In two days time, members from the Australian Journalists Association are about to convene to discuss the formation of Australia’s first press council. What is this new Council you may ask?
As Neil Mitchell (Melbourne radio & Newspaper journalist), qualifies in his latest opinion piece “Media’s best defense is self-policing“ in the SMH (27th March 2012), The Australian public are fed up with mainstream media, and even more so, “confidence in newspapers is at an all time ebb these days”.
Citizen journalism is detecting “real and imagined faults in our ethics and performance” and it being reflected through poor newspaper sales.
It’s an interesting read, as Mr. Mitchell doesn’t try to ‘play down’ or ignore the issues that are perhaps seeing the full demise of print journalism in this country. He believes that the press is “capable of improvement” and that the focus has shifted, with journalists “devoting 80 percent of news space” to content that involves “surprise, conflict or scandal”.
This is something that I would have to agree on. These days, you cannot pick up a newspaper without reading a salacious headline. Even more concerning for myself is the fact that I don’t know any different.
I belong to a generation that is deeply entrenched in social media and day-by-day, looking for alternatives to the mainstream. Why? Because I am tired of being constantly bombarded with untruths and what essentially to me is gossip.
As Australian’s, we deserve the right to a fair and even-handed view of the news and Mr. Mitchell agrees.
Having a professional body to give its readers a voice and “test the performance” of the media is a must. His major fear is without regulation we may one day see the day that “surveillance is forced upon us by government”. I have to agree.
The future of Australian media is at stake, it now has the power to implement change and look to a brighter future. I just hope that it is not to late.
How do you get your news? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 🙂