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When news is not enough : we make it up !

Sky News Regional – a new free-to-air television offering – has just launched in regional areas across Australia with such luminaries as Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Cory Bernardi, Paul Murray, Rowan Dean and Peta Credlin hustling to get into our loungerooms, to flood regional airways between Cairns and Kalgoorlie, with anti-immigration rhetoric, climate denialism, conservative claptrap and vaccine misinformation all masquerading as news.

In the meantime, Sky News has been banned from uploading any new content to YouTube or live streaming for a week after violating the social media site’s misinformation policies.

This follows Alan Jones – the poster boy for after dark conspiracies – being dumped from his regular Daily Telegraph column after his misinformation on COVID-19: Newscorp said that Alan Jones ‘no longer resonates with our readers’.

At least six videos from Sky News Australia hosts Alan Jones, Rowan Dean and Rita Panahi have been deleted from YouTube for spreading COVID-19 misinformation about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin as treatments.

You may well wonder why it falls to the Google-owned YouTube to be governing content quality coming from Sky News Australia and why the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is not acting against the divisive, dishonest and damaging enterprise that has become known as Sky-after-Dark: after all ACMA is a government-controlled entity who tell us that their job is to regulate communications and media to maximise the economic and social benefits for Australia. The reason that ACMA have failed to act and left it to a foreign social media site to provide content governance on Australian media output is possibly due to the fact that they have no teeth and this Liberal government is unlikely to change that situation while they continue their unhealthy relationship with the Murdoch organisation and its entities.

What is at stake here is the right of a so-called news organisation to deliver far-right conservative rhetoric, conspiracy theories and outright lies under the guise of news but avoiding the inconvenience of fact-checking, research or traditional investigative journalism. They label it as ‘opinion’ which means that none of these standards apply: this is the business model that Murdoch successfully adopted with Fox News in the US and which his organisation are trying to replicate through Sky News in Australia.

The new free to air offering will potentially reach millions across the nation as a result of the partnership it has developed with two television networks: WIN and Southern Cross Austereo.

Two former prime ministers have warned us about the dominance of the Murdoch media in Australia and the control exerted on our politicians. Kevin Rudd told the Media Diversity Enquiry that:

The “Fox News-isation” of the Australian media was well underway thanks to Sky News Australia breeding climate change denialism and encouraging far-right political extremism, Mr Rudd said.

Malcolm Turnbull told the Enquiry that :

News Corp had evolved from a reasonable media organisation into a highly partisan one which is a danger to democracy. “The most powerful political actor in Australia is not the Liberal party or the National party or the Labor party, it is News Corporation,” he said.“ And it is utterly unaccountable. It is controlled by an American family and their interests are no longer, if they ever were, coextensive with our own.”

Even James Murdoch, the younger son of Rupert, recently resigned from the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content”. He told US regulators, he disagreed with some “strategic decisions” made by the company. Whilst he was not specific, he had previously spoken out against the climate change denialism promoted by the company and its editorial positions.

The question is how do we as a society regulate a news organisation so that there is a clear distinction between what is properly researched and balanced ‘news’ coverage and what are alternative facts and the opinions of a group of right-wing conservative ratbags, masquerading as journalists. Clearly, they have a right to freedom of communication and free speech as they will frequently remind us but when it comes to manufacturing fake news and conspiracy theories it is time to call them out.

At an early stage in its evolution, FOX News in the US carried the slogan ‘Fair and Balanced’ but they walked away from that when they cottoned on to the revenues they could generate from far-right fakery, spurious opinions and alternative facts.

Take care, Australia, these people have an agenda: remember the IPA wish list to which they enthusiastically subscribe –

Item 14: Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Item 15: Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’

Item 50: Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function

Item 51: Privatise SBS


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  1. BB

    Australia needs a large chaff bag, weighted with concrete to stuff into the likes of all the creepy Sky News arseholes, all the News Corpse pricks, and and and and and and all the other douchebag pseudo journos from all the lying MSM bullshit platforms, along with dirtbags from Farcebook etc and other such nasty social fabric destroying ghouls and dump them all into the Mariana Trench.

    Unfortunately we’re on the way back to life in 1984, and IPA Though Police will no doubt now have me listed as a marked man!

  2. Kerri

    Can the IPA be charged for inciting insurrection??
    It’s just a thought!

  3. Kathryn

    SkyNews – the unconscionable purveyors of unspeakable lies, right-wing bullshit, Murdoch-driven LNP-supporting propaganda and character-assassinating slanderous attacks against anyone and everyone who do not agree with their callously inhumane, xenophobic racist, misogynistic and skewed view of the world!

    There can be no doubt that the mindless, deceptive and maliciously vindictive crap that spews out from SkyNews, 2GB, Channel 10 and other mindless purveyors of right-wing-extremism can be equated with unadulterated mental sewerage that is used to pollute, corrupt and manipulate the most gormless, vulnerable, Murdoch-manipulated fools in the nation! The callously inhumane, totally inept, smug, smirking, lying, conniving sociopaths that line the disreputable, totally discredited and regressive intellectual backwater known as the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance don’t even have the moral fibre of a sewer rat nor the combined intellectual spark of a 5 watt globe! Who the fcku votes for these morally bankrupt sociopaths? What type of totally gormless, absolutely deluded, deaf, dumb and/or blind fool actually believes that the smirking, smug, non-achieving, bone-idle Sloth Morrison is a good idea? REALLY ????

