Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why you shouldn't write letters to News Ltd. publications

1. Apart from the fact that at least half of these papers have a single owner and ferociously push his neoconservative, anti-environment agenda, none of these newspapers will treat your input objectively. The corporate media (particularly the Murdoch press) is not your friend.

2. They get to choose what letters to publish and you are participating in the propaganda process because they may alter your raw material to suit their agenda:

This letter was published in this week's 'Gold Coast Sun' [9/12/09]:

The Australian Press Council Adjudication No. 1446

The Australian Press Council has dismissed a complaint by Ken Thomas against The Gold Coast Sun related to his letter published on August 26, 2009.

The letter was one of a number of letters related to the war in Iraq published by the newspaper over several weeks.

Mr Thomas complained that his letter had been altered unfairly, resulting in loss of meaning.

The council found no evidence of a breach of its principles.

Newspapers have reasonable discretion in modifying language or reducing the wordcount of letters provided the published letter does not distort the writer's view.

In this case, the editing by the newspaper did not substantively alter the main thrust of the original letter or its meaning.
Regardless of whether you are endeavouring to promote an issue or complaining about something that has appeared in Murdoch's publications - don't engage with them, don't comment on their blogs, and don't write to them - it allows them to control the issue and prolongs their stranglehold on community discourse.

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