Mystery of the missing source

In a Media Glass House earlier this week we pondered the practice by News Crap Australia of allowing editorialising (usually anti-Labor) in what are meant to be news stories, in particular the regularity with which headlines (usually anti-Labor) present as fact claims or insinuations that should rightly be encased in inverted commas or quotation marks to signify they are based on someone’s opinion.

Since that column we have notice several stories in News Crap Australia turdbloids that have included quotation marks to highlight an opinion.

The real corker was one in Brisbane’s daily The Courier-Mail containing responses to criticism of the Morrison Government’s housing policy allowing young people to access their superannuation savings to help fund their entry into home ownership. (main picture)

One might expect that the story contained some independent opinions of housing or financial experts giving the tick to the policy.

But the story cited the views of only government figures, from the Prime Minister down and, really, what else would Liberal Party figures say about a Liberal Party policy?

It’s no wonder the headline told readers that the Libs’ “housing policy nails it” – in quotation marks and all to signify that someone authoritative had given the policy a big tick.

Yet quite oddly, the quote in the headline does not appear anywhere in the story itself.

Our MGH researchers were left wondering about the source of the quote. They quickly drew up a list with a Mr KR Murdoch as the favourite.

***

A version of the same story in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph also used a quote in its headline, telling readers the housing policy would have “limited impact” on housing prices. (below)

The source, of course, was the policy’s authors, the federal Coalition government.

Well that certainly saves a lot of time wasting time talking to and reporting the views of experts and housing financiers who might, just might have a contrary view.