  4. Max Gross

    Here that? That’s the sound of approaching jackboots…

  5. Henry Rodrigues

    Alan Jones, poster boy for after dark conspiracies……….. He well experienced in after dark activities, like cruising the public toilets of Sydney and London after dark, in search of satisfaction of a carnal nature and heart racing exciting encounters of the third kind As for that curly haired dickhead Rowan D who portrays himself as some perpetual juvenile delinquent with a precocious grin, he is just that, an paid idiot for the rightwing conservatives. Add to that the usual fuckwits, Bolt, Credlin and company, and you end up with the most unsavoury bunch of nincompoops on the air right now.

  6. Phil Pryor

    Political and press perverts, especially the Merde Dog menagerie of Maggots, a la Alan Jucking-Fones, and Dolt the Dutch fascist, are the worst pox, or plague, or pestilence in Australia, far beyond the covid setback, for deep ongoing filth is injurious to Astralian society over time. Our future is furrily Thucked and reriously sooted. A shitshow known usually as Sky, where some fairies apparently live, is the core of the pox. Can this be treated with a social, educational and psychological vaccine of intelligent awareness? No? Is the Peta Credlin incredulity our huge affliction? Are we Ropelessly hooted??

  7. New England Cocky

    @Kerrie The thing that the IPA fear most is legislation that requires the IPA and other political pressure groups to disclose the details of donations.

    At present donations are anonymous but should legislation restrict donations to only Australian natural persons, to a maximum of $1,000 per person per rolling 12 months, and require the amount, personal details and both corporate and political affiliations to be disclosed on a public website within 48 hours of making the donation, then this may discourage donations and create the opportunity for positive change.

  8. Williambtm

    It bothers me that the mainstream media seem to believe that Australia is awash with idiots.
    There are a great many of us older folk that cannot cope with the drivel being fed to us as news.

    This is one of the reasons that had me seek elsewhere for the older Australian persons to relate to.
    No radio in the home, Television never turned on, then one has to delete trash news sites, mark ’em as spam.

    I resort to independent news sites on the internet, a few overseas news sites to catch up on what’s happening
    over in yonder countries international.
    There is so much propaganda and mindless trash, so I don’t go there, I have become fussy about what goes
    into my memory bank.
    Even the ABC, which publishes a lot of American sourced news, big mistake, as nothing good comes to us from
    America…It’s mostly their military provocations, and about their hatreds, as well as the blame hurled at China and Russia.

    My question; why should we be subjected to so much rubbish and propaganda?

    Quite a lot of the articles presented by the AIM network have need to be published,
    I guess it all comes down to State and Federal government censorship, plus the MSM get a free hand to deprive
    Australia of fact news.
    Australia’s MSM live in a different zone to the general run of the mill people in Australia.

  9. Bill

    williambtm, “why should we be subjected to so much rubbish and propaganda?”
    Depends on who you ask. If you’re asking MSM employees why, the answer is along the lines of:
    ‘We (MSM) are simply taking candy (freedom and rights) from a baby (you).
    Australians are being treated like idiots. The antidote is the OFF button on the remote.

  10. Terence Mills


    The most recent data on IPA funding that I can find shows that the IPA has been significantly funded by Hancock Prospecting, of which Gina Rinehart is the Executive Chair. Hancock Prospecting paid the IPA $2.3 million in financial year 2016 and $2.2 million in financial year 2017, which represents one-third to a half of the IPA’s total revenue in those years.

    The IPA are confident in ensuring that they have an influence over coalition governments – Tim Wilson was Policy Director for the IPA and James Paterson was a Deputy Executive Director of the IPA before they both entered politics for the Liberals and Tony Abbott is a Distinguished Fellow of the IPA.

  11. DrakeN

    Williambtm: “It bothers me that the mainstream media seem to believe that Australia is awash with idiots.”

    Well, they do get some things correct.

  12. GL

    And now we have this from The Rupert Media, ““These changes arise from the company strategy to continue to best position our business for future growth and to ensure we reposition our resourcing needs to these growth areas,” the memo says.” The ongoing disappearance of the Spewscrap print empire will continue until there is only his pay TV and internet (eventually all behind a paywall of course) garbage.

  13. Pete Petrass

    I seriously doubt many people out there will actually watch this shit. Fox will ultimately lose by paying ginormous salaries to scum that nobody wants to listen to, and even Fox can’t keep that up forever.

  14. Keith

    As Terence says, one of the largest known donors to the IPA is Gina, and I have no doubt all her peers donate too, including Murdoch, Palmer, Harvey and others. I understand the IPA also have “charity” status so their donations are tax deductible.

  15. Goog48

    News of the World scandal has been forgotten , think their modus operandi operates here

  16. Josephus

    Yes it is essential to read overseas news too as even the impoverished abc sometimes seems uncritical .
    Whistleblowers are punished Rd Assange or might be cf collaery et al. Jackboots indeed. Or a dystopian future of brainwashed morons halfway 1984, halfway brave new world. Already I see people wearing business slogans on their chests- on their faces next. Capitalism is not at all necessarily a partner of free thought . It is just a different way of corralling us. No need for mass killings. Zombies consume and thus pay for the yachts and coastal mansions of those who fund the rubbish press and their friends.
    At least the mansions will fall into the sea.

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