Monday, March 17, 2014

March In March

Off topic, but hey, it is my blog.

Although yesterday's anti-Abbott March in March rallies/marches were the largest of their kind in this country since Australia marched against the US-led invasion of Iraq in February, 2003, there has been a virtual ms media ban on reporting them, at least here in Sydney.

In Sydney, for example, one could stand at the top of the long Broadway rise, near Victoria Park (next to Sydney University) and look back down the road in awe at the sight of marchers who had only just passed Central Station as the lead marchers were already fanning out over Victoria Park.

Despite a thunderstorm and rain affecting the Belmore Park rally site earlier in the day, Sydney's MIM fielded tens of thousands of angry protesters in an awesome display of people power. Yet the media was largely missing in action.

Here's my tally for the televisual and print media:

Last night's Sydney television:
Channel 7 News 6pm: 0
SBS News 6.30pm-7pm: 0
ABC News 7pm: Covered

Today's Sydney papers:
The Australian: 0
Daily Telegraph: 0
Sydney Morning Herald: 0

The two Murdoch dailies were as expected.

The Sydney Morning Herald came as a shock (but shouldn't have).

What it did cover, however, tells you all you need to know about this sad little rag, which is to the Murdoch papers what Lab is to Lib.

The Herald covered Sunday's St Patrick's Day march: Rain fails to dampen Irish spirit on parade.

It also featured - as front page news - a Fairfax Nielsen poll which purported to reveal that "[v]oters appear to have taken in their stride reports of changes to the pension age and to Medicare, including government speculation of a $6 co-payment for GP visits." (Voters open to tough action on healthcare, Mark Kenny, 17/3/14)

All of 977 voters were polled nationwide, and yet the views of those 977 people (mediated by a poll, with all of a poll's known unknowns - Fairfax's agenda/ how the questions were shaped/ to what degree were those polled aware of the issues, etc) were considered more worthy of reporting than the views of tens of thousands of people who were sufficiently informed to take to the streets of Sydney, let alone those in NSW regional centres and other state capitals and regional centres across the land.

PS (18/3/14): See John Birmingham's reflection - Will you miss us when we're gone? (18/3)  - on the MSM's failure to report MIM rallies at Another nail in the coffin of the corporate press?

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