Stop the rot (the media rot)

A message from . . .

Rupert Murdoch, Fairfax, ABC, SBS and all other Australian media outlets: Stop interfering with the democratic process.

The editorial published in The Age on Saturday, June 22 calling on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to step down, has spurred many of us to express our anger and dismay at the way the mainstream media are manipulating the public.

Like many other Australian voters, we believe that we’re living in the most desperate times that Australia as a nation has ever faced. Nothing less than our precious democracy is at stake.

So far, we haven’t taken to the streets, but we will if necessary. Many Australian voters have found it difficult to believe what’s been happening to us, and to our Prime Minister. But the time has come for us to take action to express our anger and disgust and to demand change.

We are no longer prepared to accept that a former Australian billionaire who owns so much of our media, and Newspoll, of course, is lying to us, manipulating us, and using us to further his own interests. And that the rest of the mainstream media, including the taxpayer-funded ABC, has fallen into step with the Murdoch media.

We are no longer prepared to accept the blatant bias of the mainstream media. We are not prepared to accept television and radio interviewers refusing to allow both the government and the opposition to spell out their policies.

We have had enough of the colossal cheek of interviewers preventing Labor spokespeople from talking about anything other than the leadership, as happened on the 7.30 Report last week, and then being told, as we were in The Age editorial: ‘The Age’s overriding concern is that under Ms Gillard’s leadership, the Labor Party’s message about its future policies and vision for Australia is not getting through to the electorate. Our fear is that if there is no change in Labor leadership before the September 14 election, voters will be denied a proper contest of ideas and policies – and that would be a travesty for the democratic process.’

The travesty rests squarely and heavily on your shoulders – it is of your own creation. How dare you treat the Prime Minister in this way, and then try to blame her for your own behavior?

Why is the message not getting through the media to the voters? Why are you refusing to allow it? Why are you creating doubts about the Labor leadership? Why are you not asking the opposition the tough questions? Who are these unnamed sources? Where are these leaked internal polls?

We could mention uncountable other examples of behavior from the mainstream media that we are no longer prepared to tolerate. It is not OK to treat anyone in the way our PM and the Labor-led minority government has been treated.

So, we, ordinary Australians, request that the management of Fairfax, the Murdoch press, SBS, the ABC and all other media outlets insist that their journalists commence demonstrating the professional qualities required to truthfully inform the people of Australia of issues impacting on ordinary Australians.

In particular, we insist that:
• The media discontinue its creation of news as opposed to the reporting of news.
• The media immediately commence reporting on the policies (or lack thereof) of the Government and the Opposition to allow Australians to have an informed vote.
• You get your hands off our democracy. No more interference in the democratic process.
• You cease and desist from allowing the Prime Minister to be demeaned and trivialized in the media.

If you want to help stop the rot: sign here.