Saturday, March 10, 2007

MSM - MainStreamMedia - have they lost touch?

Have those entities the blogosphere refers too as the MSM - the main stream media - TV, newspapers, motion pictures, radio - lost touch with the larger population?

Do they, do they seek to, reflect Public Opinion, or do they seek to direct and influence our opinions. How well does 'the Fourth Estate' carry out it's responsibilities and wield it's considerable power in the political and social spheres?

Perhaps some examples would be useful;

A hot issue (pardon the pun) these days is climate change and global warming. Some are sceptical. Many who advocate tough measures to fight what they see as an emergency advocate gagging those sceptics that disagree with them. For them, the issue is settled, and those that get in the way of what they see as needing to be done need 'dealing with'.
In Australia recently the Ten network made and ran Cool Aid, a programme on Climate change. The public where expected to tune in in large numbers, instead, they tuned out. As a newspaper put it;

"...Truthfully, we're confused," says Ten's network head of programming, Beverley McGarvey. "They didn't come. It's not like they came to the show, sampled it and went away. They didn't come..."
In 1999, there was the Republic Referendum, which was not just about IF Australia was to become a republic, but on the specific model. I would argue that Australians rejected the model, not the idea of a republic. However, we ask here if the media were even handed in their treatment of the subject. As I recall, of Australia's 19 major newspapers, 18 editorialised for a 'Yes' vote (1 - the Financial Review, essentially abstained). However, the 'No' vote won. Was the media biased, more to the point, were they out of step with public sentiment?
"...I think most people would see that it's been made quite clear from the print media that they're in favour of change. We've seen that time and time again: the Telegraph call their referendum page Queen or Country, as if there is no difference. Well I say that you can be a patriotic constitutional monarchist, and The Australian has made it quite clear that they are in favour of change and they've dedicated editorial after editorial arguing for change...".
And other issues. We see the media strongly support the idea of gun control. The other side of the story rarely gets any media coverage at all, it's very one-sided.
However, the 1988 NSW state election was supposed to be a 'referendum on gun control'. The opposition coalition parties backed shooters rights and won by a landslide. (Interesting to see what happened in Brazil when they had a referendum on the issue).

Does the MSM reflect, or seek to steer public opinion. Clearly they seek to influence rather than reflect. And that is why the blogosphere is so important, as an alternative source of news, commentary, and opinion, but also as an oversight function.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Hi Prac

Well I reckon on the republic vote that Howard intentionally pushed the Preamble project (with a tame poet) to bore everyone to tears and make them fear a new constitution would be a minority (eg aboriginal) rights project.

All this alienated many with previously positive feelings towards a republic. Old Howard manipulated the MSM to get this result.

Pete

Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Jaye Newland said...

Hello Pete,
I am not interested in what,s in the print media.
The Republic debate i am interested, i am a senior citizen, and have had different life experiences to the present generations.
I prefer having the Royals, Australians served the British Empire, they now serve the USA, i identify more with European than American.
I am anti American greed and aggression and their crazy religious attitudes. Australians have become yankcentric and as a result they have become dumbed down, and easily led by the nose by the greedy corporates and ignorant politicians in situ today.
I am not proud, i don,t like the Australian flag, as it ignores Aboriginals, and i don,t like the Australian anthem. Even so i am anti Republic.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 5:20:00 am  

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