The Missing Ingredients
There have been some great contributions covering the March in March on the AIMN and other independent news and blog sites during the week. And not surprisingly, many of them are critical of the lack of coverage this national grass roots protest movement received in the mainstream media. Before I am accused of being a ‘MSM hater’, which is apparently what I must be since I don’t read most mainstream newspapers, which is of course my choice as a consumer, I do note that some outlets have covered the march. And unsurprisingly some have been better than others. However, overall, the coverage has been small in proportion to how big this news story is and much of it has been misrepresentative of the marches even when they were mentioned. So why do I care about the coverage of the March in March you may ask? I have a few reasons:
- Because the people who marched had a message for the rest of our community, and we deserved to have this seen by those who would never be engaged enough in politics to march.
- Because the opinion of 100,000+ marchers should, in a free and democratic society, have their message reported in a factual and balanced way, not dismissed and censored because people in positions of power don’t wants us speaking out. (BO and Bongs? Charming stuff from the Murdoch press).
- Because the way the mainstream media reported the March in March is indicative of a larger ‘insider versus outsider’ attitude in the media. Journalists aren’t representing the interests of their community, they’re representing the vested interest of a small number of powerful people who are part of the problem and part of the reason we marched in the first place.
So I’ve been having a think about what key ingredients March in March was missing that made it so irrelevant and non-newsworthy to the media. I was also thinking about how irrelevant most of the other news that journalists write about is to our community interests. And so I decided to come up with a list of things the March in May organisers might want to consider including in the next march, to see if we can garner the attention of a press that has so badly let us down:
1) Craig Thomson
There definitely wasn’t enough ‘scandal’, ‘chaos’, ‘credit cards’ and ‘prostitutes’ involved in the March and March. So it’s no wonder the mainstream media weren’t interested. If we could get Craig along to the next march, and ask him to cry, the media pack that sits on his tail all day might happen across the march too and might get some footage inadvertently over Craig’s shoulder.
Jacqueline Maley in the Sydney Morning Herald, to her credit, contributed this piece during the week to explain why the SMH chose not to report the march. But not to her credit, the reasoning was very weak. Apparently her newspaper would have been more interested in the march, like they had been more interested in the Convoy of No Confidence, she said, if politicians had attended. Except, umm, that was the whole point of this being a grassroots movement. That was what made it newsworthy. The fact that there was no Greens versus Labor story, and there was no politician spin on the event, and there was no ‘the Oppositions says’ catch-all line to report on afterwards, made this event all the more interesting.
But doesn’t this reveal a deeper problem with the way that politics is reported in our media? Doesn’t this highlight exactly why there is such a huge misalignment with the political news that we are served up, and the political news we want to read? Journalists like Maley, and like all the other people who ignored the significance of events like March in March, and – to give just one other example – ignored the significance of Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech, can’t see the wood for the trees. They can only see ‘politician versus politician’ – who spoke better, who gaffed, who tripped on the grass, who had a ‘better day’ in front of the cameras, who is backgrounding and leaking about whom. But we, in the community, don’t care about this sideshow, because in the most part, it’s irrelevant to us. We don’t see politics as a ‘two horse race’, with political actors not just part of the story, but the story themselves. We care about the impact that political policies have on our community. This is why we marched. Because we’re worried about the Abbott government’s impact on our community. The fact that the media doesn’t get this is the most telling thing about this whole situation. If the mainstream media are wondering why they don’t connect with their audience anymore, this is where they could begin with their process of self-reflection.
3) A three word slogan
Most of the criticism I’ve seen about the March in March centred on the fact that there weren’t clear aims for the march, that there were too many different agendas and that there wasn’t one ‘cause’ that brought it all together. So what the media is basically admitting with this criticism, is that they can’t comprehend a complex and diverse event, which brings together a wide range of community concerns. They can only comprehend politics in sound bites and three word slogans. Axe the tax. Yeah, they all got that loud and clear. And this ‘short messages’ obsession explains their fascination with ‘rude’ placards. As if these defined the march and were the most newsworthy element (even though few placards contained swear words). But the line ‘we’re here for our community’ – apparently doesn’t cut through in quite the same way.
