Over a quick coffee this morning I browsed The Advertiser,  the one and only daily paper for South Australia . Two articles about climate change caught my eye.

The first, a half page illustrated spread on the upcoming climate conference. The focus of course was on the carbon cost of the flights to get there, the dollars to be spent on “bureaucrats” , and the fact that the accomodation will be luxurious.

A few pages later, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the postage-stamp sized article informing me that a new record minimum artic sea ice extent has just been recorded, 1/2 % lower than the previous 2007 record (Update 20th September 2011. I have since checked in with the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, and they are putting 2011 as a close second after 2007. There would appear to be some disparity between the findings of the different organisations who follow this. For useful context, the previous 5 years are the lowest on record).

New Arctic sea ice minimum, 2011 compared with 2007

How do I fight this? When it is so clear that those who control the monopoly newspaper in my city are doing everything they can to make news out of nothing, and obscure the real story, what the hell do I do?

I do this. It’s all I’ve got. Do me a favour and pass it on.

11 comments

  1. It’s not just that the Murdoch tabloids suppress crucial climate news but that they push their own agenda e.g who must replace the PM. We report we also decide. It’s disgraceful that the pretender to Australia’s only national newspaper is part of the Murdoch fold. It’s as if we are a nation of ignoramuses. Try this line sometime ‘oh I see you are reading the Murdoch press you must have a keen analytic mind’. Then run. Trouble is some other media are what I’d call too-clever-by-half. For example they never question the ability of wind and solar to displace coal.

  2. Oh, in response to your more global question, how do we fight this crap? Let me know when you’ve got a solution, smart people have been bewailing the utter crapness of Australian print media for a long time now, it doesn’t appear to be resolvable. The only way out is bypassing the system – don’t read it, don’t buy it, get (generate) your news elsewhere. Though don’t get in the ghetto of reading only the stuff that you agree with.

  3. There’s left wing bias in The Age. Right wing bias in the ‘Tiser (many other newspapers, and in commercial radio and TV). How about some journalistic integrity and unbiased stories with a range of opionions presented? After all, journalists do seem to hold themselves and their role in society in very high esteem.

  4. A quote (which made a great impression on me) from “The Games” (satire on the Sydney Olympics) with John Clarke and Brian Dawe.
    “This is the Australian media, Gina. There will be no in depth analysis.”

  5. I also noted the pitiful coverage of the Arctic sea ice story in the Advertiser this morning. Then when I got home this evening the “Axe the tax with facts” leaflet from the Galileo Movement was in my mailbox. Very depressing.

  6. True story- near the end of the Cold War some Soviet officials visited the US. They were intrigued by the US media, asking an official- cue heavy Russian accent- “How do you get your newspaper to all say the same thing… we have to pull journalist’s fingernail out to have this desired effect in our country…”

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