Queenslanders should learn from the outcome of the federal election
Peter Matters writes: Re. “Newman calls election, News Corp provides the pro-LNP puffery” (Tuesday). Murdoch’s baying hounds managed to brainwash the most unthinking part of the electorate to secure the election of Murdoch’s choice in 2013. While Murdoch has not been charged with any criminal offence in Australia, the electorate has with the help of the public media now been well informed of the moral corruption of Murdoch and his media mob and their gross abuse of our cherished right of Freedom of Speech. The electorate has now seen the very foreseeable consequences of Murdoch’s choice for the prime ministership. Queensland Labor should now keep on inviting Abbott to join Newman with the electioneering. While Abbott cannot of course accept such an invitation, it will keep his name on the fore front.
On Kerry Stokes and Jeff Kennett
Laurie Patton writes: Re. “Mayne: News Corp publishes flattering bio of a billionaire — but which one?” (yesterday). For the umpteenth time, the 1996 Today Tonight story on then premier Jeff Kennett was ‘held over’ — not ‘pulled’ — on legal advice. That advice, from senior counsel, was that under the prevailing law Kennett was entitled to be told what was alleged and given the opportunity to respond in advance of publication. Not a bad journalistic principle in any case. As the guy in charge of Seven’s news and current affairs programs at the time I issued the instruction for the story to be held over for 24 hours while the premier was contacted. I never spoke to Kerry Stokes about the matter, nor did I receive any instructions from above. The item was never going to be pulled. Full stop.
Abbott not the first to employ his own media scrum
Vincent O’Donnell writes: Re. “Bypassing the filter: Abbott snubs journos in Iraq, but will it work?” This tactic of controlling the images has a long but not distinguished history. The most notable practitioner in recent times was former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who travelled with an in-house cameraman. Queensland is a big place to cover for four TV newsrooms so Sir Joh and his principal media minder Allen Callaghan were able to both shape the news of Joh’s travel in regional Queensland and play duck and drakes for favourable coverage. Worked a wonder and gave Queensland two decades of seamlessly corrupt government. And while the ABC used to occasionally acknowledge the source of the footage, the commercial stations did not, making them complicit in the deceit of the public.
The media, especially TV, has to gang up on the PMO. Start by putting empty chairs on the set with the name of the pollies invited, among those chosen to speak that day. It will be a rugged time, but it would transform Sunday morning viewing.