Again, the very point of the March in March was that there wasn’t a single point to it. This is why so many thousands of people marched in major cities and regional areas throughout the country. As I said in my speech to the gathering on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide – We might all have our individual outrages about the Abbott government. But what binds this passion together, what binds our values together is the understanding that Abbott is not just bad for all of us, as individuals, though he certainly is that. No, why we’re really here is because we know he’s bad for our community. And our community is us. We know we’re in this life together.
The concerns of a large cross section of our community, who are willing to get out of our houses, off the internet, and march together, is obviously far too complicated a concept for political journalists in this country to understand. And again, isn’t this telling. Isn’t this the problem with how they report politics to us on a daily basis? A three-word-slogan doesn’t adequately explain all the complexity in an environmental policy like the Carbon Price. The problem of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat is, as we’ve seen, far too complex a situation for the media to even bother to investigate. So all we hear them say is ‘boats have been coming’ and ‘it’s all Labor’s fault’. Sorry, life isn’t as simple as that. And if the political journalists don’t understand that, they’re in the wrong job.
We will march again, and we will continue to criticise the mainstream media who, for a long time, have been representing their own interests, and not the interests of their community. This will of course, if it hasn’t already, lead to their ultimate downfall. Because when they ignore us, we ignore them. And when they’re ignored, they disappear. But ignoring us won’t make us disappear.
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That Jacqueline Maley article made my blood boil. To focus on the very few banners that were crude and completely disregard all the polite ones that expressed concern is getting it wrong and feeding in to the hands of the powers that be. I don’t think Jacqueline Maley was even at the Sydney March because her articles don’t ring true. She stated in the first one that Billy Bragg sang a song, when actually he did three. To write an opinion piece about en event you didn’t witness is unfair to all those who were there. The atmosphere was friendly, peaceful and heartening. It was great to realise that you’re not alone, that thousands of others in our country feel the same way (alarmed) about what the LNP is doing.
I think in hindsight it was a good thing
the mainstream media ignored the march
It really has shown them up for what they are,puppets,,
a mouth piece for the chosen few
They chose to be ignorant of the facts,like Jacqueline Maley was
but then reported on the march from there biased opinion,
As if 100000 people who marched are a pack of left wing loonies,
greenies,socialists,the list went on and on
I don’t think so Jacqueline,you are wrong,
Your ignorance about the march
is the only thing you displayed in your article
I am not sure if just a few signs out of thousands of signs
could have been any more offensive than the ones Abbott stood in front of
for his own personal gain a few years ago,
There is a clear a double standard showing in the MEDIA
I am still waiting for my reply from the ABC
To where they were,and why they were missing in action
and what was their motive for ignoring March in March?
I guess I will be waiting a long time for that answer…..
Those banners Jacqueline Maley was talking about could they have been made and carry by members of the Young Liberals.
They would do something like that to make the March look bad in the MSM
Want packs of drooling reporters to show up next time? Simples… just have more people in burqas and/or budgie smugglers!
Friend & I decided to go to March in March Melbourne 2014, going through Melbourne Central I was worried what will I do if there is no one there? I prepared hand written placard “No confidence in Abbott’s Government” which will hang around my neck hopping that MSM could see our reasons and report it.11.00am State library of Victoria hundreds of people just like Matt & I were trying to get a spot on the lawn. My heart was melting to see that I am NOT ALONE, I am one of this crowd that have a reason to alert this Fascist Government that what they are doing to the Country and it’s people is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Mums with kids in prams and placards attached to the pram, Dads with toddlers on their shoulders, elderly on scooters, elderly with walkers, young people, old people and every one in between. We seem to have same reason or reasons to be there. I am sure that PM, his Cabinet, MSM and just about every one else knew of this EVENT, but have no DECENCY to admit that this was one hell of a MESSAGE to Government in a huge numbers, people of all walks of life came together just to say ” we are all together on this and we demand TRANSPARENCY”, “dereliction of duty is not acceptable”. My humble message to PM is: Mr Abbott you and your Cabinet are SERVANTS TO AUSTRALIANS and not the RULLERS over them. That night I slept as a log.
