Annabel Crabb is one of my favourite Australian political journalists. I find her very objective being fairly critical of both sides of politics.
However I have to disagree strongly with her recent piece on ‘The Drum’ which deals with News Ltd. at home.
The overall tone of the article is how Murdoch’s media is different here than in the UK. But then she goes on to comment on how the Gillard’s government is reacting to their reporting.
Government ministers at present have an almost superstitious fear and loathing of the News Limited stable. They believe News, through its aggressive reporting of the BER scheme and the National Broadband Network (in The Australian) and the tabloids’ campaign for a fresh election, is trying to destroy the Gillard Government.
News Ltd. is out to destroy the Gillard Government, there is nothing superstitious about it. It is a campaign pure and simple, it is not just ‘aggressive’ because the way the news is portrayed is designed to make the government look as bad as possible.
The whole tone of the papers (where compensation for the carbon tax was seen not as a way to help people, but as a blow to ‘hard-working Australians) was not balanced. The front pages of both the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph were purposefully negative.
The other side of the issue (for example that 60% of economists support the tax) was ignored or buried. The fact that News Ltd. is against the government is well and good. But when I hear John Hartigan say on the 7.30 report that they are ‘balanced’ I just have to laugh. Of course the government being narky won’t help them either. But let’s call a spade a spade.