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Letter to Jacqueline Maley

letter This letter is written by Cath Fisher (@astrakate) in response to Jacqueline Maley’s article – March in March: Two sides to the story we didn’t run – and is published here with Cath’s permission:

“It is strange that people who despise the MSM so much are so angry at being ignored by it”

No, Jacqueline Maley you are wrong. We do not “despise” the MSM. We miss it. We miss being able to switch on the telly or open a newspaper or tune into the radio and know that the news broadcast will tell us WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

We miss knowing that there were some sources better than others but that basically all of them would report the news, some in a more formal fashion but nonetheless, report what had occurred so that those of us who were not there would be informed about what had happened in our absence.

I attended #MarchInMarch. I SAW the huge (well behaved) crowds and I saw the placards. I saw some which offended me somewhat and I saw hundreds that I appreciated, agreed with, wished I’d thought of…

I listened to some inspiring speeches (and a few that rambled on a bit too long as well).

Just as our Senator Scott Ludlam “Wants Our Country Back” I want our MSM back. I want Rupert out of the picture. I want our MSM to have the guts to speak instead of cowering in a corner then lashing out and claiming that the left “despises” them because we can no longer trust the MSM or turn to the MSM for proper, fair, fearless reporting.

We don’t “despise” you Jacqueline Maley. We don’t trust you. We don’t believe you and we know you don’t put our interests first. You and your colleagues in the MSM need to have the guts to REPORT.

Then you’ll earn our respect.

By Cath Fisher


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  1. JaneSalmon

    Like it. Well said. I don’t think we have ever had a Murdoch free, independent Aussie media. And yes, cowardly spinners who kowtow to media owners in order to maintain their mortgage or shopping habits are really disappointing.

    A realist sees that the social media is the alternative and that in the age of Google, there are no dark corners thereof.

  2. cordannao

    Reblogged this on beingcoralie and commented:
    Thanks for your thoughts Cath, you said it so well! Have to reblog to always keep this in mind.

  3. AstraKate

    Thank you for sharing this. I wish I could have said it better. But I think the way I did say it was not too bad.

  4. lulu2617

    Very well and strongly put. Thank you, Cath Fisher, for expressing the thoughts of many who marched, like myself. I published a similar response to Miranda Devine’s ridiculous blog in online Telegraph.

  5. Graeme Rust

    spot on Cath,when roop’s lackies start putting the boot in, you know you’ve hit nerve, maybe they might grow a backbone and start being DECENT journo’s. ha ha ha.

  6. billie11

    Nicely said. I buy a newspaper or watch the ABC News to get the news.

    When I suspect its biased I have to spend hours scanning the internet

  7. doctorrob54

    Hope you don’t mind another one Cath Fisher,I wish to say thank you also,you have spellt it out as clear as it can be,if they don’t get it after reading your response,they don’t want to.

  8. Bob from Cootamundra

    John Singleton said a while back “Yeah, we got that message out by paying Andrew Bolt” or words to that effect.
    The ‘journalists’ are sometimes being paid by business, so are lobbyists.
    Be wary of people who claim to be ‘entertainers’, especially on commercial radio, as they simply not journalists.

  9. Stephen Tardrew

    Right on Cath. Thank you for clarity and brevity. Might be too well thought out and rational for MSM though.

  10. Maureen

    Thank you Cath Fisher. Said so well I wish I thought of it….

  11. Betty C

    I saw Jacqueline Maley attend a speech by Julia Gillard last year. She was writing her response BEFORE PM Gillard gave her speech. She paid no attention during the speech, just played with her phone. I read her report the next day in SMH. We must have been at different meetings.

  12. Rob

    Why the March should have been reported.

    1) It was big news, an unprecedented event.

    2) There’s 120,000 people who now have proven first hand knowledge of “the news” failing them.

    3) 120,000 people probably would have bought a copy of the paper to see what they were a part of.

    4) You’ve just insulted your customer, so those people won’t buy your paper at all. Probably never again.

    5) You’ve just raised the stakes. If 120,000 people taking to the streets is not news worthy, then what are you asking us to do to get attention?

    You are taunting angry people to become desperate people and that makes us very concerned indeed.

  13. mars08

    Shouldn’t be much of a surprise really. Over 11 years ago thousands of us marched through the streets of Sydney against the drive towards a war of aggression in Iraq. We were among millions in more than 600 towns and cities around the globe…. and the local MSM paid little or no attention to our cause. The tories were pushing for a war based on lies, and that’s how it was going to be.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Puffy, I’m sure nobody would mind if you shared the post. In fact, it would be an honour.

