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Pot, kettle News Corp. on ABC journalism standards

Mark Fletcher
February 3rd, 2014 · 112 Comments

journalismstandardsThe media pages of The Australian newspaper today continue the co-ordinated News Corp attack on the ABC. This time, they are calling the death of journalism standards at the ABC.

The relentless attacks on the ABC by the News Corp. media outlets are disgusting. They are designed to achieve a commercial outcome for the company, nothing more. Their federal election victory has gone to their head.

News Corp. questioning the journalism standards of the ABC would be laughable if it were not such a serious matter.

While the ABC is not perfect, their journalism is of a considerably higher standard than that published by News Corp. newspapers.


Category: Ethics

112 responses so far ↓

  • 1 June // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Mark, you would have to agree that they (ABC) do have a SOMEWHAT LEFT BIAS.
    I felt that the “burnt hands” story last week was farcical and unsubstantiated as has been shown this week.
    I don’t mind “antigovernment stance” if it is a valid contribution to an argument but to put to air a story which was not true and then to try to defend it was not quite what we would expect of “our abc”.
    We pay for the abc and we should expect
    quality journalism.
    I don’t agree with censorship either but when the abc only presents one side and doesn’t even bother to ask the other side what actually happened (burnt hands e.g.) I have to admit it makes me mad as hell.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    June, I disagree, the ABC does not have a left bias. I can understand how it might look that way but the data indicates otherwise.

    The ABC is not right wing and that of itself makes it look left leaning.

    It is very rare that the ABC only presents one side of a story.

    On the asylum seeker story, the ABC reported what they had been told.


  • 3 June // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    They did not substantiate the claim.
    ps. for the record I watch the ABC all the time and I love Leigh Sales’ interviewing techniques.
    It isn’t personal but I did agree with Tony Abbott (and I don’t like him all that much either)
    Don’t we live in a great country where we can say whatever we like and we are not beheaded?


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Feb 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    They reported the claims that had been made. They subsequently reported that burns came about by capsicum spray causing them to walk into boilers.

    I think Tony Abbott’s un Australian comments were inappropriate. We should not support our team if they get it wrong. Just as we should criticise our team, like the ABC, if they do get it wrong.

    News Corp. has dirty hands on this issue.


  • 5 Steve // Feb 3, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Didn’t that “Data” conclude that the ABC was unbiased on average because the more right wing reporting of local issues by regional ABC media balanced the more left wing reporting of national issues out of Sydney and Canberra. Lies,Damn Lies and Statistics.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Feb 3, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Had not seen that Steve. I just found a report from The Age in 2009 saying they had a bias to the coalition. Hmm..


  • 7 Dean // Feb 4, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    If you read the news section of their website it has a clear left wing bias, especially the analysis section. I don’t listen to ABC news on TV or radio so can’t comment on that.

    I do agree that as a rule the quality of their reporting is better than that from News Ltd, despite my bias to the right wing.


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Feb 4, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    Dean I agree on commentary – but that’s commentary as opposed to news.


  • 9 Steve // Feb 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    The problem with anyone doing an analysis of the perceived bias at the ABC is it such a subjective thing I’m sure every researcher will get the answer they want .Its all a matter of what you consider conservative or progressive and where you draw the line.
    On the question of the boat people with burnt hands George Roberts has some real questions to answer about the quality and professionalism of his journalism. His first question should have been how did the Australian Navy force them to burn their hand. Navy personnel would have had to either physically hold their hands against the boilers or given them an unacceptable choice ie. hold a gun against their head to make them do it. When looked at like that the idea Australian Navy personnel did this collectively,while on duty and under orders is ridiculous. The fact George Roberts reported it without asking the most basic questions of how is contemptible and the fact Mark Scott backed this shoddy reporting is something he owes the Australian public an apology for.
    What happened is the luvvies at the ABC thought they had another weapon in their ongoing war against the coalitions border protection policies,what they got was an unsubstantiated slur against the ADF.


