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MSM: J’accuse!

This post is an update from when I first posted it on “The Pub” back a while ago. Considering the behaviour of the mainstream media (MSM) this last week or so, I consider it fitting for the moment.

An accusative post to the MSM/Fourth Estate.

Given my trade is that of a carpenter/joiner you’d be excused for dismissing my missive at this very juncture. BUT … given that I have been working in my trade for over forty-five years, you’d have to grant me experience in public interaction and give me time to deliver my complaint to you.

If there is one thing experience and time in any public interaction occupation teaches you, be it … carpenter, policeman, teacher, spare-parts salesman or even journalist, it is the learned skill, the accrued skill to “suss out the situation” … if I may use the vernacular.

For instance; when I first meet with a customer to look at a job and give a quote, I not only have to assess the site, the structural quality of the building etc, I also have to do a quick “once-over” of the person I am going to be dealing with … and I had better be accurate there as many a budding “self-employed” has been brought undone by the overestimation of a customer’s capacity to deliver when it is pay-day! This is where life-experience allows one to use language, nuance and observation to make reasonable judgement of the person. (An excellent and wiser estimation of this requirement can be found with such an article by Clarence Darrow: “How to Pick a Jury“).

The second principle of good work is time; I constantly hear of the 24hr news cycle making it difficult for journalists to meet quality with quantity, given the demands on their time. For that I can mostly agree … there are times when workloads do tend to crib into each other … BUT, this again is where experience comes in to foresee a situation arising and to make preparations for such, and one would imagine that a journalist, with his/her “ear to the ground” would be very savvy to a developing situation.

For instance; Where I first posted this article, the site has four moderators … two of which I have little knowledge as to their employment … the other two are self-employed contractors. One; “Bushfire Bill” is a optical lens manufacturer/polisher … of the highest quality. A post I read many months ago where he enthusiastically related his success in polishing a lens to such fine measurements, he felt called to share his excitement at the quality of finish. NOT … not out of a sense of self-aggrandisement, but that internal self-rewarding feeling of a job damn-well done! The other is a trucking contractor; “Joe6pack”, who started the site with little knowledge of blogging technology, but a fistful of confidence that he could tackle it … a confidence gathered, I’d warrant, from years of coordinating and timetabling loads and schedules and personally “mixing it” with highway traffic and conditions that would try (as we all know!) the patience and vocabulary of a saint.

I relate all these facts to you because I know, as we all know that having a loaded and busy schedule is no excuse for shoddy work … if there was, Bushfire Bill’s optical lenses would be “cross-eyed” and Joe6pack would be smashed-up on some highway up the coast, and I would be “called back” to right the wrongs of my building constructions … a situation I have never had to endure.

Those with long experience at their craft are constantly thinking of technical points relating to that job even while sitting relaxing or on the road or even at another job … plotting the lines, the theme, the time-line, the length or load … not to mention the personal obligations of our everyday lives. The skilled “professional and artisan” must have the capability to do this even while doing handstands to entertain the kids! There are no excuses for sloppy workmanship in the professional work-world. It disgraces both the craft and the creator.

So: J’accuse!

I accuse the Fourth Estate of negligence in assessing the source and validity of their material.

I accuse the Fourth Estate of slacking off in the preparation of their work and dedication to quality of delivery.

I accuse the Fourth Estate of gross indifference to the loyalty toward their nation and to vanity over value of product.

I accuse the Fourth Estate most of all in the lack of professional application to the “dignity of letters”, a dignity bestowed through a good education and favourable employment that has allowed yourselves the pleasure to deliver, in print, with your own by-line articles of what ought to be erudite delivery and succinct opinion … as against the cautious uncertainty whereby one of such self and mixed education as yours truly, must place oneself in the front line of possible literate ridicule to draw attention to your shortcomings.

I accuse you, I accuse you, I accuse you … and in the end … I DAMN YOU!


10 comments

  1. Michael Taylor

    “Bushfire Bill” … now there’s a name I haven’t heard for a while.

  2. John Alan Hay Marshall

    Thank you Joseph, your erudite contribution plus Queen Victoria’s “Speaking Truth To Power” really nails why I have given up MSM (apart from some of the AFLW reporting). Even the ABC has failed us with their unashamed promotion of Hilary’s book of excuses.

  3. jim

    Crucially “our”ABC Must be rid of biased reporters eg. Ex murdoch and IPA reporters and commenters .
    How can you make a reasoned scientific decision if you use ideolgy as a guide?.
    ideology breeds fanaticism.

  4. wam

    When I see the words:
    J’accuse
    I think of papillon – men on manus – awful situation???

