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

The Australian: the voice of the nation? « Previous | |Next »
March 24, 2010

The Australian newspaper, like other corporate media, is divided between news and commentary with the news operations increasingly becoming an adjunct to opinion and analysis. The news portion is becoming small whilst the opinion portion very large. The model appears to be some news, a lot of opinion, and a theatrical presentation of it all. More space and writing is spent assessing news than reporting it.

It assesses the news from a conservative perspective---from free-market economics, lower taxes, faster economic growth and socially conservative values. Though it presents itself as the broadsheet of the nation, it is increasingly positioning itself as the newspaper for the unrepresented --- for Howard's battlers, or contemporary populist conservatives. It's sharp opinions do not necessarily offend a broad audience because there is no broad audience to start with anymore. The overheated talk is mobilizing supporters –to make them more enraged and more frustrated about Rudd Labor.

It is increasingly the voice of the Liberal Party; one that has has shrunk to a narrow base with no apparent agenda other than to oppose everything the Rudd Government proposes, even to opposing policies the Liberals once supported. Their strategy under Abbott is no deal with Rudd: no negotiations, no compromise.

This bottom line of this strategy is that The Australian, like the other Murdoch newspapers, is in the business of getting audience and advertisers, and to that end uses the tactics of sensationalism and deception, though less than the screeching tabloids.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:59 AM | | Comments (8)
Comments

Comments

quote from Guy Rundle in Crikey, "that gully trap of human despair, the Australian's op-ed pages". It's not the voice of the nation, but the voice of sad people.

Lyn,
have you had a chance to look at our new womens daily rag? I think its still called the Bulletin.
It positively makes me wish to menstruate.

"...news from a conservative perspective"

hmmmm, so THAT'S what passes for "conservative" these days?

oh my.

If the Australian is the voice of the nation, then you can tell from where the nation must talk.
What might it have for brains, therefore?

The Australian is still Australia's only national newspaper. The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald are regional newspapers.

As a national newspaper it has made some progress in addressing the shift of the audience from consumer to citizen though we need to interpret citizen as conservative citizen who dislikes Labor and is willing to become part of the Liberal noise machine .

Lyn,
angry people as well as sad.There is a lot of anger in the comments to the Australian's various blogs.

I lost any remaining respect for The Australian when it said: "there would be much to lose environmentally if Australia scaled back coal mining".

This was an untitled opinion piece that hinted as an editorial.

Perhaps more of us should be reading Clive Hamilton's latest novel.

Les,
I don't have a cat tray or bird cage, so don't need the Bulletin.

A bunch of people have asked me about it. Is it a newspaper or a lifestyle magazine? I hear there's very little Gold Coast news in it. I'll have to get a copy and see what the fuss is about. My understanding so far is that it's part of the preparation for Rupert's paywall.