The Federal election has been called for September 7, 2013. That comes after three years of some of the most toxic politics in Australian history. Based on what we’ve observed over the last three years, it’s clear that hung parliaments can result in highly charged environments. We’ve had litany after litany of accusations on both sides of the political fence, and a driving force in the election seems to be who can stigmatise asylum seekers the most. Quite simply, it’s not a healthy environment.
All in all, this hasn’t been an enjoyable three years in politics for anyone except the piggish muckrakers who revel in flinging vitriol.
And through it all, one thing has become increasingly clear – large segments of the media have become so polarised, either personally or via employer requirements, that the terms “fair” and “balanced” have seemingly been thrown out the window. Claims of bias and deceit ring from both sides of the political arena – the left and the right equally shout unfair treatment. And they’re both right.
The problem of course is that unbiased and balanced reporting – reporting, not opining, doesn’t sell. In this age of reality TV and apathetic viewers, newspapers will devote thousands of words to an article about a cooking competition and scant lines to verifiable facts. Instead, practically everything to do with politics is seemingly published now as an opinion, where journalists seem entirely unconstrained.
So it comes as no surprise that a Murdoch owned paper seemed to hit rock bottom this morning – and immediately started digging:
It’s also a pointed reminder that if journalism in Australia is going to survive, it has to demonstrate it deserves to do so – something whole swathes of the industry are clearly failing to do. We’re told the Internet is killing traditional news and journalism. I’d say it’s karma.