Muller, Denis: Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right

Denis Muller

Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right‘, The Conversation, 19 June 2017 updated

Historical view of the ownership and attitudes of Australian newspapers since the 19th century, though nowadays it is mostly a matter of Fairfax versus Murdoch, with the Guardian lurking online.

As the News Corp papers have become more stridently conservative, the Fairfax journalists seem to have taken it on themselves to provide at least some ideological counterweight … This polarisation also reflects the deep divisions in the composition of the federal parliament, which in turn reflect deep divisions in the community over issues such as climate change and asylum seekers. The fragmentation of political discourse brought about by social media only serves to heighten these divisions. In these circumstances, the body politic would benefit from a renewed commitment by journalists to the qualities that underpinned the ideal of impartiality: accuracy, fairness, open-mindedness and above all balance, which follows the weight of evidence, not the bias of ideology.

Update 22 June 2017: former News Limited executive, John Menadue, talks about the Murdoch press, which he now describes as a ‘rogue organisation’.

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