Sunday, August 30, 2009

When Murdoch Says News Should Be Paid For....

Murdoch's "Gold Coast Bulletin" is a 'sponsor' of the 'World Rally Championship' Rally in the Tweed Valley. If you're still wet from coming down in the last shower you may be surprised to know that Murdoch's next paper just South of the Gold Coast, the 'Tweed Sun', has been not only loudly shilling the Rally, but also making outrageously unjournalistic claims about crazy, radical, loony, fun-hating, dangerous 'greeny' types who oppose the Rally in their quiet region.

At the top of recent editions there has been coloured advertising counting down the weeks to the rally. Wow! How Exciting!

The Paper's headline comes in just below that. August 20 was: "Organisers slam 'guerilla tactics' RALLY PESTS". Good old Ed Earl shamelessly spews his shillery over onto page 3 (how apt for a Murdoch stenographer!), and it turns out that the 'rally boss' calls something 'guerilla tactics'. Of course he 'slams' those tactics, like you do.

Ed Earl then eventually makes the serious claim that the No Rally Group "has threatened dangerous protests". No evidence for this or the earlier assertions is given, but we are able to report that "some think these allegations are the usual fabricated Murdoch bullshit". Of course those thoughts are ours, Ed never tells us where his claims came from.

So, this week ("Just 1 Week To Go WRC Pure Excitement") has the headline: "No Rally group rejects radical protest plans MADNESS".

In this piece of pure Murdochian confection Ed can now report that the 'No Rally' group "has distanced itself from extremists" planning extreme things about which Ed still can't provide any evidence.

In the story, Ed states as fact in the first paragraph: "PROTEST pests are planning extreme measures to disrupt the WRC Rally...", shit man! If you have evidence of that you should call the cops, there are laws against 'extreme' things. Ohhh, you still don't have any evidence beyond your brief to demonise citizens who are a bit worried about having a car race in their front yards? Well, this is a job for a Murdoch shill!

We won't name the two men Ed names because they could probably sue him and we don't want to distract them. Ed attributes a 'vow', 'suggestion that fires be lit', 'claim', boycott' and 'target' to various named and unnamed people all without a single quote.

Pure Murdoch. Put that on your tomatoes and watch them bloom!

Thanks, Ed.

PS- Down that way there is a REAL newspaper called 'The Echo'. Picked up this week's copy which manages to be balanced in its reporting about people looking forward to the excitement of a car Rally and people not happy about the Rally and how it will affect them and the environment. They even carried some 'anti' and 'pro' car ads. As far as we know, worlds did not collide and civilisation did not collapse as a result of this balanced journalism.

Please, please, please Murdoch, take your papers behind a 'pay-wall' and charge a very high price. Please!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not on your nelly

This is the equivalent of paying to get junk mail delivered.

I like it both ways

Sky TV's David Speers asks World Vision CEO Tim Costello a question about climate change at the National Press Club today

As we said the other day, in Murdoch world "an "extreme environmentalist" is someone who cares about the environment, as opposed to someone who falls for corporate and government greenwashing and has their head up their arse."

Why doesn't the press gallery erupt into laughter when a Murdoch property asks a question about climate change?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ask Tony

Tony Koch is the Chief Reporter in Queensland for 'The Australian'.

'The Australian' has made its position clear on a Bill of Rights.

If you are going to this forum, ask Tony how he qualifies to participate in the discussion:

Have your say : a second chance to lobby for Fitzgerald’s reforms

“is Everything at a Fair Price?” a forum to debate
Queensland’s Integrity & Accountability

Wednesday 2 September at the Irish Club
175 Elizabeth St CBD (between Albert & Edward Sts)
Forum starts 6pm and ends by 8.30pm

Moderator Stephen Keim will keep all speakers accountable & draw conclusions of integrity. Andrew Sinclair will set the pre- & post-Fitzgerald account straight, unravel “free-market” transactions at today’s interfaces of politicians, public & private sector, police & judiciary. GetUp’s campaign tots up the damages of unconstrained donations & payments to political parties & politicians. Panelists will unbend & debate the issues. Journalist Tony Koch, numerously awarded for his insights into unaccountable iniquity upon those disadvantaged & marginalized, will trade stories at fair value. Brendan Ryan, criminal defence lawyer will talk of a different underclass. Jo Bragg, Environmental Defenders Officer, observes parallels of degradation of natural & social environments, & political ones. A brave property developer is offered right of reply, so more may be revealed about the licence to operate. Linda Lavarch will try to explain Bills (of rights) & Acts (of responsibility) V Law & Order. Stephen Stockwell, GU’s guru for Public Culture & Ideas (& timely cane toads) will try to salvage our collective integrity by accounting for Queensland’s tolerance of bent things.