Excellent Victoria. Yes, I read both of Maley’s “stories” despite the fact I had resolved never to do so after some of her anti-ALP jibes during the election campaign. She now complains about the “nastiness” of tweeps on Twitter!! Good grief, as if she cannot take care of herself. Shades of Chris Kenny, perhaps.
The total lack of any reference to the Sydney & regional NSW (or elsewhere) marches by Ch7’s Sydney TV news, last weekend was astounding. They preferred to run stories such as the old one about a gorilla born by caesarian section in San Diego Zoo rather than mention anything to do with March in March. It was as if there was a giant elephant in the studio as Mark Ferguson skirted around the issue, not saying a word but presenting plenty of trite, banal “news”. Plenty of stuff from Abbott though.
At least our Monday night’s regional Prime7 local TV news did feature images & stories of all the MiMs around the area but their 6.30pm world & national news used Mark Riley’s rather snide story about the Canberra march. There is one happening today (Sat) at the Gold Coast a week after the main marches. Interesting to see if the MSM take notice of that one. Hope they haven’t put any agents provocateurs in amongst the marchers just to get a story they would run with.
As for them using the term “MSM haters” this harks back to the bad old days of Howard when anyone who didn’t agree with all that he did was labelled a Howard hater. Easy way for them to dismiss others’ concerns & part of the “either you’re with ’em or agin ’em” mindset.
Agree 100% DanDark. Now even more people will be aware of how the media manipulates the news to their own advantage.
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Rude words, raised voices, angry gestures – these will each and all upset the majority of the community, no matter what the issue or where they are faced with them.
I understand passion and I understand frustration and I understand anger and I understand injustice, so it is not a surprise to me that some people use such tactics when faced with a government that behaves so appallingly. It isn’t hard to feel justified in cursing a government whose “leader” and many other members lie continually; which is so manifestly intent on increasing the gap between rich and poor; is so willing to sacrifice the natural environment when its conservation interferes with “business”; and which shows neither compassion nor intellect in its responses to difficult human issues such as immigration, health, disability, self-worth; ageing; gender; sexuality; and …… the list goes on.
At the same time as I feel this way, I know from personal experience as well as observation over many years that – as much as it is probably well deserved – those tactics only distract from the message and, what’s worse, may even negatively influence or “switch off” some individuals who would otherwise have been potential converts.
We have a very strong (and almost entirely false) notion of “respectability” and “politeness” in this country. It pervades our lives yet is so much part of our conditioning that most don’t even realise that such is what it is – instead they take it as a sort of objective standard and will quickly turn away from the message of anyone who transgresses that standard – *regardless* of whether the message itself is honest, reliable, even self-evident.
Journalists and reporters are no less afflicted by this false notion of respectability than are others and it, in turn influences their reporting, sometimes obviously and sometimes in more subtle ways – for instance, in an otherwise fairly objective report of the March in March that I saw on television news, the reporter just slipped in the term “mob” as she described the gathering. It was far less than even the “3 word” slogans that our Prime Ministers so likes to use. Just 3 letters, that’s all – 3 letters and 1 word slipped innocuously into the several sentences spoken over image of a perfectly orderly rally. Most viewers, I’m fairly certain, would not have thought twice about it. Yet, for most, their brains will have received a particularly negative message that will subsequently influence their thinking and any discussions they have with others.
Many may deride my view that this is significant but I would suggest that these small and subtle uses of language often have a much greater impact than the sledge-hammer curses so often used and which cause the message to be lost and replaced by one about the *messenger(s)* instead.
So, while I understand and empathise with the feelings, I would urge discretion on all who actively seek the removal of this horrendous government and retention of focus on issues rather than people or personalities, no matter how despicable they may be.
Just as an aside, on the Craig Thomson issue: he’s still awaiting sentencing for misuse of employer provided expenses as you know.
Speaking with some business acquaintances on Friday, there is some real consternation within the business community, where employer provided credit cards and expenses are used very liberally, that this case could act as an unwanted precedent right across the community particularly if a custodial sentence is handed out.
Think about it …………the fact that this was a Union and involved brothels and a Labor party politician made it a cause celebre but at its core it is a guy fiddling his expenses.
What would Peter Harvey say about the March in March?
