this is all just created by the media? You people clearly don’t read much, only watch the abc at night waiting for the anti-Abbott stuff.

        I’m sorry you expect the media to push your agenda, they unfortunately go for whats hot at the time. Maybe if Rudd and his people stopped stirring up all this trouble? Maybe if Gillard stepped down as Simon Crean asked her to do? Maybe if they called an election now so the people can decide?

        No..better to just blame Gina when the big shock comes, because it’s coming 🙂

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Your tone is so reminiscent of certain people sitting on the front bench of the Opposition in Canberra.

    • Ian says:

      No need to be so patronising TruthSayer…. oh, sorry, I forgot: if you aren’t patronising, you’ve got nothing else to say, have you. Just keep up with the meaningless slogans and absence of analysis, mate. In true LNP style.

  56. Dragonwyst says:

    This will be the first federal election I vote in having become a citizen last year. I am appalled by the media-orchestration of the fiasco I’ve witnessed – since Gina acquired too many shares, perhaps? It’s tempting to place the responsibility at her doorstep, but she’s not alone. what has been even sadder is watching what appears to be a Labour party incapable of standing firm in the face of media onslaught. Oh for some reality! How the heck am I meant to figure out how to vote???

    • JenniferGJ says:

      What do you want? Look at the major policies required at the federal level of running this country and decide who is doing most of what you as an Australian need.

  57. Lovely spray. Most excellent.

  58. Fed up says:

    Is the party really divided. Maybe it is one bitter man, that has managed to hoodwink a handful of discontents. These discontents, exist in all parties, Three years later and constraint undermining, Rudd still has not support, to mount a challenge,.

    Yes, the party is talking. One would be amazed if it was not. But what are they talking about. Who are they blaming.

    I suspect, if it was the PM, she would have been gone long ago.

    I suspect the majority are looking for a way of stopping the noise that is mostly coming from the media.

    What amazes me, is the straighten of this guts and brave woman, that refuses to be put off her game, but continues with the job, in a calm and ordered manner.

    • ReB says:

      Maybe it’s not even one bitter man, or handful of discontents, it’s just a huge pack of extremely lazy and unimaginative journalists led from afar by one twisted old American who still has wet dreams about how he ‘made’ King Gough back in ’72.

      • Something has actually happened over the last three years – maybe more. Our journalists have degenerated into hosts on personality squares. They are drip fed venom and leaks and on and off challenges and they broadcast it like its important and true – despite the evidence. Sound and fury stuff this. Like their brains had been rewired as Entertainment Tonight spokesmodels.

        Actually it is a serious problem I think… the disintegration of the media and the rise of politics as personal struggles – like West Wing meets Dallas.. Faux News.

      • jane says:

        Spot on

  59. Fed up says:

    Maybe the media is so desperate in their desire to bring down this PM, that they are over reaching.

    Even on this article, it is acknowledge what a good job she has done.

    Crime is that media only want to talk about leadership.

    I suspect, it is not the PM the public has stopped listening to. I suspect they have stopped listening the the daily leadership drivel they hear every day on the media, in particular, our ABC.

    Could it be, we have a PM for the first time, that does not curry favour with the media in any way, Does not spend hours on that phone.

    A PM that is naive enough to believe that it is results that count, not shouting to ail and sundry, how great one is.

    I do hope she is proven correct. That the media is there to report news, opt to create it or appoint leaders.

  60. paul says:

    To the writer of the blog post, I understand where you’re coming from. I am an ALP supporter and have always been a staunch defender of Gillard; I applaud her passion and policy-based ideas, however I cannot help but agree with the Age’s editorial stance this morning.

    That the public are so dissatisfied with the Government (based on polling) even with reformist policies such as education reforms and DisabalityCare speaks volumes. Gillard is not being listened to; people are switching off when she opens her mouth. Somewhere along the line, Swan and Gillard lost their propensity to tell a policy story (maybe they never had it): to explain to the lay man – in the style of great Labor leaders like Whitlam – how a policy will affect them, and benefit them.

    When no-one is listening (except a few of us), how do you expect our Nation to engage in serious discussion in the election campaign? The only way the electorate will consider Labor’s policies is if there is a new voice delivering them.

    A party can’t be as divided as the ALP is currently and expect to be considered a threat to the Coalition’s chances in September.

    I feel horrible in saying this, but the party I love must unite behind a man who – however disgusting his past actions have been – has an inherent ability to lead our party, and engage the people.