  • 10 Mark Fletcher // Feb 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Steve I don’t think there is a war against the coalition. As Leigh Sales noted last night, in an information vacuum (as created by the Govt.) mistakes are more often made.

    The mistake here is with the reporting. There is no doubt that asylum seekers were burned. There is doubt abut how it happened. My understanding is that it occurred as a result of capsicum spray by the navy – the asylum seekers reached out and grabbed very hot pipes.


  • 11 Steve // Feb 4, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    The ABC isn’t at war against the coalition but I believe there is a long running battle to discredit the coalitions border protection policies starting long before the last election and Scott Morrisons speak no evil policy. In fact the fact the policies are working even though the left and the ABC insisted they wouldn’t doesn’t seem to have changed their attitude. It’s funny how when the progressives get proved wrong they just keep on ignoring the facts. The intelligentsia isn’t really that intelligent because they can’t admit their wrong so they just have to plow on believing bullshit.


  • 12 Mark Fletcher // Feb 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Not into name-calling or labels Steve. I think we need more than a few months to assess if any policy is working. Personally, I am not confortable with the approach being taken as I expect there will be consequences elsewhere. The Australia being portrayed is not the Australia I like.

    While I agree there is an issue with queue-jumping, stopping the boats is not a solution. It needs a broader approach.

    I consume a fair bit of ABC coverage on TV, radio and online and I don’t think they have been biased in their coverage. Last night on Media Watch, Paul Barry criticised the reporting and ABC handling of the matter of the burnt hands.


  • 13 Steve // Feb 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    If you don’t like the present solution whats the alternative. When K Rudd changed the Howard policies it resulted in 50,000 refugees making it to Australia. The really awful part is the 1,000+ who didn’t make it. There is no easy solution which is why I get annoyed with commentators and politicians who would tear down the current arrangement without offering a viable alternative.


  • 14 Mark Fletcher // Feb 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    I think as a country we need to explore alternatives. We’re not alone with such a challenge.


  • 15 ed // Feb 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Hay Mark, why is it that every time the Abc brings a news story about boats, all types of boats indo ones whaling ones even dredging ones they always ask that boat pro Sarah hanson Young about them. I just find it arr so predictable


  • 16 Steve // Feb 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Don’t forget the live export boats. there the ones carrying sheep and cattle from Australia to the middle east as opposed to the ones carrying humans from the middle east to Australia. Ive always been amazed that the same people who think its inhumane to ship livestock think its inhumane not to ship humans. Especially as the live exporters would have their export accreditation cancelled if they had the same death rate as the people smugglers while in transit.


  • 17 David // Feb 4, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Everyone has a right to state their own views and I believe that the ABC do have a leftist bias.

    Their Journalists only portray the negatives when it comes to political views about the Coalition and even in some cases the alternate Government of the day.. Their recent report on the illegal immigrants coming to Australia and supposedly burning their hands was a classical example.

    The ABC are not there to push their own agenda they are there as an institution to promote Australian views and balanced reporting overseas on one hand and locally to also give us a balanced perspective.
    Q and A and the other ABC TV shows are examples of leftist views.

    The Journalists of Australia are very left wing albiet for a few such as my friend Mr Bolt and it is about time the ABC were brought into line.Bring it on Mr Abbott.

    Need I mention the bad example set by their journalists with regards to the Snowden / Indonesia episode.

    This Country is loosing its respect of high office in a professional sense and the Labor Party hand out money policy and the Australian Journalists who side with them are in part to blame.


  • 18 Mark Fletcher // Feb 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    David, the facts as assessed by independent economic experts indicate that there is little difference in the quantum of handouts by governments of different colours. The big difference is in handout recipients.

    As for the Snowden revelations. Good on the ABC. This level of spying is appalling.


  • 19 James // Feb 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Im tired of the asylum seeker debate, can we get onto the ABCs coverage of climate change.


