Is everyone living in a cave?

media dinkus

Keeping up to date

Last week the Daily Telegraph in Sydney ran an opinion piece (pictured) by noted indigenous advocate Warren Mundine lashing hard-line conservations – some might refer to them as “greens” or greenies” – for campaigns aimed at shutting down new industry ventures that might otherwise deliver jobs and economic security to indigenous communities, families, and individuals.telemundine1

This piece ran just days after Mr Mundine was announced as a Liberal Party candidate in the coming federal election.

The paper also insisted on capitalising “Greens”, which could lead some readers to believe Mr Mundine was pinpointing MPs, candidates, and members of the registered political party that goes by that name, and was not just being critical of generic “greens” whose actions he saw as denying indigenous Australians the same chances they have had in life. In addition, the op-ed’s attribution at the end of the item made no mention of the fact Mr Mundine had already been selected as the Libs’ candidate in Gilmore (pictured).

telemundine2You would need to have been living in a cave not to know that salient fact.

Anyone would think the Murdoch-owned Daily Tele did these things on purpose.

Or should we just put it down to them not keeping up to date with some of the big stories in their own paper?

Which sounds more likely we wonder?

Is anyone reading this stuff?

Speaking of living in a cave, staff cuts have afflicted most if not all media outlets in recent times. But the downturn in key positions such as sub-editors should be no excuse for blatantly wrong story presentations.

Take for instance the item running this week on ABC Online about the discoveries by researchers who have been digging around in caves in Siberia.

Apparently they have found evidence of two types of ancient humans who lived in the same locale, it seems, for many years. And we’re talking tens of thousands of years if not more than 100,000 (pictured).

The headline on the story read: “Neanderthals and Denisovans lived in same Siberian cave for 100,000 years.”

abc cave1Yet a line in the story itself said quite clearly: “We do not know whether Denisovans and Neanderthals were housemates living in the cave at the same time.”

It went on to say that the findings by the researchers “suggest both groups lived in the region, met and — on occasion — interbred over the course of approximately 150,000 years”.

In an era of fake news is it too much to ask from our national broadcaster for simple accuracy in headlines?

Perhaps we should count ourselves lucky that A Current Affairs didn’t pick up the item and run a lengthy “neighbours from hell” story complete with recreations featuring hunky cavemen and attractive women all dolled up in revealing animal furs.

No drop off in positive ScoMo coverage

Please don’t think we have The Courier-Mail’s federal political editor Renee Viellaris in our sights.

Oh, heck, think that if you like. We don’t give a rat’s, really.

It’s just that her pieces keep appearing in the Brisbane tabloid and of recent times have been largely “exclusives” or advance “drops” of major Morrison Government announcements with little or no comment from their political opponents.

This week was no exception with a page 6 story on Wednesday about  road projects in and around Peter Dutton’s marginal seat on Brisbane’s outer north (pictured).

All the details were there. The only missing element seemed to be the PM’s letterhead and the contact name and number of the media staffer in the Prime Minister’s office for further information.cmail 301019 pg6

This is a favourite tactic of governments, giving a story in advance to a morning paper to help shape that day’s news agenda.

It’s also a well-known tactic of the Murdoch press to ask, nay demand, such favoured treatment. In these days of reduced staffing and rising costs News Corp loves a handout because they don’t have to spend much time pursuing a story and every “drop” gives naïve paper buyers the impression they are getting something special for their hard earned, plus all those handout stories help fill the vast pages that would otherwise be just blank white space given the paucity of paid ads in newspapers these days.

Unfortunately, like negative political ads, this practice of giving “drops” is often the subject of complaints, but it works.

Other media outlets invariably whinge about these “drops” to favoured or compliant outlets, but then dutifully follow the plan and report the same story for their audience even though by definition it is yesterday’s news because it appeared in that morning’s paper.

Here’s a hint for everyone from other media outlets who might turn up to a news conference based on a story already fully revealed in the morning fish-wrapper. Don’t go to the news conference or, if you do, ignore the already released story and find another issue to talk to the PM or Minister about.