    • JenniferGJ says:

      Paul, the problem is not down to an individual Labor leader. Rudd is not more likely to defeat these people, who want an end to a Labor government supported by Independents and others, than the current PM. Those determined to get power are playing on peoples’ lack of comfort with female leadership, but would stick the knife in with even more ferocity if Labor changed leaders right now.

      • Anthony L says:

        Are you really so naive to believe that people don’t like Gillard simply because she’s a woman? Or do you think so little of the Australian people? She is simply a bad prime minister with a party in shambles and terrible policy, it has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her performance PM.

      • Pg M says:

        Anthony L, I know people will not vote her because she is a women. When you hear comments like, “ban women from politics”, or “I ban my wife from discussing politics”, or when you see the double standards it is clearly obvious, like in your face obvious. If people deny it then they are blind. It is rampant and incited by Abbott. Before Howard told us to hate Muslims we had no issue with them but overnight they were enemy number one. Yet he never said a racist thing. If people do not understand human behaviour and how it is influenced by fear maybe they should stay out of the debate.

    • Nicole says:

      The problem is there is no real leaders in any of political parties.None of them really care about the average Australian who works hard.They only care about their super when they retire.Gillard is not respected not because she is a woman but because respect is earned.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Are you active locally or through your own networks? We can all talk to each other and firmly state our views. And what would you ideally like in a leader? Why not imagine yourself, or someone you like and admire, in the job? What characteristics and qualities do we want and need?

      • Rob Pittman says:

        I am not surprised at the negative comments about Julia as they come because of several reasons: Ingrained but unrecognized sexism even from women, a very powerful and all encompassing media program of undermining Labor and women as well as Tony Abbott’s ability to lie with short one liners. It takes more intelligence to both explain and to absorb more reasoned statements and people are too lazy and self interested these days. A great example is blaming Federal Labor for choices States have made.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Yes and yes and yes again.

    • Lorraine says:

      Who says people are not listening to PMJG. THE MEDIA. You have been hoodwinked by the MSM again. TA and RUDD plan A and plan B by Murdoch and Rinehart as well by Catholic George Pell. Murdoch gains NBN, Rinehart, mining and overseas workers and Pell water downed abuse enquiry. Stop, look and listen to see behind scenes.

    • Ian says:

      paul your naivety is staggering. Just go to the Independent Australia website and read about leigh salesperson and her ‘interview’ with Emerson. That’ll give you some perspective on what the media is doing to this country.

      • Mary says:

        Yes Go there, it’s the best – IA publishes the truth , true facts , you should subscribe to it , they already have thousands of people reading what they should know about.

        Take the Ashby gate. all the facts are there. Tony Abbott no doubt had something to do with that. he knows all about the law it seems, he gets away all the time from being found guilty.

        Who could support a priest by giving him a glowing character report after he abused a 14years old boy , Tony Abbott did.

  61. davehpt says:

    excellent article. Well said.

  62. g2-5bba245eb6db01d36e28de6648a6336a says:

    Letter sent to the editor of the Age
    ======================================

    Blaming Julia Gillard for the media beat-up of what we are constantly being told is Labor disunity and an imminent leadership challenge by Kevin Rudd or his supporters seems very close to blaming the victim for what has been done to them by others.

    For months now we have had a media fueled frenzy of discussion and debate about this issue while few if any journalists have been willing to ask the hard questions that people need to know about on the policies and policy funding proposed by the various parties as we come up to the election.

    When Labor members are interviewed they are repeatedly hammered by questions of leadership and their efforts to speak on policy issues are ignored, hard questions for the opposition about their policies and funding are almost nonexistent and journalists accept their glib 30 second sound-bites without question or detail.

    I imagine it must be embarrassing for most decent journalists to be stuck writing the same old stories about the same old issues over and over again, perhaps it is not Gillard’s fault that policy is not being debated and discussed in the media, perhaps it is the fault of journalists who are not doing their jobs or editors who have been muzzled and told to ignore what is important and to concentrate on destabilizing and removing as you describe her “a very effective leader”. Even your editor feels the need to write excuses for his opinions.

    Rather than flogging a dead horse how about The Age sets the example and you send your journalists out to get hard interviews on policy and costings from politicians?
    Ask for serious interviews with those who want to lead our country, including Tony Abbott and highlight their unwillingness to answer hard and serious questions if they do not oblige .

    Doug Steley

    • jane says:

      Agree absolutely. Why doesn’t the msm ever bother to report policies? The government has had presser after presser announcing policies & what does the msm do-more leadershit lies.