  • 20 Allan Wickham // Feb 4, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Would make a great reality TV show Ronny…!


  • 21 Steve Denham // Feb 5, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    I seem to remember that News Corp owned UK newspaper publisher News International. The revelations being presented at the Old Bailey during the current News of the World phone hacking trial are shocking. The Press Gazette coverage is addictive,


  • 22 Jarryd Moore // Feb 5, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    David, you’re confusing journalism with commentary. Bolt is not a credible journalist by any stretch of the imagination.

    The journalists in Australia do lean more towards our political left – so what? Fair and balanced coverage does not require journalists to present both sides of an argument equally if the facts support one over the other.

    Q&A is a panelist show. The left think its too far right and the right think it’s too far left.

    Regardless, the ABC has some of the most stringent processes for ensuring fairness. Those standards are above what is employed by most commercial media.


  • 23 Jarryd Moore // Feb 5, 2014 at 8:38 AM


    It’s wrong to say that the Coalitions policy is working. There are still boats arriving.

    Regardless, it’s not about whether the policy is stopping the board or not, but whether the actions of the government are justified in their attempt to do so. Not only is the government breaking a number if international conventions to which we are signatory, but from a moral perspective were actively sending away people who are fleeing persecution.

    The viable alternatives have been discussed for years. Increased intake and processing centres to our north in Indonesia are likely to reduce the flow of boats. The problem with this (and other alternatives) is that is is difficult to turn into political currency.


  • 24 Steve // Feb 5, 2014 at 9:56 AM


    If its wrong for me say the coalitions policies are working then by extension you must believe they aren’t working even though all present information says there has been a large drop in boat departing. The front page of THE WEST today has an article on how the people smugglers can’t fill boats even with discount fairs.
    I’d also direct you to my closing remarks in comment 11.


  • 25 Jarryd Moore // Feb 5, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Steve, that is not a logical extension of my position. “I do not believe the coalition’s policy is working” is not the same statement as “I believe the coalition’s policies are not working”.

    Regardless, you miss the point. The question of are we stopping the boats can not be examined at in a bubble. It must be looked at in the context of the actions we take to achieve such an outcome.

    By your assessment any policy that stops people seeking asylum by boat is considered to be ‘working’. The end does not justify the means.

    Your remarks in #11 do not add substance to the discussion. You raised the question of alternatives but do not acknowledge them when they are presented.


  • 26 Steve // Feb 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    What are the viable alternatives Jarryd?


  • 27 Peter // Feb 5, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Steve the Boats stop at this every year. Its called the wet or Willy Willy season.

    This is a moral and ethical issue and Australia’s attitude is selfish and bigoted, not the action of a responsible individual or Country is this world.


  • 28 DAVID // Feb 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Good to see Jarryd back Pull your head out of the sand, no boats for 5 weeks looks to be working to me , as for the A B C it needs a good clean out and to move back to were it should be ,if had my way i would shut it down


  • 29 Steve // Feb 5, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    The present situation isn’t ideal but what are the alternatives. The previous policies were proven to create a mass increase in boats and a corresponding large increase in deaths at sea which I doubt anyone found acceptable. Do you believe an open door for boat arrivals would work If so how? Otherwise I get back to what is a viable alternative? You can’t dismiss one set of policies without explaining your alternative.
    Yes it is the monsoon season but boats are being sent still but they aren’t full. The Navy has reportedly turned 6 or 7 boats back in the last 2 months and January was the first calendar month since February 2009 that recorded no arrivals. This is the intended outcome.The coalition went to the last election with “Stop the boats” as a major platform and go elected if I remember correctly.
    You don’t have to like the policy but you better have a viable alternative before you dismiss it.


  • 30 Mark Fletcher // Feb 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I’m not advocating this, just asking the question / posing the option: some say the asylum seekers are economic refugees. If so, maybe we set a price. We do this already for business migrants and take their money for what is effectively queue jumping. So maybe this is a pricing discussion.


  • 31 Peter // Feb 5, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Steve people like you who junk ethics and morals in this case for blatantly discriminatory purposes have the same thinking as dogs who lick their balls in public, simply because they can. Here people including publicly committed and practicing Christians are actively denying people their rights because they can.

    I would like to hope that people like Steve will one day need to rely on charity and it gets refused by the giver.


  • 32 Steve // Feb 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    A succinct,intelligent and informed answer. Well done.Refer to comment 11.


  • 33 Bill // Feb 5, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    I deal with these people everyday , just look a the U K do we want this mess 95% of the people from the middle east after 5 years are still on the tax payer will they ever work, overseas fighting


  • 34 David // Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    People who right here forget that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I have stated mine.

    That is called democracy and I will continue to believe in what I feel is right and not listen to gas baggers here whose views are to critcise not appreciate others views.


  • 35 June // Feb 5, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I was watching mediawatch too on Monday night and I heard Paul Barry actually criticizing the ABC (HIS EMPLOYER) and I first thought “wow that’s very unbiased and then I thought that maybe Mark Scott had gone into Paul Barry’s office and said “Paul, maybe we had better use your programme to vilify the poor old ABC for 15 minutes or we might not get our funding for next year”
    I decided that the Mark Scott scenario was
    the right one – boy have I got cynical????


  • 36 P // Feb 5, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Jeez we can’t stop over supply of magazines and here we are trying to fix Australia and the worlds problems am i missing something


  • 37 Gary // Feb 6, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Don’t think you are missing anything. Probably easier to fix the worlds problems than sorting out mag supply.


  • 38 Jarryd Moore // Feb 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Steve, the most commonly sighted alternative is to increase our intake and create a network of processing centres in the Indonesian region that removes the need for people to travel by boat.

    The previous policies were not proven to increase board significantly. That is a long bow argument that looks at the data in isolation. The increase in boats also coincides with an increase in worldwide refugee movements.

    It’s ok to stop the boats but it’s disingenuous to suggest it’s being done for the safety of those traveling on them. If we were really concerned with their wellbeing we would be providing viable alternative pathways to seek asylum in Australia.

    Mark, the economic refugee claims are nonsense. All refugee claims are assessed against an international standard of guidelines.

    Bill, take a look at the statistics in Australia. The long term unemployment rate for humanitarian intakes is relatively low. It is disgusting that you insinuate that refugees from certain backgrounds do not want to work. They face a plethora of barriers to employment. Racial discrimination, English proficiency, education, cultural barriers, understanding our business and workplace systems are all factors that refugees have going against them when trying to find employment.


  • 39 P // Feb 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Jarrod politics is for you don’t waste your time here doing what you are doing GO and run this country


  • 40 Steve // Feb 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    That would be great if it could be achieved. Unfortunately successive government of both hues have been unable to come to an agreement with Indonesia because its not in Indonesia’s national interest to process asylum seekers. Just last month Indonesian foreign affairs minister Dr Natalegawa on the 7.30 report was quiet strident of the view that asylum seekers were only entering Indonesia to transit to Australia so therefore they are Australia’s problem not Indonesia’s.
    I never suggested deaths at sea was the reason for turning back the boats, just that it is the consequence of doing nothing. What is disingenuous is to advocate a return to the previous situation without addressing the issue of the loss of life which would occur.
    Thursdays my busiest day and I’ve got a mountain of magazines so if you want to continue this argument you’ll have to wait till tomorrow for a response. To be honest I’m over it we could argue in circles forever.


  • 41 Bill // Feb 6, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Jarryd 95% of all middle east people are not in employment after 5 years ,i deal with them everyday not nice .If you want more move then i with you ,you even get paid for it


  • 42 Jarryd Moore // Feb 6, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Steve, I’m not advocating that Indonesia process asylum seekers. The proposals have always been for Australia to build and operate processing centres in that region. Indonesia can’t/won’t process asylum seekers because it is not a signatory to the refugee convention.

    I’m not advocating a return to a system that doesn’t protect people. However it is difficult to claim that you are protecting people when using a big stick approach to deal with incredibly vulnerable people and aren’t even considering more humane alternatives.


  • 43 Jarryd Moore // Feb 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM


    The immigration departments report put unemployment at 11.7% for humanitarian intakes four years after their arrival.


  • 44 Mark Fletcher // Feb 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Fairfax media has today published an important report re the initial ABC report:


  • 45 Steve // Feb 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I’ve finished my magazines and its calmed down so I’ll have a go.
    Once we’ve built the processing centers in Indonesia,staffed them with Australians and processed the asylum seekers whats the next step. I understand if their refugees they will join the queue of the 40,000,000+ displaced people already deemed in need of re locating but are they at the end or do they jump to the front and come straight here. Because if their at the end of the queue its difficult to see Indonesia accepting large refugee camps on their soil to look after people Australia has deemed genuine refugees but refuses to take.However if is an automatic ticket to Australia we will see another flood of people into Indonesia(a country who considers themselves only a transit for refugees at its highest levels of government so therefore doesn’t care) probably facilitated by the existing people smugglers. As to those deemed not refugees who’s responsible for them us or Indonesian? And whats going to happen to them because I think you’ll find Australia will have a bit of a problem repatriating unsuccessful refugee from Indonesia. Unless you think Australian customs officers operating in Indonesia and dragging people who have never been to this country onto planes is acceptable.
    These things are easy to say Jarryd but there not is easy to do.


  • 46 Steve // Feb 6, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    That last line should have been
    “These things are easy to say Jarryd but there not easy to do”. I don’t know were the stray “is” came from I’m obviously a crap proofreader.


  • 47 david // Feb 6, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Jarryd I think Bill was talking about middle east ,and you have taken in ?


  • 48 david // Feb 6, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Fairfax just as bad as the abc


  • 49 Jarryd Moore // Feb 6, 2014 at 9:54 PM


    It is my understanding that the UNHCR already operates limited processing in Indonesia. So the concerns you raise are all likely to have been dealt with in overcome. The problem is resources, capacity and the number of places we make available for resettlement.

    It’s actually 40M people deemed to be of concern and ~15M considered refugees. Less than 1% of those 15M get resettled each year. As a country with incredible wealth, plenty of space and stable political and economic systems we are high on the list of countries with the ability to take refugees. Our intake numbers should reflect that.


  • 50 Mark Fletcher // Feb 7, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    David, the Fairfax report is excellent journalism, reporting on the source of the claims. They are reporting the claims and not drawing a conclusion.


  • 51 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Are you serious that’s your answer? You told me and I quote “The proposals have always been for Australia to build and operate processing centres in the region” and I questioned how AUSTRALIAN RUN processing centres would operate in that environment. Hell I didn’t even question how such an arrangement would be agreed to by Indonesia,Just how it would be able to operate as “a viable alternative to the present situation” and the best you can do is say the UNHCR are already doing it so they must have the answers. I’m sorry the UNHCR isn’t a sovereign country operating processing facilities in another sovereign country so I think it pretty obvious they wont have the same issues as Australia would have. That before pointing out that the UNHCR processing centers were operating during the wave of boat arrivals so could you please explain how what their doing impacts on boats and is therefore a viable alternative.
    Ive been following this blog for about 2 years and one constant has been Jarryd Moore taking peoples to task over their beliefs and opinion and throwing them back at them with a mix of arrogance and self righteousness.So the fact that after a I take you to task over your own statements it results in an answer that’s the equivalent of” the dog ate my homework” I find pathetic!


  • 52 Jack // Feb 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Amen Steve.


  • 53 Bill // Feb 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Fairfax still on about the burns no wonder they are going backwards


  • 54 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM


    Feel free to launch personal attacks on me all you like – it doesn’t lend credibility to your argument.

