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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Media and critical thinking « Previous | |Next »
March 8, 2005

This article in The Age suggests a poor understanding of how the media works by the Australian Broadcasting Authority. In upholding some of the claims of former communications minister Richard Alston's that the ABC was biased and "anti-American" in its Iraq coverage.

David Nolan comments:

Take the ABA report, for example. If one follows its logic, journalists should present information from press briefings, but should not question the motivations behind them."Spin", so central to modern warfare, can only be presented as information, even in a current affairs program - if, that is, it comes from our side.

Presenters cannot, it appears, ask probing critical questions to elicit information and analysis from those "on the scene", whether guests or journalists. Rather they must ask them to simply describe what they see, without touching on critical issues at stake.


That implies that critical thinking is not a part of the media.It cannot critically comment on what others are saying.

Nolan draws this conclusion as well. He says:

Most disturbing, however, is what the ABA deems to be illegitimate journalism. Journalists cannot ask critical questions of reporters "on the ground", even if they reject what the interviewer proposes.

As the ABC argues, this finding "has the potential to seriously undermine the role and practice of current affairs broadcasting". And, we might add, informed public debate.

Today critical thinking is suspect. Have you noticed the recent trend of attacking critical thinking and celebrating the prejudices and bigotry of commonsense.

That view bodes ill for our liberal democracy. Our democracy depends on the critical and enterprising journalism of a public broadcaster willing and able to make a major contribution to democracy.

Strange how very little is said about the mass marketing assault every 10 minutes on commercial free to air television and its mass deception.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:41 PM | | Comments (0)
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