The main reason i can think that the media under- or mis-reported the marches was that we were not (or not primarily) right wing.
Labor and the Greens have the same trouble getting media coverage – and for the same reason.
If you want friendly, accommodating media coverage, call yourself the Liberal Party.
Stinks, but that’s it.
mikisdad… I see what you are saying. BUT….
Far too many times I have seen confected outrage (as spruiked by Maley) used to silence dissent. It’s a wonderful tool. Just find something mildly offensive… inflate it… and turn it into a reason to dismiss an entire argument. In my experience it’s a handy “go to” for those who disagree or are disinterested in your opinion. The cherry on top is when it’s followed by a pouting “I’m entitled to my opinion”
This tactic has been used many times when the topic has been the demonisation of Islam, or the treatment of asylum seekers. Those people say the most offensive, disgusting things about their fellow human beings using the most banal of language and reasonable tones. They incite hate and promote cruel treatment of human beings… using “civilised” language. They generalise and preach ignorance with a smile on their face. Because they feel they are speaking for the majority the keep their tone reasonable. And I find that damn chilling.
Now… when I’ve given up any attempt at debate, my tone turns mean and sarcastic. After all, they are a lost cause. THAT is when they usually fire up their outrage and tell me I’m being “too touchy”. As it they were ever going to seriously reconsider their stance. Bah….!!!!
Eddie, or at least you know that the social media is likely to be the opinion of the author and NOT rhetoric dressed up as FACT, nor copy and pastes from Liberal Party press releases.
And no one in the LNP would ever ever dream of doing such a thing. 😉
You can blame purported media bias all you like. The point is that the march had no point except for angry people letting off steam.
So people hate Abbott? It’s not news. Calling him names is puerile and counterproductive.
How was this march a call to definitive action to do anything about the way this govt is behaving? It wasn’t.
An insignificant blip and it’s all over. Abbott continues being Abbott and a huge number of protestor miles have been wasted.
How was the election of Abbott a definitive action to do anything about what HE WAS RELENTLESSLY complaining about? It wasn’t. And that’s the point! Oh wait… “BUDGET EMERGENCY!!” nah… haha.. just kidding…
Nothing wrong with a dose of rudeness, discourtesy and disrespect – after all, that got Abbott to where he is today. But for him (and, to tell the truth, that little gerbil Howard), I’d be excessively genteel.
” I must be since I don’t read most mainstream newspapers”
At least u get news with no spin on social media.
Well mars08, the march certainly changed that didn’t it? Abbott has resigned and his ministers have all been sent off for re-education. The march was impotent and Pythonesque.
The march was dickless to put it simple. Worse still where are the follow up marches? You lot need to be doing it every weekend in every capital until Abbot is out.
You need to riot if you want to get rid of him.
and removing the “carbon tax” will cure all our ills. Umm… Terry you DO know that Tony is not the Messiah, don’t you? He’s just a naughty boy!!!
You assume too much about my political stance, mars08. All of it ignorantly incorrect. Maybe you should go outside and shake your fist at the sky. It won’t achieve anything – but perhaps it will make you feel better.
It’s not you political stance that i object to… it’s your blanket assertion that the protest march achieved nothing.
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mars08 you are too blinded by your anger to engage in any serious objective analysis of what it achieved.
You will learn nothing useful from any of this.
Anger, sensei? Really? Interesting…
Any relation to Felix?
“Blessed are those who do unger after truth and righteousness”.
That right, paul and mars08. Keep it puerile and keep on turning in ever decreasing circles. There’s a bigger picture, but don’t be concerned about that. Just do what you do best.
And taking the time to put me and Paul in our places is NOT a trivial pursuit? Riiight?
Now… apart from your claim that the protest was a total waste… what useful insights do you have to offer?
What the media have failed to comprehend is that the Abbott government are “white-anting” the whole of Australia, hence the diversity of issues (and placards) in the March in March.
There was no specific focus because our ‘entire nation’ is under threat. The very foundations of our way of life are being undermined. We are being sabotaged by our own government from every direction.
The simplicity of a single issue would have gratified the media, perhaps, but it would not have satisfied the enraged people of Australia who, unlike the media it seems, can see a wider picture… We have a bunch of saboteurs running Australia and the people are aware of it even if the media are still confused.
