There have been some great contributions covering the March in March on the AIMN and other independent news and blog sites during the week. And not surprisingly, many of them are critical of the lack of coverage this national grass roots protest movement received in the mainstream media. Before I am accused of being a ‘MSM hater’, which is apparently what I must be since I don’t read most mainstream newspapers, which is of course my choice as a consumer, I do note that some outlets have covered the march. And unsurprisingly some have been better than others. However, overall, the coverage has been small in proportion to how big this news story is and much of it has been misrepresentative of the marches even when they were mentioned. So why do I care about the coverage of the March in March you may ask? I have a few reasons:
- Because the people who marched had a message for the rest of our community, and we deserved to have this seen by those who would never be engaged enough in politics to march.
- Because the opinion of 100,000+ marchers should, in a free and democratic society, have their message reported in a factual and balanced way, not dismissed and censored because people in positions of power don’t wants us speaking out. (BO and Bongs? Charming stuff from the Murdoch press).
- Because the way the mainstream media reported the March in March is indicative of a larger ‘insider versus outsider’ attitude in the media. Journalists aren’t representing the interests of their community, they’re representing the vested interest of a small number of powerful people who are part of the problem and part of the reason we marched in the first place.
So I’ve been having a think about what key ingredients March in March was missing that made it so irrelevant and non-newsworthy to the media. I was also thinking about how irrelevant most of the other news that journalists write about is to our community interests. And so I decided to come up with a list of things the March in May organisers might want to consider including in the next march, to see if we can garner the attention of a press that has so badly let us down:
1) Craig Thomson
There definitely wasn’t enough ‘scandal’, ‘chaos’, ‘credit cards’ and ‘prostitutes’ involved in the March and March. So it’s no wonder the mainstream media weren’t interested. If we could get Craig along to the next march, and ask him to cry, the media pack that sits on his tail all day might happen across the march too and might get some footage inadvertently over Craig’s shoulder.
Jacqueline Maley in the Sydney Morning Herald, to her credit, contributed this piece during the week to explain why the SMH chose not to report the march. But not to her credit, the reasoning was very weak. Apparently her newspaper would have been more interested in the march, like they had been more interested in the Convoy of No Confidence, she said, if politicians had attended. Except, umm, that was the whole point of this being a grassroots movement. That was what made it newsworthy. The fact that there was no Greens versus Labor story, and there was no politician spin on the event, and there was no ‘the Oppositions says’ catch-all line to report on afterwards, made this event all the more interesting.
But doesn’t this reveal a deeper problem with the way that politics is reported in our media? Doesn’t this highlight exactly why there is such a huge misalignment with the political news that we are served up, and the political news we want to read? Journalists like Maley, and like all the other people who ignored the significance of events like March in March, and – to give just one other example – ignored the significance of Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech, can’t see the wood for the trees. They can only see ‘politician versus politician’ – who spoke better, who gaffed, who tripped on the grass, who had a ‘better day’ in front of the cameras, who is backgrounding and leaking about whom. But we, in the community, don’t care about this sideshow, because in the most part, it’s irrelevant to us. We don’t see politics as a ‘two horse race’, with political actors not just part of the story, but the story themselves. We care about the impact that political policies have on our community. This is why we marched. Because we’re worried about the Abbott government’s impact on our community. The fact that the media doesn’t get this is the most telling thing about this whole situation. If the mainstream media are wondering why they don’t connect with their audience anymore, this is where they could begin with their process of self-reflection.
3) A three word slogan
Most of the criticism I’ve seen about the March in March centred on the fact that there weren’t clear aims for the march, that there were too many different agendas and that there wasn’t one ‘cause’ that brought it all together. So what the media is basically admitting with this criticism, is that they can’t comprehend a complex and diverse event, which brings together a wide range of community concerns. They can only comprehend politics in sound bites and three word slogans. Axe the tax. Yeah, they all got that loud and clear. And this ‘short messages’ obsession explains their fascination with ‘rude’ placards. As if these defined the march and were the most newsworthy element (even though few placards contained swear words). But the line ‘we’re here for our community’ – apparently doesn’t cut through in quite the same way.
Again, the very point of the March in March was that there wasn’t a single point to it. This is why so many thousands of people marched in major cities and regional areas throughout the country. As I said in my speech to the gathering on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide – We might all have our individual outrages about the Abbott government. But what binds this passion together, what binds our values together is the understanding that Abbott is not just bad for all of us, as individuals, though he certainly is that. No, why we’re really here is because we know he’s bad for our community. And our community is us. We know we’re in this life together.
The concerns of a large cross section of our community, who are willing to get out of our houses, off the internet, and march together, is obviously far too complicated a concept for political journalists in this country to understand. And again, isn’t this telling. Isn’t this the problem with how they report politics to us on a daily basis? A three-word-slogan doesn’t adequately explain all the complexity in an environmental policy like the Carbon Price. The problem of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat is, as we’ve seen, far too complex a situation for the media to even bother to investigate. So all we hear them say is ‘boats have been coming’ and ‘it’s all Labor’s fault’. Sorry, life isn’t as simple as that. And if the political journalists don’t understand that, they’re in the wrong job.
We will march again, and we will continue to criticise the mainstream media who, for a long time, have been representing their own interests, and not the interests of their community. This will of course, if it hasn’t already, lead to their ultimate downfall. Because when they ignore us, we ignore them. And when they’re ignored, they disappear. But ignoring us won’t make us disappear.Follow @Vic_Rollison
The March was utterly forgettable because it was the usual suspects, the lefty rent a crowd essentially having a very big whine about the fact that the Australian people have elected a conservative government and that the government is doing precisely what we elected it to do, Namely stopping the flood of boats, imposing financial discipline on government expenditure and getting rid of stupidity like a Carbon tax that will do nothing for the climate and a mining tax that collects no revenue.
LIke the usual suspects: the righty rent a commentator crowd that hop on any website that dares criticise the establishment point of view.
No, more like this is where we come for amusement at the lefty crowd who resent that labor well and truly lost the last election, and resent that the coalition are enacting the policies they won power on.
You’re entirely free to criticise anyone or any group you like, but part of free speech is that others are free to criticise your own sacred cows too.
Not rent a crowd.
People with a common cause. Who pays you to denigrate [very] popular social protests?
the only common cause victoria identified was a hatred of abbott. that he won, despite being declared unelectable.
compare that to the campaign against the carbon tax. where you had people who’d never gone out on campaigns / protests who were motivated at the gall of labor to introduce a massive tax that they swore they’d not.
if it was that popular you’d find it was covered by more mainstream media outlets. fairfax are pretty sympathetic to the progressive movement, and it didn’t make a stir there.
You weren’t there, were you? It is so obvious.
Why would I go to and add my support to a demo that I think is silly?
So Inane, did you support the convoy of no confidence, only about 300 turned up for that fiasco, and people like you said it was a success, so if the MiM was not a success I would like to see your failures, you are one of those failures.
I have in the past attended Demos, but as I now live is a place of rural bliss it is more than an hour’s drive to the location of any example of this sort of street theatre I don’t attend any.
Surely as a true believer in the millenarian AGW doom cult you would not be advocating that I waste fossil fuel on unnecessary travel????
Shame on you!
one hour from a Brisbane and you consider that the bush, just because you live on a hill surrounded by scrub, it is not the bush, your deluded mate.
Just by that comment Inane, you know that the MiM worked, because here you are giving your views on why it didn’t work, so the March has got your attention and the reason why.
Inane, you said this about the MiM
, if the march was utterly forgettable, why are you commenting on the march if it was of no consequence.
But Paul I’m not talking about the march I am talking about the silliness of those whop think that it has any meaning or significance.
you just commenting on the march and the people going to the march, means that you actually see the significance of the march, so why make a comment if the march was of no consequence.
Inane, this post is about the MiM and the people who attended it, now your saying that you are not commenting on the march but the silliness of the people who attended the march, but the march did have meaning and significance to these people, otherwise they would not have marched.
So again, if you did not believe in the march, why did you comment on it in the first place if it is of no consequence.
Paul, you’re playing chess with a pigeon. Good luck. Avoid the shit if you can.
Hall is all wind, blows hard but of no substance, he is unable to backup his arguments because he is always going around in circles.
Hello to those village idiots who are still plucking keys for Pope Abbott to be promoted to a Saint.
Congratulations on the part you played in Adelaide, Victoria. I marched in Melbourne and will no doubt have the opportunity to do so again.
Democracy can only return benefits where all citizens -even ‘lefties’ ‘usual suspects’- have a right and the freedom to express thier views. I’m not sure it’s useful for corporate entities to share those citizen rights. It’s as wrong for News, Fairfax etc to have these rights as it would be for them to vote at elections. I say we need to boycott the media corporations and to support active citizens like Victoria Rollison.
This is a very good question. Given that a media entity could be owned by shareholders who may have invested so that they can use the entity as a means of expressing a viewpoint (of whatever flavour), then surely this is a means of them expressing free speech. Just as victoria is free to post her views on her blog, Murdoch can express an editorial viewpoint on his media outlets that aligns with his / shareholders preferences.
People can have the right to free speech without conferring to them the right to vote (children and non-citizens are allowed to have free speech rights). Similarly
A boycott is your right as a citizen, but are you lobbying for some regulation as to what news a media source can print?
It figures Hall and his equally moronic mate Andy are the first 2 of 3 comments. These two appear in so many places together it makes me wonder if they are sockpuppets? That aside, they have demonstrated that they really have nothing of value to contribute to any sensible discussion but instead try to paint this as an ideologically divisive event where blind tribalism determines the participants. Andy isn’t even worth commenting about because there is absolutley nothing in his comment worth commenting on other than the mention of cows. Perhaps if he scutinised the shit that pours from his mouth he would notice it is distinctly bovine in nature. Mr Hall on the other hand at least raises a few points…. that are easily rebutted.
rent a crowd – 100000+ people, the vast majority of which have never participated in something like the MiM is not “the usual suspects”. Having actually attended the march in Brisbane, I have a much better idea of the make up of the crowd than the right wing keyboard warriors in desperate need of a good feed and some fresh air. The participants were representative of every facet of the Australian community, with the exception of cranky old white conservative males…like Mr Hall.
government doing what it was elected to do – this lie is revealed by the fact that the new government has broken more promises in its first 6 months than ANY OTHER AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT IN HISTORY. Apologies for my caps lock there. I promise to use it sparingly. Further to that, this government has gone much further to the right than they threatened to in any of their pre-election promises. I can’t seem to recall them promising to appoint bootlickers and grossly unqualified toadies to important advisory positions…for one example of many.
stopping the flood of boats – who says? Given the level of secrecy surrounding the illegal towback policy and the diplomatically reprehensible acts of invading another country’s sovereign borders and breaching International human rights treaties to which we are a signatory, thisis completely unverifiable and even if it is, does torturing human beings seeking asylum justify the ends? Apparently the answer is yes, if you are a right wing loony.
imposing financial discipline on government expenditure – this is so stupid it isn’t even dishonest anymore and nobody actually believes it, not even Eleventy Joe, despite what he says. This government inherited a fiscal position that was the envy of the rest of the world. A Triple A credit rating, low unemployment and steady growth despite enduring a global financial crisis that crippled EVERY OTHER COUNTRY in the world. Despite that, the new government has increased foreign debt to record levels, increased the debt ceiling to record levels and wasted money on frivolous unimportant assets like drones and travel rorts while cutting money from education, disabilty, the elderly, future energy technology, R&D etc etc etc. If that os financial discipline, I’d hate to see them a real drunken sailor spree.
Carbon tax that will do nothing for the climate and a mining tax that collects no revenue – bupp bahhhhhh.Well sort of right on one part. The carbon tax saw a drop in emissions and raised money. Companies that factored itinto their business models actually made more money from efficiency gains than the tax they had to pay. To simply state that ot does nothing merely highlights the lack of due dilligence undertaken by Mr Hall prior to exercising his lazy keyboard warrior skills. Now, the mining tax. No, it hasn’t been very successful.That’s because it doesn’t go far enough. Since so many mining operations are owned by overseas companies and those that aren’t have tax minimisation methods, revenue isnot what it should be. So why does Mr Hall and his ilk complain about it? It can’t be the money. Pure ideology perhaps? The ming tax should be levied on EVERY SINGLE MINING COMPANY regardless of size, ownership etcand all subsidies should stop Mr Hall certainly wouldn’t be able to complain that the tax isn’t making money then.
All up though, if the MiM was such a non-event in the eyes of these morons, why do they feel the need to say anything about it?
Anyway, I’ve invested enough time into addressing rightwing (paid) trolls. My take on the Brisbane March in March is here….http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/march-in-march-never-seen-anything-like-it/
Really? I have absolutely no connection with Andy Further I only ever post under my own name when ever I comment anywhere on the net. Anonymous cowards like you just deserve only disdain, especially when they claim any sort of “scientific” credentials as you do.
Your account that you link to proves that it was the case
Your arrogance is staggering, sadly not unusual for followers of the millenarian Green religion like yourself.
The thing about Demos is that the numbers are always vastly inflated by those who think that they are a good thing that said 100000 in total from a population of 25 million in this country is actually pretty small beer and as such it does not demonstrate the sort of public groundswell that you are claiming.
I have seen the pictures and read the stuff written in blogs such as this one, its the usual suspects
Talk about the plaintive cry of a wounded animal!
Please explain what you think the government has “lied about” and which appointments so distress you
I what way is it “illegal” to tow-back boats?
Oh you are one of those open borders types?
The incursions into Indonesian waters have been accepted as accidental by Indonesia, that you make a bigger deal of that than they do says a great deal about your ideological bent.
What a grab bag of crazy leftist tropes you trot out here, the truly sad thing is that I think you believe this crap You probably think that Labor were good economic managers eh?
The carbon tax was born of a lie and its effect on the climate,even though there has been a small drop this country’s emissions will make such a small effect on the climate that we do not have instruments to measure it. That said I am endlessly amused that true believers in the millenarian AGW cult are so wilfully blind to the simple fact that global politics will never allow the sort of emission reductions that tour Profits* tell you is essential to save the planet. So even if you Profits are correct in their dire predictions then there is nothing that we can do about it, nothing except adapt if and when we have to.
When it comes to examples of very bad policy created on the run there are few that match the mining tax for its utter failure at every level, the thing that wide eyed socialists like you fail to comprehend is that all taxation of things like mining is a balancing act that has to find the best way to raise revenue without discouraging the enterprises from continuing. Especially when we are talking about commodities that are available elsewhere.
Well I for one believe in bring a little light into the darkness that blinds lefties like you.
Sorry to disappoint you but I don’t get paid to argue with you or anyone else on the net, I do it for love 🙂
Well well well. You seem to have missed at least 5 of my spelling and grammar errors. Maybe that should grammatical
Have to laugh at you Inane,trying to convert people, if the governments turn back, SB policy is working, why then has the government bought more of them.
inane, you only comment because you are a lonely and poor individual with nothing else to do butt piss people off.
Government buying more orange boats, policy not working.
Sigh, typically you have no response to my rebuttal, that must mean you are conceding all points… 😆
If I am what you say, then what does that tell us about your obsession with me personally?
To answer your point about the government buying more orange boats, it just tells us that, unlike Labor, the current government likes to be prepared for contingencies even though the message is getting across as the more than three months with out a successful boat arrival may mean those new boats are kept in storage for quite a while.
Im not conceding any of your nonsense. You simply aren’t worth wasting my time on. You live in a bubble of rightwing lunacy and confirmation bias. I have much better things to do. Feel free to bathe in the warm glow of the FALSE self-induced delusion that you have won an argument.
You are simply copping out Michael which is hardly surprising when you have been challenged with the unexpected thoroughness of a point by point rebuttal of your argument and you are incapable of rising to the challenge.
If the government thinks this plan of there’s is working, why buy more boats, buying more orange boats means they expect more asylum seekers to enter Australian waters.
its so simple that even you should comprehend that a wise government hopes for the best but prepares for the worst.
So inane, your conceding the fact the the coalitions policy, SB is a failure then, buying the orange boats means more asylum seekers are going to arrive, that is what you are stating.
You are being deliberately obtuse as usual Paul
Just by this comment here, you are stating that the government policy is not working.
Inane, if the policy was working, they would not have to turn the boats around,the boats are still coming, therefore the policy is failing, if the policy is working in turning the boats around, why the need for more orange life boats, buying more lifeboats means the policy is not working.
Simple logic, even you should understand that, if not get your children to explain it to you.
Keep up the fantastic correspondence Vic. Just love your writings.
Inane must have conceded that the MiM was a success as he has not put up any more rubbish or condescending comments.
I see by your comment that you have given up debating the issue and have conceded the the march was a success.
What planet are you from Paul?
For me to debate you would require you to do more than just keep insisting that the march was significant.
So I’m throwing it back to you and I’m going to give you a chance to explain just how it achieved anything and for you to explain just what it has achieved.
You have not obviously read the post, everything is in the post on what was achieved, you on the other hand have not stated as to why it was a failure. So please enlighten us to your knowledge on it’s failure?
FFS Give it up – I’m sick of deleting notifications. MiM was a resounding success and you are an opinonated ass. A tea-Billy nutter. Seek help.
I both read the post and watched the vid, its nothing new or novel and as such the general public are utterly indifferent. So please explain HOW it was a sucess
Hey Inane, that is a big cop out, asking someone the same question, the answer is in the post, still waiting for your answer?
that’s you answer, nothing new or novel and utterly indifferent, that is something TA would say. I thought you were an intelligent person.
Victoria, your writing continues to hit all the right nails on the head – clear, concise, accurate, a pleasure to read. And it was great to see you talking to the crowd during the March as well – well done. 🙂
It is a joy to follow your excellent writing, and also easy to ignore the trolls who try to sabotage – they are just talking to themselves, really. Gives my mouse wheel a bit of a workout as I just bleep right on past their rubbish….
Looking forward to your next piece. 🙂