John Alexander (until recently editor-in-chief and
publisher of Fairfax's The Sydney Morning Herald) speaking at the Andrew
Olle memorial lecture 5/11/98:
"There is arrogance without qualification, an ongoing confusion of comment with reporting, and above all, an obsession with writing about one's peers, ignoring the interests and demands of readership.
"There is a disturbing trend: The medium as (journalists as) a participant.
"It is not surprising then that politicians become deeply cynical, even vengeful... I don't suspect - I know - that we've overstepped the mark."
Over the past two and a half years my faith and trust in a lot of people has diminished. Trust is a quality that must be earned and I have found a vast majority of the Australian media have not earned my trust but destroyed and embedded in me a hate for journalists.
Extract from "Censoring the Truth" the October 1998 federal launch of One Nation:
On-line link detailing live coverage of this event.
For about ten minutes the journalists, cameramen and photographers complied, leaving the hall, while the assembled One Nation supporters prepared for the private post-launch meeting. Pauline Hanson was signing the back of someone's One Nation t-shirt when the assembled party faithful heard a disturbance at the rear of the room.
Turning, they saw the media body returning like a flock of sheep following The Sydney Morning Herald's Margo Kingston and The Courier Mail's Christine Jackman back into the hall.
The pair were on a mission of destruction. They openly confronted David Oldfield in front of the party faithful. The television cameras recorded every moment of a remarkable media-inspired situation where Margo Kingston cried foul because the policy documents had not been accompanied by "promised" costings. The basis of Kingston's attack was that the costings had been promised that day .
"Where are the costing you promised us Mr Oldfield," Margo Kingston shouted repeatedly to the benefit of those gathered in the hall.
Jackman called Hill a liar over her comments on ABC Radio 4QR. "Why did you lie about The Courier Mail on radio today Mrs Hill," Christine Jackman shouted in similar vein.
The next day Jackman would allege in The Courier Mail that Heather Hill had said on the morning of the launch "you pick up The Courier Mail and you have three pages of very detailed policy of the major political parties and only a few lines from One Nation".
Here we had a most remarkable situation. A situation where the media, instead of reporting on issues, was actually creating the story that would appear on television that night and, most certainly, the Australian papers the next day.
A situation where the journalists and cameramen who came back into the private meeting were performing in a manner which could do their profession no good but, under the circumstances, was one where they would be judge and jury on how the incident was reported. No violent group of protesters, such as those at the One Nation meeting in Dandenong could have such an influence on the perception of what went on that day. Murdoch's request to "kill the cow" had been actioned weeks before but this was to be the press' defining moment.
For this one brief moment in time the hidden workings of the media had boiled to the surface. For those who witnessed the moment it was like walking, momentarily, into a time warp behind the carefully shrouded scenes.
Extract from chapter : "Media Barons and Media Ownership":
The greatest white collar "moral" crime in Australia is the shifting of the tax burden from the rich and well-connected to the poor. Where taxes are cut or avoided in one area new taxes have to be generated in another. It is a simple accounting requirement in balancing the books.
Packer and Murdoch are not alone in using their contacts to avoid or reduce their tax liabilities. Most multinationals in Australia use our tax laws to avoid paying their fair share.
The result is easy to predict, more tax being paid by those who cannot afford it, and when they have been "bled dry" an erosion in government services along with job shedding. This is taking place in Australia now.