The bullies in a one paper town
University of Queensland journalism professor Michael Bromley says the state’s monopolistic environment — dominated at local council level by the country’s most powerful mayor, and News titles including the Gold Coast Bulletin, Townsville Bulletin and a slew of local freebies — breeds bullies.
“It’s a state of ones, it’s a state of a lack of competition,” he told Crikey. “It’s intrinsic that when you have a lack of competition, a lack of alternative voices, a lack of diversity, the temptation is always to push your weight around. It would be an exceptional editor to reign in that situation.”
That culture is rife at News Limited, Bromley believes. Editors are selected — “not necessarily on a rational basis” — and remain in the job because they share the ethos and deliver results. “If Rupert Murdoch was running The Courier Mail I don’t think it would be run much differently,” he said.
And, perhaps most worryingly, “not many Queenslanders baulk at it”.
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