declining trust in media
(Image: Unsplash/Frank Okay)

What can (or should) be done to address the general public’s proven declining trust in media? And now that Home Affairs have made a “power grab” big enough to concern the intelligence community, what else are those alarm bells heralding? Crikey readers share their thoughts. 

On the public’s declining trust in media

Jim Feehely writes: The answer to the answer to the question “what CAN be done” [to improve trust in media] is probably nothing. However, what SHOULD be done is a different question. What should be done is all of the following and more:

  • Reporting verified facts, not assumed or even invented “facts” padded with wads of opinion.
  • Persistent demonstration of balance — good luck with News Corpse and Nine on that one.
  • The ABC developing its own news agenda, rather than simply trying to look balanced on bonfire issues whipped up by News Corp.
  • Stop patronising us with “we will explain it to you”.  We don’t need “explanation”, we need contextual facts.
  • Political reporting that analyses and compares policies, not personalities.
  • Connect largely secretive lobbying with policy outcomes; i.e. the real mechanics of government 
  • Develop some actual economic literacy, not just parrot stupid ideological positions put as economic axioms.

Ian Ferrier writes: You only have to experience the never-ending advertising for betting companies, particularly during sports events, to confirm that “the media” is only interested in revenue and not at all in the welfare of susceptible Australians and their families.

Thank goodness the ABC doesn’t have to resort to advertising to date. But I wouldn’t trust Scomo to resist the chance to once more cut the budget of the corporation we own.

Ralph Mackie writes: After subscribing and reading the daily paper for 60 years  I finally had enough of the daily anti Labor stories in The Courier Mail and cancelled my subscription. Despite this unrelenting bias, state Labor has now won two elections. The question is, will the bias be enough to carry the LNP to victory later this year? If so I shall declare democracy dead in Australia.

On Home Affairs and concern among the intelligence community

Gwen Clark writes: One of the things that distinguishes our military forces from police forces is that military forces are not used against Australian citizens. The government has already put through legislation allowing troops to be used against us. Now it wants the seriously scary spooks in the ASD to be able to spy on us.

These are precisely the two factors leading to the possibility of a dictatorship. Widespread spying and military force. The military should never be used against its own citizens. Either for spying or armed control.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name if you would like to be considered for publication.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey