If you read the ‘Tiser and you’ve bought your copy, or downloaded it, today, you’ll note the front page has been censored to emphasise the #righttoknow campaign.
As a member of what might be considered the media, of course I’m all on board with this campaign.
A friend of mine once told me that news is anything someone doesn’t want you to know.
Granted that was him sledging me about one of my sporting teams being barely able to put one foot in front of the other, but the principle is quite right.
In a side bit for your new daily fact, the word news came about from Noteworthy Events, Weather and Sport.
Back to the idea, though, of principles.
The principle of press freedom is something that some media outlets have been campaigning for, for quite some time.
News Corp, publishers of the ‘Tiser, were campaigning hard for it back in 2011-12, when the then Gillard Government was going after the media, all in the name of “helping” the media transition to new business models.
However, as my favourite US President Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine scariest words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’”.
Any time people with something to hide come along and claim to be helping the media, consider that a bright, flashing red light of warning to get the hell out of dodge.
But back in the Gillard days, that’s exactly NOT what Fairfax and the ABC did.
In fact, the ABC was quite active in wailing on those media identities and establishments which complained about the federal government’s involvement in trying to regulate the media.
Which is why I find their involvement in this campaign so bemusing.
For many, myself included, it is considered that ABC and Fairfax generally lean to the left, while News Corp generally leans to the right (note the word generally).
So why are the ABC and Fairfax only popping their heads above the parapet now, and not eight years ago, when News Corp was leading the charge, as they do now?
For some people, sadly, politics isn’t about principles, but the side.
Anything can be justified as long as you’re doing something for your team, whether it’s right or wrong, because the other side is just plain bad.
As philosopher Bertrand Russell once opined, “Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power”.
That’s something very important to keep in mind when you hear about political campaigns from non-political operators, especially those who engage in them with a healthy case of standards… which differ from one campaign to the next…