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

it's more than lazy journalism « Previous | |Next »
February 2, 2012

Wilcox's cartoon leaves out an important player in her representation of the tent embassy protest event in Canberra. Where is the media? More specifically, what is not represented in the cartoon is the Canberra media gallery and the way their political journalism constructs and distorts the political event.

WilcoxCTentprotest.jpg

It's yet another indication how those who work in the media have very little critical awareness of the media as a player in political life. They cannot see beyond a Gina Rinehart buying into Fairfax to create a bigger platform for her political views.

The standard response to the criticism that the media consistently misrepresents and distorts political events is that this lazy journalism arises because of the less profitable (than 20 years ago) newspapers trying to make the transition to the digital world. This time and money pressure argument states that journalists don't have time to do their job properly. Not only has demand for content increased with the emergence of the internet, but the same digital technology has undermined the newspaper's ability to adequately fund the profession.

This argument is correct in so far as it goes. The journalists don't have much time to fact-check the politician's spin or to assess the claims they make in their speeches. So we do have lazy journalism.

However, time and money pressure argument misses the main point of the criticism. The media are political players with their own agenda and they are spinning just like the politicians. They both spin together and the spin of both often reinforces each other--as exemplified by the recent tent-embassy protests in Canberra.

Let's face it, journalists are ideologues-- their job is to misrepresent and distort reality to further the political and economic interests of the media organization. If they don't they are out of a job.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:31 AM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

"... their job is to misrepresent and distort reality to further the political and economic interests of the media organization..."

That sums it up pretty well, generally, Gary. But what about the ABC?

They do not need to sell anything, but now fall over themselves representing business interests that already have a very big say through the commercial media.

"... journalists are ideologues-- their job is to misrepresent and distort reality to further the political and economic interests of the media organization. If they don't they are out of a job."

Yep, I agree with joe2.

This ABC point was in evidence last night.
ABC was largely junk.
SBS provided several hours of excellent material, ranging from British ancient history through the death of Doomadgee and finally the assassination of of Martin Luther King, with much focus on pitiful James Earl Ray, provided you could put up with the ad breaks.
Is it accidental that for the better stuff, you had to sit through the ads?