Posted

Jan 13, 2012

If you agree with our editorial line, we’ll pretend you’re representative of “the public”

Gee, I wonder what the Sunday Telegraph

Pure Poison IconGee, I wonder what the Sunday Telegraph‘s angle will be on this story?

Who here thinks the Sunday Telegraph will do the honest thing and concede in the article that they manufactured the story by searching exclusively for families that were “fuming” and “outraged” about electricity prices “skyrocketing”? Anyone?

Hey, maybe it’s a hoax. Maybe it’s someone setting up the Sunday Telegraph in order to make them look like a shamelessly partisan smear-pushing sensationalist hysterical and fundamentally dishonest propaganda rag, rather than… uh, something else. Maybe there’s another ad somewhere where the Sunday Telegraph seeks an ordinary family unassociated with either side of politics who are simply prepared to discuss their experience of electricity prices, whatever that opinion might be? Even if it’s positive, because they’re one of the majority of families who will actually be better off under the carbon price legislation?

Maybe. We sure hope so.

ELSEWHERE: Here’s another ad, and this time by a journalist sensible/sneaky enough not to specify which paper he or she works for:

Business owners: Will the carbon tax hurt your revenue in 2012? I’d like to hear from you.

Summary:

If you believe that the introduction of a carbon tax will negatively affect your business, please get in touch.

Details:

I’m a staff writer for one of the major Sydney metropolitan daily papers. I’m researching a feature story on the effects of the carbon tax upon business owners.

If you believe that the introduction of the carbon tax will negatively affect your business – whether through rising costs, decreased revenue, or some other means – I’d like to arrange an interview with you at your earliest convenience.

Apparently this cack-handed, cynical, misleading and deceptive manufacturing of a story is called, by its practitioners, “journalism”.

(Via reader James)

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

22 comments

22 thoughts on “If you agree with our editorial line, we’ll pretend you’re representative of “the public”

  1. liliwyt

    They surely can’t have any trouble finding anyone who “believes” they will be hurt by any electricity price rises (or the rising price of any utility for that matter), or the effects of a carbon price legislation that hasn’t been enacted yet.

    Especially if those people read any iteration of the “Telegraph”.

    You know what I’d like to see? Interview the same people in 12-18 months and see what the effects have been once they’ve actually experienced them.

  2. Lifesajoke

    BB @ 7- “How dishonest. There’s no way that anyone could be outraged by recent electricity price increases” … Are you really that stupid BB?

    Can you not see how this add (and subsequent article) is a deliberate attempt to ‘create’ facts, by seeking people with a particular viewpoint, to set an agenda? Can you not see how seeking someone out for a particular viewpoint, and then passing it off as the “community’s opinion” is disgracefull? Can you not grasp the… oh forget it.. as long as it fits some right wing, liberal party agenda its ok for the media to “make shit up” I guess.

  3. Holden Back

    Well, this is just business as usual – the only difference being these ‘media-savvy’ types have left their sh*t out in public for all to see.

  4. Matthew of Canberra

    IJ:

    Nope. Not a sign of your comment anywhere. I can’t imagine why. Isn’t news currently arguing the case for free speech and an absence of the stifling effects of censorship?

  5. Indiana Jones

    *AEDST, today, at any rate.

  6. Indiana Jones

    Never mind, found it:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/the-price-youll-pay-for-lower-power-bills/story-e6freuy9-1226244493849

    I wonder if they will print my comment?:

    Good to see that you managed to find a ‘gorgeous Sydney family’ who is ‘outraged at the fact that their electricity price has sky rocketed’ as per your ad on sourcebottle looking for that exact thing. Or is this just straight news that just happened to confirm to the editorial line you wanted to push?

    Send button hit at 8:47 AM AEST…..

  7. Indiana Jones

    Well, this being Sunday and all, anyone know if the story got a run?

  8. phyllis stein

    I want to see unemployed people with cardboard signs. “Will fume for money”.

  9. Leroy

    I took a screen shot of the ad & emailed mediawatch as soon as I saw this one. Hope they give it a run.

  10. Matthew of Canberra

    “There’s no way that anyone could be outraged by recent electricity price increases”

    What counts as “recent”? Electricity bills have been an issue for years now – it just varies from state to state when it’s in the news.

  11. Matthew of Canberra

    “What if they’re not gorgeous enough? Do they let them down gently?”

    Nope. They just sell the interview to ACA.

  12. Aliar Jones

    [How dishonest. There’s no way that anyone could be outraged by recent electricity price increases !]

    Yeh those increases we’ve been told repeatedly for the last two years were coming and had nothing whatsoever to do with the carbon pollution tax.

  13. SHV

    Media Watch is back on Monday 6 Feb. 2012.

    Odds that this will get a run?

  14. Neil Walker

    I like the fact the family has to be “gorgeous”. No uglies allowed.

    What’s the process? Does the journo insist on seeing some family snaps before sending the newspaper photographer around for the obligatory staged ‘fuming’ photo with utility bills in hand?

    What if they’re not gorgeous enough? Do they let them down gently? I need to know now…

  15. Indiana Jones

    What I love is that that first link no longer works…

  16. Brown Bob

    How dishonest. There’s no way that anyone could be outraged by recent electricity price increases !

  17. SHV

    On the topic of carbon price/tax/whatever and ‘shock, outrage, fury’ on electricity prices, who can say (from the massive media coverage) without cheating: What is the tax free threshold being changed to?

    If you can’t remember without looking, what chance does ‘Gorgeous Family Not From Eastern Suburbs’ have of forming their own view of whether the sky is falling or not?

  18. Matthew of Canberra

    “Why should anybody complain about this slight rise when nobody complained about the hefty rise two years ago?”

    Advertising revenues?

  19. silkworm

    Two years ago, electricity prices shot up 20% (to upgrade infrastructure), and all we got from Today Tonight was that there’s nothing we can do about it. Now the carbon price (not tax) is due to push up electricity prices less than 5%, and most will be compensated anyway. Why should anybody complain about this slight rise when nobody complained about the hefty rise two years ago?

  20. Cuppa

    If I hadn’t already stopped buying newspapers, this would have been incentive enough.

  21. Matthew of Canberra

    WANTED: Do you believe the coalition offers a coherent, rational, reality-grounded alternative policy framework? We’d like to hear from you. Urgently.

    “rather than…”

    … the hun?

  22. SHV

    How can this be ethical? Don’t bother answering that.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...