Good clarification from Joe Banks.
mars08 – So two wrongs make a right? So we should adopt the very methods that we so abhor?
I am used to having my opinion rejected because of opinion rather than reason. It happened in these very columns when I argued against the ALP taking what was effectively the same uncaring stance on refugees as the LNP. I was howled down, derided and mocked. However, some of my most ardent critics have recently repeated my arguments as their own in recent posts to these pages.
As I said, I fully understand the unfortunate behaviours that often result from frustration and anger but the fact remains that to replicate the worst aspects of your opposition does not help your cause – rather it puts you (one) on a closer par with them.
Incidentally, and I mean no offense, “disinterested” means “unbiased”, the word you needed to use was “uninterested”, which means as it sounds – “not interested”.
Yes, I know, who cares? I do. Perhaps I’m the only one left who does. However, unless we *actually say* what we mean to say, there can be no useful debate. The communication process is complex enough when we are accurate – there are still many opportunities for the message not to arrive as we sent it or to be misinterpreted once received – let alone if we send the wrong message in the first place. 🙂
Well mars08 it was you who attacked my opinion in the first place. Then you assumed that my political leanings were to the right and then you dissembled on that. Then your final resort was sarcasm.
Despite these illusions of success on a broad front, the conduct and content of the march played into Abbott’s hands. He is not an idiot and he is possessed of rat cunning. Australia has lurched to the right in a significant way and he wants to drive it more so.
Why do you think he savagely attacked the “greenies” prior to the Tas election? He knows that they will never vote for him and doesn’t mind offending them to harvest more support from the conservative centre. The abusive signs displayed at the march makes his position appear even more righteous. As far as tactics go, it was just plain dumb. He wants to set people against each other and that gives him the tools to do just that. It also gives people like Bolt a horde of ammunition.
Looking at the long game, focusing tenaciously with rational reason on one matter at a time over a protracted period is a much sounder strategy. It requires multiple responses from him and builds a total picture that is much more difficult to dismiss.
If you think he’s giving the march serious consideration, you’re deceiving yourself. He has the possible repercussions of his Sinidinos calamity to deal with and is busy plotting scenarios that may or may not involve a double dissolution and identifying/cultivating possible alliances after the rejection of the carbon tax repeal in the senate.
What pathways for change did the march illuminate? None. The populace already knows that it can vote. Addressing concerns individually and identifying sensible, workable solutions will put his unreasonable, dogmatic, visionless, ideological positions out on a limb. The persistent dog on a bone eventually gets the marrow.
One aspect of the march that you are ignoring is awareness. About 20% of people who are eligible to vote either voted informally or didn’t register. If we can get the young people interested enough to register and vote it could make a big difference.
Right on mars8 the march was of critical importance to all of us. Commitment is bit hard for some I suppose. It did my heart good to see my fellow travelers willing to stand up for what they believe in. No thought or action to goodness is ever wasted. Fight a positive with a negative? Yeah that helps. We did good mars bar. Terry I did not play into Abbots hands. I played into my hands and am happy to have participated.
mikisdad… No. I get your argument. Two wrongs do NOT make a right. But we must prevent confected outrage (over a small portion of the protest) being used to dismiss the opinions of everyone who attended the march. Any offensive expressions were incidental to the march and not one of THE PRIME REASONS behind it.
Funny thing is if the media was in fact at the Adelaide march they may well have made some sick focus on the attention seeking anti-gay Christians (about 5) who attended, with offensive placards that everyone rolled their eyes at and ignored, implying lack of unity and flogged that angle. But nope they used photos that were either the most obnoxious or the the least likely to trigger a response of agreement most of which seemed to have been taken by people at the march in support of the march. sky news reporter I do not know her name actually asked her followers to link her to the most offensive signs they could find… when you resort to such lazy and blatant bias and slander while missing the entire point of the event you don’t paint a good picture for yourself.