  15. xiaoecho

    I submitted a comment on Maley’s article but she declined to publish it. I commented on the fact that MiM did not fit into the pre concieved ‘narrative’ handed down on high by those who presume to direct the public conversation. Also, when they did mention it, the almost universal concentration by the MSM on the tiny amount of nasty placards to the exclusion of any other aspect of the march did not look like an accident, but rather a very deliberate and co-ordinated strategy to discredit the marchers. Anything that subverts the narrative must be quashed. That my comment never saw the light of day makes me think I touched a nerve by mentioning the ‘N’ word.

  16. Matt James

    I also had a comment declined in regards to Paul Sheehan turning a 40 year old working woman and union member into an unemployed male who paid for all the likes. I came across the article on this very website, can’t remember if it originated else where or not. But here is the comment:

    “What I would like to hear from Paul Sheehan is whether the individual who set up and runs the Facebook page: ‘Tony Abbott – Worst PM in Australian History’, is indeed an unemployed male who has bribed his way into the volume of likes the page has received.

    The reason I ask this is the individual who claims to have set up the page is a woman in her early 40s who claims she started work at the age of 13 and for most of that time been a life long union member!

    Now either Paul or this woman is being highly misleading:

    “But, otherwise, this site is fake on every level. It is the work a single social activist troll, which means unemployed, who shall remain nameless at this point.

    He first set up a Facebook page by a different name.”

    Paul could say the ‘woman’ is obviously lying because she doesn’t want to reveal her full identity and everyone knows his but the reason given from the journalist interviewing her was to protect her from “the right wing nutters”.

    Link to the full article:

    Unfortunately theaimn is left wing rag leaving Paul to do a greens shock jock on the whole site but how did Paul know the “guy” was unemployed? He doesn’t: “It is the work a single social activist troll, which means unemployed,” he is careful not to state an absolute but why assume unemployed? And why is Paul so obsessed in maintaining his integrity, constantly?

    Someone is lying/misleading here. Embarrassing for him if the ‘truth’ ever comes out and reveals a working union member woman.”

    Not only that, the SMH, along with the rest of the MSM have stayed well away from the Private Health Insurers, despite their worse than useless industry sucking about 1.6BILL each year from the Nations Health Funds. They are also destabilizing the whole public system in order to gain more leverage over the people they are ransacking. It is criminal. Only 1 article has surfaced, very brief which alludes to this. That and a few references to the corporate welfare rebate. But Medicare? “Medicare is a money guzzler”, “most people agree on cuts to Medicare in an exclusive poll taken by Fairfax”? To be fair their has been some articles in favor of Medicare, including a well researched and written one which revealed the absurdity of the $6 co payment, written by Peter Martin. But PHI is been let off the hook.

  17. AstraKate

    Puffy, you’re welcome to share.


  18. Patlee

    A free and appropriate letter, I doubt it will have it’s day in MSM news sadly, it would be nice to have the news again, I remember news being unbiased and untainted, and I used to read the courier mail and Sunday Mail avidly, but now I use them when I happened see a discarded paper to soak up the urine stains and shit droppings on the tiles in my home, when dogs decide to relieve themselves instead of going outside and peeing or shitting on the lawn. I feel your sentiments Cath.

  19. bonnie

    I actually mourn the loss of reporting in this country- it used to be a pleasure to buy the paper and write letters on a range of issues- many of which were published. Now I can’t even consider the ‘news’ to be news any more, there is so much fear and omission on behalf of the reporting and editing. And THAT is why people marched- to express that which is not being expressed on our behalf. I wonder how many other people feel the same?

  20. Vince O'Grady

    Thank you Cath for writing this letter and for Michael Taylor for reposting it.

    Today Sunday is the Insiders day, I have yet to see whether i will watch it. The reason i am unsure is that I am certain that I will not get a balanced approach as to what is happening in Australia.

    One would expect the ABC to be fearlessly balanced. reporting both sides of the ideological divide that is Politics. Yet it appear that since the Howard government that is never the case. The conservative side of politics, in the guise of Rupert Murdoch, now has control of the air waves. I would not mind this if a balanced view of the world were taken. But it is not..We always see the thoughts and plans of the IPA, which is an extreme right wing organisation, secretly funded by big business and doing their bidding.

