The blogosphere has introduced an interesting element to our media; that of the mongrel journalist.
What is mongrel journalism? As I term it and define it, it’s not the absence of objectivity, but rather the lack of facts to back up the subjectivity of a blog; uninformed bias posing as credible source, using a public profile and a public platform to proliferate an agenda. Here’s an example by Miranda Devine, a journalist at the Daily Telegraph, doing a great disservice to her profession.
Interestingly, locals who know the facts inside out have tried to comment on her page to refute her lack of knowledge of the situation and have been moderated out. The slathering, baying mob of slight intelligence and much prejudice has been, however, allowed free reign.
This is the current media climate of Australia, where sensational mob-ism has become the accepted modus operandi, and one that will no doubt be studied in media courses in years to come.
Just for the record, every single hamlet, village and town in the Northern Rivers region has been or is being surveyed about CSG (coal seam gas) and unconventional gas mining. The overwhelming majority’s ‘no’ has been stoutly ignored by the state government and the drilling company, Metgasco, who has already had one disaster at the Kingfisher mine which is still under investigation. That majority ‘no’ hangs around the 90% mark, although the official figure is lower, but nonetheless a significant majority at 65%. Driving around the area there are signs posted around saying what percentage for each little place – most are in the high 90s. My own little village stands at 99%, and that 1% is only to allow for people who may be living somewhere in these hills but whose whereabouts are unknown. The exception is Casino, where it was surveyed as being more accepted, although the question was debated as being loaded, (and it was) and therefore the survey is not actually unbiased.
The fight against unconventional gas mining has become a fight for democracy, just as much as a fight for saving our lands and waterways and public health. And as in all important fights for democracy, it boils down to ideals and propaganda; Ms Devine is certainly falling closer towards that than good old fashioned reporting.