Dec 4, 2012

Finkelstein then Leveson, stymied debate ‘deeply disturbing’

Recommendations for a government-funded media regulator were howled down in the UK just as they were here. One of the architects of the local proposals reckons the debate has been stomped on -- by the media.

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

Watching the hostile response to the Leveson inquiry from the British press and prime minister David Cameron has been a thoroughly depressing experience for Matthew Ricketson — if only because it’s been so familiar.

Ricketson is the media academic and former Age journalist who assisted Ray Finkelstein’s inquiry into the print media — the one that recommended the creation of a government-funded council to oversee all Australian media outlets. This recommendation, widely portrayed as an assault on press freedom, is still to receive an official government response nine months after the report’s release — but whispers from cabinet say there’s virtually no chance of it getting up.

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6 thoughts on “Finkelstein then Leveson, stymied debate ‘deeply disturbing’

  1. Kevin Tyerman

    “The way the media covers this issue is largely by acting as a mouthpiece for their own industry,” he said. “That’s something they wouldn’t allow to happen and would abhor in other industries. They would say, ‘this is a view from a vested interest and it needs to be subject to scrutiny’.

    Once upon a time maybe, nowadays, on the whole, press releases make cheap copy, and only a few journalists subject most to scrutiny. Or have I just become jaded?

  2. klewso

    ….“mortal threat to the British people’s historic right to know”?
    They edit out that which they don’t want more widely known, and if it does get out they indulge it, and spin it in a more benign form, to sell it. They fashion “the public interest” to suit their agenda.
    Who does more to nurture cultivated ignorance in society – to the detriment of public awareness – than the partisan press with their unbalanced processing of news to views? Where nothing trumps self-interest – including handling the PR for their party of choice and the negative for their “opposition”.

  3. drmick

    This just might be the one thing that unites the press.
    Apart from being lazy good for nothing drunks without a creative collective brain cell amongst them; a threat to the self regulated, easy paying, watch what the other mob do and use their stuff job might just unite them. Printing rubbish for the great unwashed who have become brainwashed and embittered enough that the unemployed support the tories? Of course they will call it a threat to free speech, the rest of us will call it accountability.

  4. klewso

    And is there anything more pliable than a “pocketed/compromised politician” – when you’ve got “the proofs”?

  5. CliffG

    The biggest threat to any people is the media free to do as they choose, knowing they are beyond criticism and accountability. e.g. “The Australian”!
    Facts disappear as popular lies and distortions (e.g. climate change doesn’t matter) engulf the truth. The focus is on what sells, what appeals, not on what matters, nor on what is the truth.The greater the belligerence and hysteria, the more they sell.
    Finkelstein must be instituted! Isn’t Alan jones alone enough to make it mandatory?

  6. klewso

    Re the Limited News of The Oz – I reckon that, if/when Abbott wins the next election, “climate change” will suddenly become “real”, as will his measures to “combat”, to sell (unless, of course, it hits “Murdoch Ink” in the hip pocket – heaven forbid!). At present it’s a whip they can use on Labor/Gillard.

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