Also I have heard from past social commentators that most people are prone to inaction, and that in the past it was taken as 1 person attending a rally represented upto 1,000 peoples opinions. by that logic 100,000+ nation wide would represent 100,000,000 (more than 4x the population of the country..haha) but I’m sure if it was approached more rationally the ratio would be to do with a percentile of the population, so even with a more conservative 100 to 1 that’s 10,000,000 or completely believable without any real hearsay 10 to 1 that’s still 1,000,000 and with our low populous that’s extremely significant, (which also means the anti-Gillard hate rallies that were extremely publicized were only attended by hundreds, would represent piddly tens of thousands going on a generous 100 to 1 ratio or mere thousands with the 10 to 1 ratio) yet that got extreme amounts of coverage an emphasis, fooling people into believing “that’s what your fellow Australian’s believe, therefor you should feel that way too…”
So glad alternative media sources like this exist. Many people need to wise up to media deception and start seeking reliable sources of information and actual news, not some ridiculously skewed drivel, those linked articles were extremely jarring to read..
Keep up the journalistic integrity!
oops got the attendance figures of the “convoy of no confidence” and “no-carbon tax” protests mixed up. but even then still woefully lower by a large factor.
mars08 – Yes, I have no quarrel with that – I suppose you could say my point was the same but erhaps suggesting that prevention is better than cure. No matter, my view is overwhelmingly that the march was a good move and that, no matter how it may be disparaged, ignored or diminished by some – it did and will make a difference. 🙂
Thanks again for being a voice of and for the people
We are really missing out in the Murdoch press
Yes, letting off stream, and willing to get out on the streets to do so.
I attended Gosford. What amaze me, was the calmness of every one. Only jeard one comment, suggesting what should be done with Abbott. I objected quiockly to what was said, and the offender moved off quickly. Yes, the video of that march shows no ugly or insulting signs.
Surely a movement, that is not organised by political parties, where all are asking for a more compassionate government is news. If not, why?
Yes, the signs did indicate examples of what was worrying those who attended. Trouble is, it seems that very little of this governments actions, are going down well. Each day brings a new concern,
I seen a journalist wrote the other day, while we are concerned each day about some action of this government, we are ignoring the fact, that behind the scenes this government is bringing the biggest change in how the public service operates, than any government before,
Yes, we have ignored the fact, that this government has rid itself of all bodies, that have been set up over decades, and by governments of all colours. Bodies whose job is to investigate and give advice to governments.
It is my opinion, that the PS has been muzzled, unable to do it’;s job. In fact it has been by passed and it’s role outsourced. Yes, Abbott’s allies from business and IPA have taken over the role of the PS. They have extended their tentacles into such things as the Human Rights Commission.
Yes, much of what is happening,m is occurring out of sight.
We are seeing the biggest change in how government works in this country, than ever befor.
They are busy silencing any dissent.
All that is left is the internet and social media.
If one does not believe this, one should listen to PC yesterday of Truss, the acting PM in WA. Yes, those overseas reporters demanded answers, Gave Truss the hardest time I have seen of any PC in the lat few months.
One gets the same impression when one reads overseas reports of this PM and government. Most seem to be the negative. They are calling a spade a spade.
Those in this country, are burying their head in the sand,
The fact that the MSM ignore the MiM, tells us much. Yes, they know and fear the movement, so much, that they are not giving in any oxygen by reporting on it.
It will grow, It has to, as too many are feeling they do not have a voice.
Did many people care in the general community that there was a March in March, i was in a pub at the time a 30 sec segment came on TV, comments were in general, look at those bloody greenie hippies, time they got a job. So what do you do to get your message across, you can only preach to people who want to hear.
Maybe if we have March in May we could advertise and urge a boycott of the MSM. I bet we’d get their attention then. I used to have bit of respect for people like Peirs Ackerman and Andrew bolt but they seemed to slide rapidly into the money grubbing, controlling Murdoch mould. So much so that they were not asked to be a part of the ABC’s political fora. Unfortunately they created such a furore about the left wing bias of the ABC programmes, like The Insiders, are hell bent on being so fair they are now right leaning to appease themselves with the MSN.
Thank God someone’s saying something sensible about the while thing. This is well observed and, I think, pivotal to the practical value of the march. Like many others, Terry is constructing strawmen he can shoot down in flames. Aside from a few dillberries no-one thought they were effecting the Government directly or potentially “bringing it down”. Why would the Government give a flying fig about a bunch of people who will never vote for them anyway?