    My mistake with the original comment. The processing centres would likely be operated by the UNHCR but built/funded by Australia.

    Regardless, even if Australia to operate there I see no reason it would be treated differently to the UNHCR if it we’re to operate under the same rules.

    The current situation is a limited program. It simply does not have the capacity to deal with the number of asylum seekers in the region. That is why people get on boats. An increase in funding would address that issue. Additionally, an increase in our intake numbers from the region would significantly reduce the incentive for people to get on board boats – if there is a clear and safe path to resettlement there is little reason risk your life at sea.


  • 55 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Bill, you’re equating the quality if journalism with a publications’s financial success. The two are not the same thing.

    The response from the government is alarming.

    Serious accusations have been made and for the government to simply dismiss them is beyond belief. Imagine if that were a domestic victim of rape or some other heinous crime – the community would demand a full and proper investigation. Those same standards should apply to accusations of military misconduct.


  • 56 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    That wasn’t a personal attack,just an observation of how you operate based on your numerous comments on this blog.


  • 57 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Steve, a subjective observation and an ad hominem are not mutually exclusive.


  • 58 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    I don’t even no what “ad hominem” means Jarryd and going by the red line windows just drew under it nether does Bill Gates, but keep the big words coming if it makes you feel intellectually superior.


  • 59 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Steve, your post actually demonstrates what it is. It’s not that uncommon a term. Google it. I’m not aware of any succinct phrase that can be used in its place.


  • 60 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Bugger goggling it, it your phrase why don’t you enlighten me.


  • 61 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I’m not going to play this silly game Steve.


  • 62 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    I was over it yesterday as I said at the time, but I carried on in the hope you could provided a coherent and workable policy solution to the present situation regarding asylum seekers. Which is all I wanted seeing as you are so disparaging of the coalitions efforts.


  • 63 James // Feb 7, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Here is what Im struggling with. Despite my efforts to move the conversation on from asylum seekers, and aside from the “your media is biased, no your media is biased” circular argument, a 10th order issue has generated 61 comments.

    Yet the biggest potential threat to the newsagency retail channel in this country with WH Smiths entry into our patch, generates precisely 0 comments.

    Come on people, focus focus focus.


  • 64 Mark Fletcher // Feb 7, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Yes James there are many live issues facing newsagents that need active discussion including WHS as you note.


  • 65 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Apologies all round. This conversation deviated in to the ridiculous ages ago but I just get incensed at Jarryd attacking other peoples opinions all the time and thought I’d have a go at running him to ground.


  • 66 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Steve, when I disagree I’m going to say so. The same privilege exists for anyone else commenting here.

    I’m happy to discuss and debate any issue at length. What annoys me is when the conversation moves from passionate debate into character attacks.

    James, yes there are other important issues. Sometimes the conversation deviates into other topics – it natural for any blog.


  • 67 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Its not that you disagree that I have a problem with Jarryd its the belittling way you go about it sometime. I’m sorry its just the way I see it.


  • 68 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Steve, I have belittled no one. I make a very conscious effort to not personally attack anyone’s character when writing – not least of all because i feel it would diminish my argument.

    In comparison you have attacked my character a number of times in this thread accusing me of being self righteous, arrogant and pathetic. I have not done the same to you.


  • 69 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    I do get an underlying sense of arrogance and self righteousness when I read some of your post. Especially those which seek to attack someone elses opinion. Having got you to put up what you saw as viable alternative to when questioned on it respond with the UNHCR will work it out was pathetic.


  • 70 June // Feb 7, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Cmon Steve, leave Jarryd alone. He’s allowed his opinion and you’re allowed to have yours.
    That is why we live in this wonderful democracy and not in Russia, or the Ukraine, or Bosnia etc etc etc.
    Hope you’ve both finished your work for the day because you’ve both been quite obsessed with this topic.

    Do you both work for someone or are you
    self employed? because if someone is paying you they are not getting their money’s worth today


  • 71 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I’m a one man band June. And you are right I think I’ll stop now.