It’s free for all. For numbers, please RSVP if attending to

Amnesty International Australia; GetUp; Environmental Defenders Office; Just Peace Qld; Just Rights Qld; Qld Conservation; Qld Council for Civil Liberties; Qld Council of Social Service; encourage your participation. The views and opinions of the speakers are totally independent of these organizations.

A 'Beautiful Day' will be when you get Murdoch off my ABC

Dear ABC Coast FM,

Why did Annie Gaffney have to interview the 'Courier-Mail's' Diane Butler this morning?

If I cared what Diane Butler had to say (which I don't), I would read the 'Courier-Mail'.

Is there is no-one else you could interview in South East Queensland about Australian television?

Doesn't Murdoch own enough of the means of discourse in this world already without getting his properties a run on the only place where we might hear other views?


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Not long now!!!

Environmental solutions to monomedia pollution

Mumbrella reports [24/8/09]:

"The end of last week saw further upheavals for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in London and the US.

In a move that will raise questions over News Ltd’s commitment to its Australian freesheet mX, it announced its intention to close its loss-making The London Paper after just under three years..."

This anti-competitive loss maker surely cannot last much longer in Australia?

In the meantime, don't forget our suggestions!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ed gets busy on the Tweed

Citizens of the Tweed are fortunate to have more than one news publication. As well as 'The Sun', they have the 'Tweed Shire Echo' and the 'Tweed Daily News'.

The other day we explored News Ltd.'s environmental credentials.

Result? "Abysmal"!

The extremely keen Ed Earl is like a Murdoch whirlwind, getting about spreading the Murdoch muck as efficiently as the best fertiliser spreader rural money can buy. He is as versatile as a multi-tool attachment. 'Anti-Islamofascist' fearmongering here, 'Anti-Enviro-Fascist' muckchucking there, busy little man he is.

Anyway, his latest effort is a very creditable job suggesting that people who are not all that keen on a highspeed hoon-fest on their local roads are envirofascists who will readily turn to murder and terrorism. At least, that's the way it reads.

This shit cannot be learned at university, can it? Is this what all those Journalism lecturers are telling the students they must do in order to make a quid?

The point is. If you only have a Murdoch paper in your town, you really need another one!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What is an "extreme environmentalist"?

News Ltd's '1 Degree' (as in "one degree") campaign

To News Ltd., an "extreme environmentalist" is someone who cares about the environment, as opposed to someone who falls for corporate and government greenwashing and has their head up their arse.

As in today's [17/8/09] the 'Gold Coast Bulletin' report on the upcoming REPCO rally:

"REPCO Rally Australia organisers are worried protesters will put themselves, spectators and competitors at risk by trying to stop the event.

The No Rally Group has confirmed they will protest at the September 3-6 event, round 10 of the 2009 World Rally Championship, but would not give any details about what they are planning to do.

"We're considering a range of options to make our view known," said group president Michael McNamara.

"We're keen to have peaceful protests where we make the view of residents known."

It has been reported a protest group, called 7th Generation, will use 'passive obstruction' tactics to stall the rally and will only move when directed by police.

It is believed the group will target the service park in Kingscliff and certain stages along the rally route in Tweed and Kyogle shires.

The Bulletin has heard rumours extreme environmentalists living along the rally route will roll boulders on to the course and form human blockades to try and stop the event..."

Last year, News Ltd. set out to be carbon neutral by 2010 - they even won an EPA award for environmental leadership for this obvious greenwashing!

Then Rupert presented the first of his ABC Boyer lectures and dropped an absolute clanger, earnestly describing his commitment to the issue of climate change by citing his corporation's "I Degree" (as in eye'd agree) initiative. Shortly thereafter, all "1 Degree" publicity vanished from the on-line and paper pages of his publications.

"1 Degree" returned a few months ago, but it's been repackaged with a not so subtle change. Rather than the corporation aiming to be carbon neutral by 2010, the message is now:

"Numbers add up when it comes to global warming. Visit to calculate your carbon footprint and discover how you can make a differnce by changing what you do by One Degree."

We have about 130 days left to see if setting out to be carbon neutral by 2010 proved to be a bit ambitious! Stay tuned!

As we've said before, if you are approached by anyone from News Ltd. tell them to fuck off. They are not your friend and even if they don't ridicule your cause, their aim is to foster conflict and to control the issue. Of course they will try to do this anyway, but the fewer people who assist them, the less possible this will become.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Attention Queensland Teachers: Why Would You?

The advertisement for the 'Courier-Mail's' "Media and You" kit for school teachers:
"Use Media and You in the classroom to foster media literacy in your classroom. Help your students learn to access analyse, evaluate and create all types of media."

In January this year, the ABC reported what Rupert Murdoch said at the World Economic Forum in Davos:

"Mr Murdoch told the forum that 35 to 40 per cent of children in the United States do not finish school.

The News Corporation chairman said that meant they were being committed to a life in the underclasses and or the criminal classes.

Speaking at a session titled 'Advice to the US President on Competitiveness', Mr Murdoch blamed the teachers' union in America, which he said was very rich and the number one donor to the Democratic party.

He told the audience of international business leaders and politicians that it would take courage and strength for President Barack Obama to fight them."
The News Ltd. press is hopelessly ideologically opposed to the teaching profession.

Murdoch hates you! Why would you pay him for this rubbish? Is it really good practice to tell your students that Murdoch's rags have anything useful to say about 'the media'?

By all means, use the News Ltd 'press' as an example of how journalism is used in the service of warmongering, climate change denial, corporate wrongdoing and the role of propaganda in cultural manipulation, but never accept their view on 'media studies'. They are dangerous to our democracy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bring back Queensland's Upper House!

Bligh's green, white, purple polka dot papers on lobbying don't mean a pinch of shit.

Reinstate the Queensland senate, and while you're at it, legislate to stop Murdoch et al profiteering from political advertising. (from ‘The Persuaders: Inside the Hidden Machine of Political Advertising’ by Sally Young, 2004):

"... Since political advertising boomed in 1972, News Ltd has grown into one of the world’s largest media companies. Its stable includes Australian newspapers such as the Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and the Australian as well as overseas holdings including film production, television stations, music record labels, book publishers, and more than 170 other newspapers across the globe...

As Terry Lane noted in The Age about government advertising, it is all ‘Good news for the media moguls—more than $300 million a year straight from us to them.

What is even more amazing about this is that Australian media companies often charge politicians more than other commercial advertisers. Political parties seem to pay up to fifty per cent more ‘for advertising time than do private companies’. This is because political advertisers don’t know precise election dates until they are called so they are unable to book in advance. Once they do know the election date, they want advertising time urgently and are willing to pay dearly for it. For all of these reasons, they are often charged a very expensive rate...

If money were to change hands directly from the political parties to media barons, this would be viewed as an extremely worrying case of politicians trying to buy patronage and favourable coverage in media outlets. But purchasing advertising in media outlets is a way of financially supporting the media barons which has not been given much thought. It’s tended to escape our notice that our politicians are giving public money directly to the media owners whose support and attention they crave..."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Going...... going .....

Nearly time to crack open the champers!

Online charges to recoup losses: News Corp:

News Corp reported a fourth quarter loss of $US203 million ($241 million), in line with its forecasts.

Across the fiscal year the company recorded a $US3.4 billion ($4 billion) loss...

Mr Murdoch has also indicated that access to News Corp material on the internet may soon come at a price.

"The extended downturn has only increased the drum beat for change, but the secular challenge is clear," he said.

"Classified advertising revenues will never again reach the levels that print once offered.

"Quality journalism is not cheap and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting."

Greenpeace. They are laughing at you.

And not because of your clever advertisement:

Mumbrella reports:

Greenpeace is running a site takeover of the home pages of The Australian and Courier Mail websites today, featuring a protester walking out of the ad and spray painting a slogan on top of news stories.

The ad, masterminded by DraftFCB, as part of the group’s anti-coal lobbying, will run for one day only on the News Ltd sites.

Peter Novosel, interactive creative director at DraftFCB, said “The idea needed to be disruptive to capture the attention and imagination of millions of eyeballs all in the space of one day. We’re ecstatic about the work and the response.”

Chris Washington-Sare, head of fundraising for Greenpeace said: “This is the first time Greenpeace Australia Pacific has launched an integrated campaign of this nature.”
We'll keep saying it until we're blue in the face: Stop giving News Ltd. your supporters' money.

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

If you absolutely insisted that you need to run your advertisement with News Ltd., they should pay you for lending them credibility they do not deserve.

Would it kill you to focus on any other medium (such as billboards, local television, independent publications - even APN or Fairfax press - at least they are Australian owned)?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where's Robyn?

"Some things are a lot more scary than some guys in leather jackets."
Ferret, addressing the National Press Club

Professor Paul Wilson, Ferret and Rev Dr John Smith discussed the proposed anti-association legislation at the National Press Club today [5/8/09]. It was one of the more interesting press club addresses because the speakers touched on media generated phobias and fears, and called on journalists to apply more scrutiny to the proposed laws.

