Canberra Times
(Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

Readers had much to say on the question of the mainstream media’s handling of the election campaign (a question raised by The Daily Telegraph’s attempted take-down of Bill Shorten). As readers pointed out, some papers have been letting the public down for a long time. Readers also explored the wider issue of trust in media, and elsewhere discussed the rise and fall of the war on internet piracy.

On the media’s handling of the federal election

Steve Coyne writes: The coverage in the OZ has been appalling, it’s lost any credibility. Even worse, the take over by an ex-News Corp clique at The West Australian has turned a once solid conservative newspaper into a rabid right-wing rag. They have also lost a lot of people in the west.

Robin Taylor writes: The major daily papers have failed badly but I think this is less the journalists and more the editorial policy. The Murdoch autocracy is well documented for its bias and misinformation but regrettably accepted as a fact of life (or maybe the market). Possibly a government statement based on the ABC’s role of providing credible public interest information but extending to articulate a baseline for evidence-based media aimed at informing rather than selling advertising space would help.

Laurie Forde writes: Many journalists will never be able to do their job properly while media outlets are owned by multi-billionaires and big corporations. The rich and powerful do not remain that way by accident and controlling the dissemination of information to the public is perhaps their chief tool. Let’s not kid ourselves that MSM reports are not coloured by the reporter’s knowledge of what best passes muster with the editors, who also know what best accords with the proprietors views. This election has been no different for the MSM.

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On the question of trust in the media

Andrew Reilly writes: Even many “serious” journalists in big publications or broadcasters tend towards advocacy from time to time. As the Telegraph showed us, even the print-media can stoop to shit-posting and the dividing line between opinion and news is blurry everywhere. It’s not as though this is a new phenomenon. Newspapers have been held in similar regard since the invention of the presses. Necessary, very possibly, but not often admired.

On the fortunes of the war on internet piracy

Laurie Patton writes: Acting on behalf of foreign content rights holders, local distributors lobbied hard and donated squillions to political parties to have internet site blocking laws introduced. They never provided proof of significant financial losses and ignored international evidence that such laws are ineffective. Then-communications minister Malcolm Turnbull argued they should just make content more easily accessible at reasonable prices. No surprise then that since Netflix and Stan launched piracy has greatly diminished.

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