    Sadly what you want will neither sell papers nor generate the interest of the watchers. However, billy’s advisers are in total agreement by getting bill to give nothing that might remotely reflect trumble’s personal weaknesses nothing about ‘vulture’?
    ps did you see john oliver last night???

  5. Joseph Carli

    wam..; ” ps did you see john oliver last night???”….I did not…the “missus” has forced me to run a 12guage roofing screw through the remote to fix it permanently on the ABC..why ..did I miss something?

  6. etnorb

    Having worked, many years ago in the newspaper game, I see today’s Mudrake press as almost idiotic at times with all the crap that gets printed in his rags! Back when I worked for the now defunct Adelaide News, it seemed that journalism–even in that afternoon paper–was of some value & merit, but what passes for news & headlines–especially in the Melbourne Sun, the Sydney Daily Telegraph, the Brisbane Courier-Mail & the Australian is just garbage. The attacks by these 4 papers on the Labor party etc seem to be based on mostly lies (or fake news) & always designed to make the Liberal mob look so much better than the Labor lot. Watching the show, Media Watch, on ABC TV often shows just how very crap these publications are with the way they report so-called news. Another great read Joseph, & so true!

  7. Joseph Carli

    etnorb…Yes..I have a collection of newspapers (incl The Adelaide News) from the 1950’s that I rescued from under the old lino in some reno’ houses that I was employed to do..They make for very interesting reading in very interesting times..

  8. corvusboreus

    For anyone wanting to peruse the latest regurgitations of the Murdoch opinionistas without subsidising Murdochs empire by clicking on his bait, I recommend the ‘loon pond’ site, which presents a daily selection of the steady ‘news’corp attacks on Labor, lobbyist sock-puppetry, the incessant sniping at their ABC and Fairfax business competitors, and the obsessively repetitious culture-war sabre-rattling that goes on in Ruperts show-pony stable.
    http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/

  9. Joseph Carli

    corvus’…to open ANY door onto the sordid world of “he who ought not be named” is to invite a poisoning akin to radioactive..I have to back the opinion of “Jim” above when he calls for the dismissal of ALL media people in the public broadcaster to be culled if they have anything at all to do with their training in a Murdoch media group…anything at all…It may be cruel on some with the least taint of the poison, but it has to be done to purge the public broadcaster of that nuance of subjective arrogance that is the trade-mark hallmark of such insidious journalism….what am I saying!..; NOT journalism, but rather trash opinion that wouldn’t muster credibility even amongst the published writings of Alan Jones!

  10. guest

    Joseph,

    “has been bought undone” = has been brought undone

    “bought” from “buy”, “brought” from “bring” – a “typo” often seen.

    Another problem is the way people address others in writing: eg, “Hello Jack.” = “Hello, Jack.” Why a comma is so hard is a mystery. Perhaps it has to do with the letter count demanded by some social medias. Problem example: “Have you stopped eating Mother?” What?

    As for the MSM, it is too much a monopoly held by the Murdoch stable and hiding behind a paywall which blocks out criticism which outsiders might wish to make. It is possible to Google Murdoch if one is so inclined, but they soon throw up the pay wall. “Loon Pond” is a good site for astute and informed opinion specialising in Murdoch.

    I believe in independent sites asking for support. they are necessary to counter the Coalition/IPA propaganda spun by Murdoch and to keep Labor and the Left honest. Too many journalists are afraid of losing their jobs and play it safe when composing their writing.

    In the Murdoch media, however, there are specialists who attack certain aspects of society, such as the ABC, the unemployed and the poor, climate change, education at all levels, unions, refugees, HCR…etc, etc. And they write the same trash over and over, very often repeating their own “gotcha” false news ad nauseam even when it has been shown to be false.

    Fortunately we have had writers who have published at length about the poor condition of the MSM, such as Robert Manne, and others who have written sensibly about education, for example, such as Alana Snyder, Chris Bonnor and Jane Caro.

    Fortunately, too, we have the independents such as AIMN to speak up and allow a range of voices, such as yours, Joseph, and correspondents, even those opposing. Whereas the Mudoch media simply publish behind the paywall only those who agree, so that the Murdoch media becomes a kind of echo chamber for its own tribe (the so-called “informed reader”)

    At present the Murdoch stable must be feeling very much under pressure with the emergence of social media, the failure of the Coalition and the attacks on neo-conservative economics. So that they must be wondering if they are succeeding at all, and whether their business model will survive. That is why they lash out in all directions with bile and vitriol. But it is an ideology and a negativity which must surely be on the wrong side of history.

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