So where was Robyn Wuth during the Q & A session? Surely she and/or her other News Ltd. colleagues would have leapt at the opportunity to attend today's National Press Club address and ask some questions? You see, Robyn and her colleagues are often very outspoken about bikies - take this example of her fine opinion writing from the 'Gold Coast Bulletin' [17/7/09]

WELL, well, well. The bikies are feeling a little singed by the glare of the media spotlight, it seems.

I imagine it probably is a little too bright when you first crawl out from under those rocks.

Tired of the `unnecessary public concern' stemming from the media coverage, this week they've issued a few `helpful hints' so we nasty journalist types give them a fair go.

The United Motorcycle Council of NSW has issued the delightful seven-page booklet called the . . . giggle . . . Reporting Guide for Journalists.

I kid you not.

You can snigger, I know I did.

She goes on to tear the guide apart and then proceeds to have a shot at Ferret:

The bikies warn the media `to avoid outright acceptance of the assertions made by the police service'.

Bugger off.

At least the police are willing to stand up and put their name to something.

Unlike the appointed UMC spokesman - Ferret the Fink.

You want me to quote Ferret the Fink?

Are you people serious?

Ferret's a grandad and a businessman and has been a member of the Finks for 22 years.

So give us your name then. Why hide your identity, one wonders?

Gasp! You're not ashamed are you? I would be.

All in all, I can tell you this.

This means nothing. Their guide means nothing. Bikies are not special, they'll get treated just like every other member of society.

Get used to it.
Toward the end of the Q & A session, Rev Dr John Smith posed an important question to the journalists in the audience:

"Will you write in such a way that you promote human freedom and peace?"

And as a citizen of Australia, you should ask yourself why News Ltd. scribes fail to appear at certain National Press Club addresses. You'll notice it's usually when the speaker's topic is likely to challenge some neocon agenda being pushed by their publications. If they did happen to go along and ask one of their narky, fascist questions, they would probably be rightfully slammed down - not a good look when your boss owns most of Australia's newspapers!

Then ask yourself why you continue to purchase News Ltd. publications or give their internet sites your eyeballs.

Previewing News Yet To Happen

Are you happy that this country is being run by a foreign corporation?:

From 'Crikey!'s' 'Pure Poison' blog:

In the wee hours of this morning four men were arrested during a series of police raids around Melbourne. These terrorism-related raids seem to have been reported by The Australian some three hours before they even occurred.

It’s still unclear how The Australian came to know about the raids in advance, although if they knew that the raids weren’t scheduled until a certain time then they would surely be aware that running the story before that time could jeopardise the operation.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the police and the media: the police want their success publicised so the public can rest assured that in matters of terrorism “they” are doing “something”, and the media want immediate access to all the details of big, juicy stories like terrorism arrests to attract eyeballs to ads.

A generous reading of the balls-up might be that The Oz made a grave but genuine error in its production process. A cynical reading might be that it deliberately broke embargo (imposed by the information source or self-imposed by the editorial team) for scoop value. But when something like this occurs, putting at serious risk the very success that the cops want to brag about, surely the nature of that symbiotic relationship must be questioned.

This has got to stop.

Monday, August 3, 2009

One to watch!

Heard Brad Pedersen being interviewed by Trevor Jackson on the ABC's Coast FM yesterday [3/8/09] afternoon.

He is President of 'Democracy Watch', a non-profit, non-partisan organisation pushing for electoral reform in Australia:

They will shortly start up a new site specifically targetted at our good friend Mr Murdoch.

See! It can be done, and despite what everyone says - we are not alone.

In bed with Malcolm and Rupert and the ABC

"Once I built a railroad, made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now its done
Brother can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now its done
Brother can you spare a dime?"

'Brother Can You Spare A Dime?', E.Y. "Yip" Harburg and Jay Gorney [1931]

Thanks 'Australian Story'. We're still non the wiser on the so called "Utegate" affair.

Did we blink and miss the muffled reference to Steve Lewis (the Murdoch hack at the centre of this)? Did you really, seriously, genuinely corner yet another Murdoch hack, "Mal Farr", for his spin on the whole thing? Are you correct in your judgment that Australians are so stupid, bereft of critical faculties, oblivious to the obvious, that nobody would ask: "But what about the central role of the Murdoch media in this whole ugly saga?"

Sadly, you are probably right. We are all so hopelessly stupid that we will take this spin and hold it close. "Did you see Malcolm on 'Australian Story' last night? We really saw his human side, didn't we? Isn't it incredible that the Murdoch media played no active role in this unfortunate affair? How amazing that Turnbull relied on an e-mail he never even saw to risk his reputation! What was he thinking? And what excellent journalism by Steve Lewis to reproduce the same e-mail, even though nobody ever saw it! Wow, too hard for me to understand, but I will still believe everything Murdoch tells me."

On the other hand......