Why does the mainstream media report as it does? Corporate pressure? Reporter laziness? Set narrative?
A few months ago a few of us here in Sydney discussed the idea of a Democracy Now! show in Australia, a progressive and critical look at the world, views so often ignored by the MSM.
Sydney University’s Jake Lynch took the lead and today the first edition of News Goo is released by New Matilda. It’s (hopefully) the first of many episodes. More original reporting will happen, slicker presentation etc but the idea is to challenge even the so-called liberal media and presenters (like the invaluable Medialens does in the UK) on their prejudices and blindness:
The program’s name comes from a rap by Polarity1, which contains the lines, “the more we watch, the less we know”. This is something we’ve all felt from time to time, sitting in front of a TV screen — but is it true? If so, how come? And how could it be different?
In the launch edition of News Goo, Jake interviews Julian Burnside QC, and the journalist, author and film-maker John Pilger, about the investigative journalism of Wikileaks. They ask why Australia’s media have been so slow to follow up on important leads from the Wikileaks disclosures, like the unmasking of Senator Mark Arbib as a US “protected source”.
It’s presented with the dry wit that NM readers have come to know from Jake’s regular columns. Features include the “elephant in the room” — complete with picture and sound effects — as the spotlight falls on obvious angles left persistently unreported. And Welsh crooner Tom Jones is on hand to remind us of the most neglected question in journalism: “Why, why why, Delilah?”
The program also takes a closer look at the ABC’s relaunched 7.30, with Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann, and its investigation of Australia’s rusting fleet of naval vessels. Interviewed in the studio, Dr Hannah Middleton of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, says it continues a pattern in ABC reporting, of nitpicking over the details of “defence” spending, while ignoring the case for reducing military budgets overall.
And Jake is joined by the author and journalist, Antony Loewenstein, to discuss Channel Ten’s 6PM with George Negus. A “pre-emptive buckle” prevents journalists from spelling out the facts about Israel and Palestine, Loewenstein says — which is why so many programs end up, like 6PM, rehashing the same set of clichéd angles and treatments — despite its claims to be “new and different”.
News Goo is produced by a team of experienced professionals, giving freely of their time and expertise. Like the rest of New Matilda’s coverage, it depends on YOUR SUPPORT! If you would like to see further episodes of News Goo in the future, please make your donation here.
Jake Lynch left his TV career to become Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Sydney Peace Foundation, which staged the Wikileaks event in Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 16 March.