We've taken a look at some of the arguments for and against the NBN. And yet, almost every week we see another article in this newspaper or that news site or that news bite on TV that someone is once again decrying the uselessness/expense/inefficiency etc. of the NBN. Obviously the Coalition aren't simply going to lie down against sensible arguments, no party would if their policy disagreed. But that doesn't necessarily explain the constant harassment of the NBN by the media:
- The Australian recently ran a story about a school in South Australia entitled "School faces $200,000 bill to join NBN". You'll notice the link takes you to Gizmodo AU....that's because The Australian pulled down the story after issuing a small retraction, noted here by Delimiter. It appears the school in fact was always going to get the NBN for free, it just hadn't released the fibre rollout maps for that area, so options were being discussed if it wasn't.... Quite significantly different from the headline wouldn't you say...
- The Daily Telegraph has issued numerous articles slamming the NBN and the Australian Press Council took exception to them late last year (see article). In fact, many News Ltd. associated media outlets, including The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail and Brisbane Times have issued constant and consistent negative streams of news about the NBN
- These 2 (1, 2...) articles by The Australian paint a picture that the Wingecarribee Shire (That's MY SHIRE PEOPLE!!!!) residents are against the NBN. It will threaten our way of life, our very reasons for continuing to live here.....except that they only spoke to elderly residents in Bowral who have little if any use for broadband.....oh and the little matter of the fact that they mention Kiama Downs, an important test site for the NBN to gauge customer reaction, in BOTH articles, being a part of the Wingecarribee Shire....I've lived here my entire life. No part of Kiama is, has been or most likely ever WILL be in the Wingecarribee Shire. That is simply a trick of Electoral boundaries, as some of us in the Wingecarribee Shire are part of the Kiama ELECTORATE. This is, was and continues to be false reporting of the highest degree. And it makes my blood boil as a young person who choses to continue to live in the beautiful Southern Highlands, even though poor technical jobs and outside communications are some of the reasons most young people LEAVE the Highlands. (sorry, ranted a bit there, but I actually never saw this article when it came out, I just found it on Delimiter here with a very good rebuttal. If I had found it, I think I'd be in jail for grievous bodily harm against The Australian editor. Oh and we're NOT "The Shire".....that's Sutherland....)
Media in Australia is a mixed bag. Depending on your particular preference; political, medium or journalistic, you can receive wildly varying "truths" of news across various reporting media. But one thing should never be done; false reporting. Headlining and tabloid reporting are tolerable, sometimes; if you don't like them or aren't interested, don't read them. But false reporting, like the last mentioned article is wrong, ethically, morally and democratically. A strong Democracy relies on the media reporting the hard truth, unbiased and direct. It's been said that "a person is smart; people are dumb" and media are one of the major influences on this. The highest 3 circulating newspapers in Australia are the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph and the Courier Mail. ALL are News Ltd. publications. What does this say about the information the vast majority of Australians are receiving....
When a media company shows it is not trustworthy in its' reporting, I usually stop reading or watching. I'd be relegated to The Sydney Morning Herald here, which I occasionally buy, but usually find its' reporting on the tabloid side too. This is my preference. I tend to get my news from internet sources these days- NOT major media sites. I find it much more relaxing and personalised. I still find things I disagree with, sure, but I can usually tell if that is the person's opinion, or a genuine news article I don't like. With newspapers, ALL articles are supposed to be news, except the Opinions sections, which I actually find refreshing, because at least you KNOW these peoples have an agenda and you can agree or disagree and have your say too.
My point in this? It has become clear News Ltd. media is biased against the NBN. Some will say this is from the top down (ie. the owner, Rupert Murdoch). Some will say News Ltd. has always favoured the Conservative, Liberal side of politics (ie. The Coalition). I say, ANY biased news is bad news. This is regardless of media company. Don't believe everything you read from major media outlets, or websites. In fact, don't believe everything you read fullstop. Look at its' sources, back it up, ask questions, read an opposing view, leave comments (the internet is a boon for sticky beaks and know-it-alls like me!), start your own Blog like me in an effort to try and open discussion and educate without forcing an opinion. Yes, I'm pro-NBN, but not because it's a good political policy. And not because it's going to give me better ping in Second Life (no, don't worry I don't). Because it is going to reshape Australia, for the better.