    In the precarious Media environment that exists in Australia, it is easy to sprout the line of the Murdoch’s if you work for them and also comfortable to sprout the line of the Murdoch’s if you don’t work for them because one day (if you want to remain a Journalist) you will.

    That is the problem with the concentration of the Media. The thoughts and ideas of the few are rammed down the throats of the many and they are so busy living that they can’t find the truth for themselves.

    Hence the plethora of Political comment and blogging on the internet.

    In summary there is a vacuum of decent reporting on issues based on their good points and their faults.

    One can also see the injection of erroneous questions in reporting. The anchor telling the story and then throwing to the reporter on the scene who has already told the anchor the details to be told again.

    The stupid questions which require wild conjecture and the opinion of the presenters rather than the facts so that the public can have a balance to make up their own minds.

    The reporter here calls herself Journalist a list. In my opinion that is an opinion I do not share.


  21. Terry2


    In case you read this blog, I’ll give you another example of where the Australian media have been totally missing in action.

    We all saw the press conference that Peter O’Neill ( PNG Prime Minister) and Tony Abbott gave in Port Moresby and here are some of the questions I thought might be put (but weren’t):

    No asylum seekers on Manus have been processed since the Abbott government came into office : Why ?

    Who is doing the processing, are they competent and why are the UNHCR not involved ?

    Mr O’Neill says that not many refugees will be settled in PNG and Mr Abbott says that others will be settled in “countries in our region” but not Australia: how does that work, which countries and is it feasible for Australia not to take any refugees from Manus and yet expect others to do so ?

    There are so many questions and they are not being asked: perhaps you are not getting access to our Prime Minister, if so that alone is newsworthy.

    Jacqueline, I always enjoy you contributions on the Drum and Insiders and hope you can appreciate the frustration that is building within the broader (un)informed community not only on this subject but right across the spectrum since this government came into office and decided to ‘manage’ the media.

    Take care all

  22. DP

    Its funny to watch even the MSM blame the left. Taking no responsibility for how they have themselves devalued their own important roles in society. Watching articles appear like Maleys shows me the standards of Journalism isn’t taking that once very important role in society as important anymore. ‘Writing an article on why she didn’t write an article’. How sad and concerning. They should worry about what they are leaving for the future, in the role they are devaluing- at least for the sake of their own kids. There is a lot of Gossip journalism.
    Its also concerning me that many of the supporters that March in March support both the ABC and I see on Twitter many of them are only to happy to support links to SMH ( all while the SMH are now boosting about increased traffic to their news site) .
    I’ll sum up by saying I think its worthy to Support those that support you ! And the SMH should realise that some sub standard journalism could also be their down fall. Rises do come after falls, and visa versa. And BTW I March In March not for media attention but to show support of a group of very concerned people.

  23. DP

    Jacqueline Maley isn’t alone in this style of ignorant sensationalism journalism, I watched SBS News with Karen Middleton the Chief Political Correspondent also only picked the 10 negative placards, out of the 10,000 concerned placards, to report on,. Great journalism. Ugh.

  24. Joe Banks

    I have asked this question before: WHAT IS IT THESE PEOPLE CAN’T SEE? It seems to me that you can educate people and teach them to remember information so that they can pass exams and get qualifications and good jobs…
    But nobody has worked out how to endow human beings with COMMON SENSE.

  25. Joe Banks

    Those marches were just like SPOT FIRES… Ignore them and they turn into RAGING BUSHFIRES.

  26. Heather

    Thank you. Beautifully put.
    The MSM’s day of reckoning is coming fast.

  27. Geoffrey England

    Amen. The MSM can’t see past their own stupidity and partisanship to realize they are not doing a sterling job.

  28. helenmarg

    jacqueline maley. very light weight.

  29. Gongite

    Beautifully put letter. I hope Ms Maley reads it. The mainstream media in this country is of poor and decreasing quality, particularly as regards accuracy and fairness.

  30. Anomander

    The MSM are caught in a long, slow death-spiral that can only lead to one outcome – their ultimate demise.

    I was astounded at Maley’s statement that the reasons why MiM wasn’t covered was because they didn’t have enough staff and they space allotted for news keeps shrinking.

    Less stories = reduced readership = less journos = less stories……

  31. Anne Dall

    Well said! Well done!

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