NEWS.com.au | Ill health ends Latham's career (January 19, 2005) ...fucking awful bit of writing, even for The Daily Telegraph (via news.com.au). The lead par shows tremendous bias and value judgements yet poses as an article instead of the opinion piece it so clearly is. The chosen photo implies that the cameraman didn't simply fall over and the caption is too vague to clarify it. Keep in mind that news is supposed to be reported in a fair and unbiased manner. The reader should be presented with bland facts and allowed to form their own opinion. Farr clearly can't separate personal opinion from professional output, nor can his editor.
Meanwhile the actual comment piece NEWS.com.au | Experiment proved a disaster (January 19, 2005) is a perfect example of why many opinion pieces shouldn't be printed - it's nothing but a combination ego-stroke and vicious personal attack on Latham. Akerman revels in the fact that he beat up the bullshit about Latham needing to 'respond' the tsunami - a manufactured 'failing' which nobody would ever have even noticed had people like Akerman reported news instead of politicising tragedy. Akerman should never have been allowed to use a media outlet to air his personal anger at Latham. So fucking what if Latham sought a new outlet for his column? Perhaps he simply realised The Daily Telegraph lacked the integrity to say no to people like Akerman - that it would dignify the airing of a grudge.
This is all typical of the vile behaviour of the Australian media with regards to Latham. The press hated him and so they've hounded him out of office. Then they've immediately turned around and vilified him for resigning. Then they've blamed someone else - NEWS.com.au | Premiers stuck the knife in deep (January 19, 2005). The only concession to the media's role that I've seen so far is NEWS.com.au | Headlines 'finished off' Latham (January 19, 2005), which quotes a sympathetic view of the situation.
So what can we conclude? Well for one thing The Daily Telegraph isn't fit to line the proverbial budgie's cage, but that's hardly a new observation. The Australian media are tremendously biased and getting more open about it every day. We cannot trust the media and we should not put up with them setting the nation's agenda to best suit their publishing schedule. Our politicians have failed to work in the nation's best interests, our media have failed to call them out to face scrutiny.
What can we do? Well, don't go to just one media outlet. Look up Australian media ownership and pick sources from different owners (yeah, both of 'em). Get your main news from the ABC, they may not be perfect but they're pretty damn good. Try not to get distracted by all the crap about celebrities that gets run as lead stories - remember, in hardcopy the social and entertainment pages are NOT on the front page (as much).
Above all, don't believe everything you read.