The message to younger people that there are many others who share their concerns and that they are, therefore, not marginalised or alone and have no need to be politically disengaged, is one of the greatest potential benefits from the march.
We may not know for some time what effect it’s had, if any, in this regard, but for me that’s its greatest potential value. Given they are our largest consumers of online news and discussion, the facts of the event will have reached them, and they are, arguably, the most important demographic in the nation, as far as future political success for the “Left” is concerned.
I’m a little bit confused to the point of your article.
Is this a complaint about the media coverage of your event(s) or meant to be an attack on media in general? Were you regurgitating a now ex-public figure’s criminal activity, public downfall, shaming and potential mental illness just for your own amusement or was there a point to it?
Sorry but I seem to disagree with the majority of comments to your article. To me, what you’ve written comes across as simply petulant and sulky, because you didn’t get what you want or thought you deserved in the quantity of media coverage.
As you put very clearly in your article, we live in a “in a free and democratic society”. BUT that works both ways. I don’t see anywhere in the article where you question the accurateness of any mainstream media reporting, so I can only infer that you are unhappy about not being reported to the level you think you deserved.
You’re free to voice your opinions and act in any manner within the framework of the law but why do you think then that the big bad media then “…should, in a free and democratic society, have their message reported in a factual and balanced way”. They’re a private enterprise responsible to their shareholders for a return, shouldn’t they have the right to report or not to report as they see fit within the framework of the law and good taste?
From your article it sounds like you expect the media ought to be obligated to report. Now THAT would say a great deal about personal choice and freedom in society & business wouldn’t it?
There is no such thing as “news” in the media, it is “entertainment”. Fact of life is that there just isn’t the capacity in peoples lives or attention span for information delivered in a manner reminiscent of a high school chemistry textbook that you seem to have expected. If
Rather than writing an article that rather hypocritically does exactly what you complain about, provide a viable alternative. We live in a electronic age where global information reach is but a click away; smart devices and simple rather inexpensive technology exists to get your message to a massive audience. If your message is import enough – then make the effort to sell it to the media and make it palatable to an audience. THAT is the point that is trying to be made to you when comments have been made about the lack of public figures (celebrity sells) and the diluting ‘generalisation’ of the protest message.
If you really feel strongly and you’re not getting what you think you deserve, stop whining and do something about it in the way that more people can relate and be engaged with. Then do it again and then do it again and THEN do it again until things change.
Democracy isn’t a perfect system and never can be. There will always be areas of the community or components of the social fabric that will be disadvantaged or dissatisfied by absolutely every decision made, just as there are areas that will be advantaged or pleased. The nation voted for this government and we got what we voted for. But we as citizens have the final say with the right (and obligation in Australia) to change the decision-makers if required, every four years.
ROSSNIGE, I don’t know about you but I vote every 3 years.
Indeed. Damn it, Victoria!!! Just go out and buy your own string of TV stations… or maybe a newspaper with tame, biased reporters! Simples.
Actually just noticed how cheap Channel 10 shares are…
Perhaps we should buy that before Gina or Rupert snap it up.
I’d keep the Bolt Report, but change its name to “The Nuts and Bolt Report”!
It’s rather amusing to reflect on Bob Brown’s dismissal of the “Convoy of No Confidence”:
Funny how each side dismisses the other in an identical fashion.
Well of course it’s meaningless that Bob Brown dismissed the convoy. What the hell did we expect him to do?
The point is, as you well know, that each of politics dismisses the other with identical rhetoric. In both cases it’s mostly empty.
I just had a thought. At the next march it would be a good idea to have booths at the end with a supply of voting registration forms with people who can help you fill them in and a post bag to send them off collectively.
Yeh… I well-know. Just couldn’t resist a dig! Childish… I know…
What’s funny about that quote is that I changed “Convoy” to “March”. No one is ever really happy, are they?
Also, all schools should do the same thing for their year 12 students
That’s actually a pretty damn good idea. At the start or end or at the pre-rally events. We absolutely do need to get that youth vote, especially. It’s such a huge untapped resource (oh, shit, don’t show that last bit to Gina …)
It’s ok Dan, my kids would tell Gina to go ….elsewhere…if she offered them $2 a day. Even the tooth fairy pays better than that.
