An advertisement presently on SourceBottle:
Media outlet/Publication: Major metro newspaper
Does your source need to be local? Yes
Summary: Need a family to talk about carbon tax
Do you live in Melbourne? Do you have a combined household income of $90,000? Do you also have two teenagers? We want you!
We’re looking for a family who fits the above criteria to be photographed for a story about the carbon tax and the compensation that’s coming. Doesn’t matter how you feel about the tax, we just want to talk to you.
Why $90,000? Because you’re not interested in the (far greater numbers of) people on less than that who will receive more compensation? Because you’re framing the “average family” tale to suggest to the people who will be better off that they won’t be?
The problem with this is that the “here’s an average family” narrative implicitly asserts to readers that the subjects in question are representative of the general public. That if there’s only one of them then they were selected at random. That they were not cynically selected to push a particular view.
But if you’re ruling out vast swathes of the electorate before you even begin – even with an insincere “Doesn’t matter how you feel about the tax” – you are not providing what you are leading readers to believe you are providing.
If the story resulting from this ad (and I suspect on Thursday or Friday we’ll have a pretty good idea of which one it was) acknowledges the families surviving on less than $90,000 who will be better off with the compensation, or acknowledges that it declined to speak with such families for the story because it’s only interested in complaints about the carbon price, I’ll quit this Pure Poison gig for good.