      You people have an agenda set by Murdoch, Rinehart & the Liars Party, so get off your fat behinds and actually do your job instead of taking orders from a corrupt criminal.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        OK Jane, leaving establishment journos with their fears of likely job loss, we can get up and speak up ourselves just as we are doing here….love you all…

      • Marcus says:

        Maybe because every time a question on policy gets asked it is avoided?

        Who is the corrupt criminal you mention?

  63. Chris N says:

    Methinks this sort of editorial is another cunning way, the right-wing macho media continues its tireless destabilising attack on the current Federal Government, and the PM in particular, wrapped up in a plea for democracy to prevail… ohhh pleeeease. What kind of fools does this failing rag take us for?

  64. JenniferGJ says:

    The writer of this site, and the blogger Michelle, are inspiring. Thank you and please never give up.

  65. Michelle says:

    The 7.30 interview by Leigh Sales prompted me to write this letter: http://mhsts.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/dear-leigh-sales.html

    • Kay says:

      Michelle, I also contacted the 7.30 Report about the Craig Emersen interview, echoing the same sentiments, but not as eloquently as you. Well done!

  66. Jezza says:

    I Think the media leaves a lot to be desired for some reason why I don’t know but they all seem to be pro liberal & unless they are blind this country will suffer greatly under an LNP government …

    • JohnB says:

      Your evidence for what we’d suffer under an LNP government ?

      Or is just more Labor bullsh!t !

      You know, of course, that The Age’s comments on urging Gillard to stand aside is actually demonstrating PRO Labor bias, because all the polling shows, rightly or wrongly, that Rudd would be more popular.

      It’s nothing to do with sexism, despite what Gillard would love us to believe, but it’s all about competence and communication.

  67. Robyn Walker says:

    Touché! Media in Fiji at least has newsworthy articles & from a supposedly third world country……..shameful Fairfax!

  68. Annoyed with the media says:

    As the article points out, Labor policies cannot get out there, because the media won’t let them.

    • Frank Allen says:

      That is just a pathetic excuse. The media have been publishing Labors policies like Gonski and the national health changes to cover everyone, and endorsed it with positive articals. I can’t think of any policies that copped bad press over the last year. What the media are critisising now is a government fighting among themselves.

      • Brucey says:

        I think you might have answered your own question Frank , you’re right the policies are good ones ,but for some unknown reason all debate and media noise is on destabilising the leadership, with no focus on policy or the aims, policies and aspirations of the alternative Govt. Abbotts grasp on his leadership is quite tenuous but no one’s exploring this. It would be foolish to suggest anything conspiratorial , but it certainly seems as though every mainstream journo is as one as to what the future holds , and almost every question they put centres around or is related to a possible K Rudd challenge and not to the questions that might ultimately allow voters to make an informed choice come Sep 14

      • JenniferGJ says:

        The Conscience Vote and other good bloggers are doing us all a great service. We can keep our spirits up talking to each other, and not let the negative media distract us from getting on with our lives and deciding what we need. I get to vote.

      • Ian says:

        Gee, Frank, you mean to say the policies are so good they’re accepted without question by the electorate. Well that’s a step in the right direction isn’t it?

  69. xiaoecho says:

    ‘The MSM’ truly do not live in the same Australia as their dwindling readership. They consider themselves ‘insiders’ writing by and for the political class, who political journalists now consider themselves part of. Fairfax are shortly to disappear up their own bum behind a paywall as did The Australian. The most important part of Democracy, the Fourth Estate had disappeared and because of it Australians are going to the ballott box to vote for just who Murdoch wants them too. The big end of town has bought the Fourth Estate. That is all. ……It is up to us to look to the internet now.

  70. JenniferGJ says:

    2013.

  71. JenniferGJ says:

    Yes, I hear you loud and clear. What can we do to combat this? I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the media practices of the Peoples’ Republic of China in the 1960s and 1970s. The lack of diversity and factually based, issues based writing in our mainstream Australian media in 2103 does not look much different. Is there a quiet collusion, between those who own and run our mainstream media, to shut out diverse and intelligent voices?

    • rob pittman says:

      Yes Jennifer there is and you are correct. If Julia Gillard’s Government is not voted back in what intelligent woman will ever want to aspire to be PM again. This is galling, sexist and destructive.

      • JenniferGJ says:

        Rob, thank you. However, we will not give in or give up. JG is merely leading a group of largely well-intentioned reformers. So too was Kevin Rudd, until his human limits were reached and breached. The most powerful foe is not within Labor ranks.

      • krudman says:

        Never let a women do a mans job..

      • Rob Pittman says:

        Why? A sexist reply if ever I saw one but if you are so certain of your case please explain it.

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