SMH didn’t cover the MIM because GinaRinehart is Fairfax’s biggest shareholder.
Rossnige – I’d say that you are more than “a little bit” confused. On the basis of your rant, I’d say that you are almost totally confused.
Incidentally, the “nation” didn’t vote for this government. The following figures describe the actual situation at the time of the Federal election in December 2013:
*The potential voting pool in Australia totals about 70% of the actual population. (16.12 / 23.13 million)
*Of that potential pool, only 91% are enrolled & therefore eligible to vote (14.72 million)
*Of those eligible voters only 13.73 million turned out, ie. around 63% of the population
*Of the votes cast, only 12.4 million were valid, ie. effective participation of around 53.6% of the population
*Of the valid votes cast, the Coalition received 5.88 million or around 25.4% of the population
I can’t say that I would agree with your description of 25.4% of the population as being “the nation”.
Interestingly, even if we leave aside those that couln’t have voted anyway – that figure amounts to only:
*Around 40% of potential voters
*Around 43% of the turnout
*Around 47% of valid votes
So, well less than the 50% +1 that we (curiously) consider a mandate. Indeed, I would argue that it is reasonable to say that more Australians who were able to express an opinion *did* not want this government than those who did.
This view is supported further by the fact that these were total votes for a *Coalition” of 4 Parties which, while having “right” leaning policies in common, do have significantly different focuses.
The Liberal Party, which effectively dominates and dictates government policy for the whole of this Coalition, actually obtained only 32% of valid first preference votes which represents a yes from less than 18% of the “nation” – a mandate, indeed! – I don’t think.
You might care to note also that despite on its own merits, the Australian Labor Party received around 33.4% of valid first preference votes, representing a yes from 18.6% of the population. Still a low figure, I agree, but never-the-less, significantly higher than that of the Liberal Party which absurdly claims a mandate.
Again, this is all the more significant an achievement by the ALP when considering the media basis that you seem to believe doesn’t exist. With the exception of an independent, The Guardian, and one of the Fairfax stable, The Age, all of the mainstream dailies of both Murdoch and Fairfax, and all the weekenders, supported the Coalition for the 2013 election. When one adds to that the soporific of television and the blatantly populist appeal by the Coalition to the worst side of human nature: selfishness, xenophobia, fear of difference, pseudo nationalist patriotism and greed; the only surprise is that there are still so many who are willing to stand up and be counted in opposing the mean-spirited, morally deficit, inhumane, rhetorically mind numbing and dishonest group of (dis)honourables that constitute the parliamentary Liberal Party and its Coalition colleagues.
Again well written Victoria! The problem is lazy journalism and lazy politicians. I don’t just mean Greg Hunt and Wikipedia, though that exemplifies the issue. Electronic and print media want their stories written for them. Axe the Tax is a lot quicker to type up or fill the half hour news than a full blooded debate about the necessity to discourage carbon emissions. Ignorant voters don’t want to have to read a whole lot of information to establish who has the policies that best suit them? If that were the case we wouldn’t have this lying simpleton of a PM. Way too much journalism involves “opinion” ( whose opinion is debatable) it’s far easier to blurt out unresearched babble than to hit the library or the internet or heaven forbid do some real interviews to garner facts.
Long live the A.I.M.N. Where opinion comes without a master.
The thing that gets the least attention is the peaceful nature of the March in March. No violence, destruction, riots, arrests or damage. (which probably explains the absence of media interest – no argy bargy the staple of the news) The worst they could find was the use of a swear word on a few signs and t shirts. Nothing you would not see in a walk through your local mall. And as someone mentioned above, journo’s made call outs for photo’s of offensive signs. Anyone who was at an MiM can tell easily if the comments come from someone who was there or someone with no knowledge and talking bullshit.
It’s pretty amazing that over 110,000 people came out to March. Next big one is being scheduled for May with another in September. Lots of mini events at local levels. Get out and get involved. It is our country they are ruining. 🙂 Family Friendly Events.
well said, victoria
summed it up perfectly
and yes, we will march again!