April 20th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

Cover Story: PM leads Australia down the slippery slope

Urgent action needed to save Australia's sugar industry

The ALP and the embryonic stem cell issue

NSW Euthanasia bill overwhelmingly defeated

Report recommends relaxing controls over violent computer games

Can the Public Service be depoliticised?

Straws in the Wind: Living fossils / Engineers of human souls

Western Australia: MP looks at SA's marijuana laws

Media misrepresentation on stem cell therapy (letter)

Media bias (letter)

Refugees: where do you stand? (letter)

Water and Australia's priorities (letter)

The high price of misplaced idealism

Is the 'war on terrorism' being hijacked?

Peter Singer's utilitarianism

Books: 'The Unsleeping Eye: A Brief History of Secret Police and their Victims' by Robert Stove

Books: 'Children as Trophies?' by Patricia Morgan

Film: Some Like it Hot - a tribute to Billy Wilder

Books available from News Weekly

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Media bias (letter)

by John Barich

News Weekly, April 20, 2002


Tim Wallace (Letters, March 9) attempts to defend David Marr and the whole corps of ABC journaists from the charge of bias.

While Marr may end up being a very good presenter of Media Watch, at least one recent gambol of his puts a query about his objectivity. It was he who approached the Australian Family Association (AFA) before a gossip piece appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) following Justice Kirby's claim in the High Court that the AFA had asserted that homosexuals had sex with labrador dogs. This allegation about the AFA was repeated recently in another SMH article.

What are the facts? In its case in the High Court against the provision of IVF procedures for lesbians, the AFA cited a homosexual magazine which made such a claim. Marr is yet to correct this distortion on the ABC or in the SMH.

As to the beliefs of journalists, there are many surveys revealing their unrepresentative views. For instance, most Australians believe in God, marriage, the dangers of homosexual behaviour and Australian sovereignty, while only a minority of journalists hold such views and it shows in their articles.

Professor Flint documented all of this in Quadrant (September 2001).

One recent example of this bias was the lack of reporting of World Youth Day in Rome, which was attended by over one million young Catholics from all over the world and every part of Australia. By way of contrast, 40 protestors at Lucas Heights received extensive media coverage.

John Barich,
Ardross, WA

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