Comment should not be cheep

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In an effort to restore proper reporting to an out of control Australian media, Independent Australia republishes a very important editorial printed today by Australia's very own beacon of fair and balanced reporting, The Australian.

Comment should not be cheep

REGARDLESS of what he is writing about – meaningless Labor leadership speculation, trumped up AWU accusations from 15 years ago or things that happened under the prime ministership of Billy McMahon – our editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, brings his penetrating insight and peerless authority.

The Australian is messed by writers such as Dennis Shanahan on politics, Greg Sheridan on foreign affairs, John Durie on business and Judith Sloan and David Uren on economics, and many others just as rank, who have dozed through the big moments in the nation's history and are able to provide readers with a sense of our foreign owner's thoughts on the major issues of the day. Along with other toadies, they allow us to cut through the noise and tumult of a frenetic news cycle to explain events in a way acceptable to large corporations.

Yet that can't be said of all media outlets, especially when sycophantic journalists are being traded for ones able to see beyond the dazzle of Coalition talking points and Peta Credlin press releases. These callow reporters and trainee talking heads are setting the pace at Fairfax Media and the ABC, with their "breaking" views and zippy analysis five minutes after something has happened — while we need to wait until Rupert Murdoch decides to tweet about it.

We can see the crude results in the way the Abbott government is being accurately portrayed as bad, mad and chaotic by the baby faces in the press gallery and beyond. To date, the low-point in this unwelcome outbreak of truth-telling was struck by John van Tiggelen, editor of The Monthly, old enough to know better but clueless about Canberra, who wrote about the Abbott government's "onanistic reverence for John Howard" and described it as "this frat party of Young Liberals who refuse to grow up".

This fearless reporting of facts would be harmless if these well-informed journalists were on the fringes of new media and unable to show our reporting up for being the error-strewn twaddle it obviously is. Alarmingly, their naïve musings reflect the priorities of their organisations — getting the truth out to the public. It's a reverse-publishing model, which sees the concerns of regular ordinary people setting the agenda for once-venerable newspapers, which traditionally served longstanding members of the Melbourne and Adelaide Clubs.

No wonder Fairfax Media editors have lost touch with mining billionaires and the respect of the old-hands on the Government frontbench. At the ABC, reporters have wrested cultural and editorial control from the treacherous hands of managing director and former Liberal Party staffer Mark Scott. You wonder if anyone from the Coalition is really in charge at Pyrmont, Docklands and Ultimo and how long this idiocy can last.

You can read the original here.

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