... BARRIE CASSIDY: You apparently told a meeting of Reuters clients this week that reform is harder these days because of the media. What did you mean by that?Even as they are obviously out of control, as reported by Rafael Epstein ['The Age 12/6/10]:
LINDSAY TANNER: No, that's not quite what I said. I just said that the intensity of the media cycle now and particularly the far greater pervasiveness of electronic media means that it's harder to prosecute a reform case than it was maybe 20, 25 years ago. That doesn't mean you can't do it. It just means that it's tougher circumstances.
The newspaper industry has dumbed down because it's in a much more intense competitive environment.
And so you're getting a kind of reporting that just makes it tougher to prosecute complex, nuanced reform projects rather than simplistic Tony Abbott style one-liners.
That's just the reality that we have to deal with. It doesn't mean you don't pursue reform. It just means it's got a bit harder.
BARRIE CASSIDY: Is that really the problem or is it your Government's obsession with the media that's the problem?
LINDSAY TANNER: No well first Barrie I didn't say it was, quote, "the problem" as you've just implied. I answered a specific question about has it become a bit harder and I said yes.
Secondly the suggestion that there is an obsession with the media in our Government I think is not correct. The media is an ever present part of modern politics, no matter who the government is, no matter who the players are. It is just a key part of the process. ...
Victoria's police watchdog yesterday cleared Chief Commissioner Simon Overland of wrongdoing over the leaking of a secret crime investigation as details emerged of alleged attempts by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire to intimidate law enforcement agencies.In many traditional cultures, one of the most severe forms of punishment for egregious wrongdoing, is to ostracise and/or ridicule the wrongdoer.
Office of Police Integrity director Michael Strong issued a statement saying he believed Mr Overland acted lawfully when he told his then media director about intelligence that came from covertly taped phone calls.
A series of controversial articles in the Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper this week claimed Mr Overland’s conversation undermined an investigation into the 2003 murder of prostitute Shane Chartres-Abbott.
But Mr Strong said Mr Overland acted within the law, ‘‘for a purpose connected with an investigation’’, in conveying covert information to a confidant.
His statement came as The Age obtained details of two incidents in which senior News Ltd executives appeared to threaten law enforcement agencies in Victoria and NSW.
Australian editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell wrote to the OPI and the federal police watchdog, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), in March. He denounced their joint report critical of the paper’s coverage of anti-terrorism raids in Melbourne last year as ‘‘the greatest corruption of truth I have seen in an official document’’.
‘‘I assure you The Australian newspaper will use every journalistic and legal measure available to pursue what can only be described as an outrageous fabrication ... should our concerns not be addressed,’’ he wrote.
Last week the newspaper settled its court dispute with the OPI, and had settled with the ACLEI previously.
Meanwhile, law enforcement sources have told The Age that they were concerned about comments News Ltd chairman John Hartigan made to senior NSW police in March.
Several sources at the meeting said Mr Hartigan told officers they could choose to work with News Ltd or not, like Mr Overland. The sources interpreted this as a warning to police to co-operate with the group’s newspapers or they would receive negative coverage. ‘‘It really means the police [should] play ball or else we will carve you up ... we will get stuck into you as we have been with Overland,’’ one senior officer said.
Mr Hartigan spoke on March 17 at the Police Leadership Centre at the University of Western Sydney. Mr Hartigan’s spokesman said he ‘‘totally rejects that interpretation ...[and] he does not make threats to anybody, let alone senior officers’’. ...
So in the face Government inability or refusal to act, we propose a boycott of all Murdoch publications.
Don't give them your eyeballs, do not give them your money, don't interact with them, don't allow them to set the agenda every day and control the debate. Where possible, tell advertisers in the Murdoch Press why you can't do business with them.
In addition poke fun and ridicule at every opportunity.
Here's Russell Brand's comedic analysis of 'The Sun' to inspire you: