Australian Journalism is alive and vibrant, but unfortunately journalistic talent is being constrained. Static traditional Australian media outlets are being phased out as the public turns from reading well-written papers and magazines, to ad-ridden, often ugly interactive digital media, in a search for the sensational and the entertaining, regardless of its validity. Comment, informed or otherwise, is becoming irrelevant unless spiced with controversy.
The spread of news is not just fast now. It is instantaneous. With the announcement of factual events, come rumours, suppositions, and innuendo. These are tools able to mould public opinion, and to deliberately interfere in political processes. Surely this brings a responsibility for professional journalists and others, to assert appropriate ethical standards to ensure we are not swamped with so-called “fake-news”.
We expect our media voices to have their opinions, to give their perspectives, and even to suggest avenues for change. But this is not Çarte Blanche to lobby for their own political agenda. It is more deplorable if the issue under debate is critical for the nation’s welfare, and if in their arguments, inadequately qualified sources are used to bolster their case.
A Sky News TV program last night interviewed retired meteorologist, William Kininmonth a scientist who argues that climate change is due to natural causes independent of human intervention. He has been a meteorologist, making weather observations, but has no experience in climate-change research, as pointed out by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology.