Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't give him your money

The ABC online reports:

"A group of prominent Australians, including swimming champion Ian Thorpe and Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson, has taken out advertisements in a national newspaper calling on the Federal Government to stop moves to acquire control of town camps in Alice Springs.

The Government has urged the Tangentyere Council, which manages 16 of the town camps, to sign a lease in exchange for $100 million in funding for housing and infrastructure.

The council yesterday agreed to sign the lease, just days before the Government's deadline for compulsory acquisition.

Today's advertisement, headlined "Stop the Blackmail - Keep Aboriginal Housing in Aboriginal Hands", is published in the The Australian newspaper.

"We, concerned citizens, call on the federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, to immediately end moves to compulsorily acquire the Alice Springs town camps, represented by Tangentyere Council," it states.

"Tangentyere Council is a democratic organisation that has been the only service provider to the town camps since their inception."

It concludes:

"We stand behind Tangentyere Council's refusal to capitulate in the face of racial discrimination.

"All Australians will be diminished if the compulsory acquisition proceeds."

Other names and organisations listed on the advertisement include lawyer George Newhouse and the CFMEU...."

We've explained many times before, why engaging and advertising with News Ltd. is problematic.

We support this campaign to keep aboriginal housing in aboriginal hands. However, it is extremely disappointing that these activists (especially given their dollars, political clout and popularity in the Australian community) have chosen a Rupert Murdoch publication to place their advertisement.

You could focus on any other medium (such as billboards, independent publications - even APN or Fairfax press - at least they are Australian owned) and reach more Australians.

News Ltd. is a company that has done inestimable wilful damage to democracy, journalism, reconciliation and the environment in Australia and throughout the world.

If you absolutely insisted that you need to run your advertisement in the Murdoch press, they should pay you for lending them credibility they do not deserve.

PS The corporate media is not your friend. Their job is to acquire as many eyeballs as possible and deliver propaganda. So if you are outraged by the Sandilands business, write a letter to ACMA or your political representative. Commenting on corporate media blogs is futile.

And on this topic, when is the PM going to express his outrage about this pathetic publicity stunt?

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