Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Australian journalism’s freak show: how a serious newspaper deals with its enemies

First published October 22

Journalism is in crisis, we’re told constantly.

But there’s another journalism crisis that has been disrupting and polluting the Australian media for more than a decade, a crisis that has nothing to do with broken business models, Facebook or the rise of so-called fake news.

This is the crisis of how a serious national newspaper has, for at least a decade, waged vicious, personal, biased editorial Holy Wars against its ideological, political and commercial enemies in the name of “news”, “journalism” and “professional reporting”.

And not just once or occasionally, but often and serially.

Of course the technique of journalism Holy Wars — as we’re calling it in a 13-part series that starts today in Crikey — is as old as journalism itself. It was the red meat of William Randolph Hearst’s media empire that was captured so viscerally in the movie Citizen Kane, and it’s a device that has been practised with ruthless amorality by British tabloids for a century and by Fox News for two decades.

But the crucial difference between other global attack-dog media and The Australian is that it purports to be a quality newspaper — one described by then-prime minister Tony Abbott at its 50th birthday dinner in 2014 as “one of the world’s very best newspapers … no think-tank, no institution, no university has so consistently and so successfully captured and refined the way we think about ourselves”.

The Australian Holy Wars may appear to some people like an internecine media attack by one publication taking cheap ideological potshots at another. We beg to disagree

Read here

John Menadue: How a rogue organization operates

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. spikey

    November 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    reconstructing the adverse facts in ways that turn defeat into victory

    clearly tasmanian forestry has strong germanic influence

    of course the authority on propaganda, nagle, is exempt from such stereotypical behaviour, even when comparing marriage equality to clean coal

    what a proper goose

  2. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    November 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    ‘The Australian’ is an example of how modern totalitarianism works.

    Privatised corporate totalitarianism does not require the now obsolescent and all too obvious features of an autocratic state, like opinion policing and full control of the entire media.

    The domination of discourse by marketing means that a 70% market share is quite sufficient to manage how that discourse plays out in controlling effective strategic majorities.

    The conversion of news into propaganda is a subtle enough process so that when it is run by people who know what they are doing it is just as overwhelming as Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’.

    The elegance of this system is that it marginalises and isolates the ‘intelligentsia’ in ways far more effective than sending them to concentration camps or shutting down their views.

    The climate ‘debate’ is a classic of the genre. It really doesn’t matter whether the case for business-as-usual is scientific gobbledygook any more than the Nazi conspiracy case against the Jews was. The same kind of authority is conferred on Andrew Bolt as it was for German commentators who worked for the information Reichministry.

    I have close relatives with whom it is entirely impossible to have a debate about the subject of climate policy. They read the Australian and it is gospel. They read it every day … drip, drip, drip.

    And the thing is that no matter how bad the climate situation gets, The Australian will do what the German information Reichministry did, namely by reconstructing the adverse facts in ways that turn defeat into victory which it kept doing until invading allied armies overwhelmed them. And the thing is, they were able to do this not just because they could, but because mass populations were conditioned to only want the good news, no matter how bad things got. They didn’t want real news; they wanted reassurance.

    The thing is that ‘The Australian’ isn’t the only one into this. Discourse across the board becomes corrupted in totalitarian societies. All discourse and news becomes reduced to the same public relations and marketing glop … slogans, keywords, euphemisms, condemnatories and wanton cliches. Real debate disappears into highly orchestrated thirty second grabs fronted by voices and authoritative personalities that seem to appear ‘spontaneously’ in the architecture of opinion formation.

    ‘Clean Coal’ and ‘Marriage Equality’ are exactly the same sloganeering genre run by exactly the same sort of people with exactly the same opinion shaping agenda that is designed to render debate into propaganda aimed not at reasoning, but conditioning prejudices.

    That is how ‘the system’ works.

  3. Philip Lowe

    October 28, 2017 at 4:02 am

    What an awful feeling to live in a place that does not have an open, honest and free press. BBC TV can look so propaganda.
    Just where does loyalty to the state conflict with honesty?

  4. john hayward

    October 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    The conservative side of both journalism and politics has never really accepted democracy and it has recently shown signs of jointly tiring of its politically correct charade.

    We now have the Coalition moving to assist itself and Murdoch in dismantling genuine journalism with enabling legislation. Would you find the likes of Amanda Vanstone, Georgina Downer, Gerrard Henderson and anyone from the IPA or serial deniers of climate change in a serious analysis of public affairs?

    John Hayward

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