  • 72 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM


    The UNHCR already operate a processing centre in the region. I have said that the most commonly proposed alternative is for Australia to fund an expansion of this program and increase our intake from it. This is the concept supported by the majority of refugee agencies, advocacy groups and would almost certainly be supported by the UN. What part of this do you disagree with?


  • 73 Steve // Feb 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Sorry Jarryd
    I told June I’d stop so I’ve stopped


  • 74 June // Feb 7, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Good boy Steve -Jarryd your boss probably would like you to achieve something for the day so desist ‘cos you’re going to have a heart attack if you
    keep your stress levels at this peak.
    I’m allowed to be on here blogging inanely because it is very hot in SA and I’ve been working????? since 7.30 am AND I OWN MY BUSINESS SO NOBODY PAYS ME EXCEPT ME.


  • 75 Jarryd Moore // Feb 7, 2014 at 8:02 PM


    I’m not at work today. Ironically because I just moved to Canberra. Go figure.


  • 76 June // Feb 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Jarryd, did Tony Abbott request your
    attendance or did you move there of
    your own volition?


  • 77 Ronny // Feb 9, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Calm down June, you’re typing in upper case again


  • 78 rick // Feb 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    make what you will of it, the fact is that the majority of australians do not want refugees from some countries in this country, call it racism, call it fear (be it real or imagined) thats why a lot of australians support the current stop the boats policy. what gets me is that we have become so politically correct no one has the guts to say what they mean. it has cost this country billions with the failed ALP policies regarding boarder protecting that has let 50 000 que jumpers into australia, and we will pay the cost going forward as they continue to rort our over generous welfare system. money i would rather see spent helng disadvantaged aussies (and yes some welfare experts amongst then to) i appreciate that this is a generalisation, but go do a survey, not that you should have to, as newsagents we get lots of feedback from our customers, and see what the general population thinks about the majority of boat people. i dont mind be belted for this post, but please prove me wrong first.


  • 79 June // Feb 9, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    My grandfather (Scottish) was a ship’s cook and he jumped ship in Fremantle and went to Andamooka to mine opal, in 1921. He had talked about doing this while home in Scotland so my eldest uncle (14 at the time) got a job on a ship as a cabin boy and followed his father out here because my grandfather had left 10 children with my grandmother and they had to fend for themselves.
    My uncle found his father and convinced him that he was being a scoundrel and they mined uncut opal for 3 years and sent it back to Scotland (illegally) so that my grandmother could sell it and eventually pay the passage for her and the other 9 children.
    Why am I telling you this story.
    My grandfather and uncle were illegal immigrants and I have this very soft spot
    for why these people do what they do like come here on leaky boats etc.
    My grandmother was living in a 2 roomed flat in Glasgow (slums at the time) with 12 of them in those 2 rooms.
    That’s why people do what they do.
    They have dreadful options so they choose one.
    We need to be more tolerant and more humane in our attitudes.
    Multiculturalism is our future and it is the only way that we can become a bigger, stronger, more powerful nation in our region.


  • 80 rick // Feb 9, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    i doubt your grandfather had access to the welfare system that is available today.


  • 81 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Feb 9, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    ronny, seems to have worked out quite well, building the USofA from a colonial backwater into the world’s major economic and military power.

    June – similar story here. My father was a Merchant Seaman who jumped ship in Melbourne, was taken home for a meal by a kindly Scottish immigrant. result = me. My ex wife is the daughter of Lithuanian refugees.

    rick, how much welfare do you and your family currently receive?


  • 82 rick // Feb 9, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    simple, too much, no issue with a major cut back in welfare from me


  • 83 Glenn // Feb 10, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    I’m sorry but the differences between the illegal refugee of 60 to 100 years ago and today are vast. Those of many years ago came to Australia to work hard and build a better life for themselves and their families by knuckling down and contributing to the future prosperity of this nation. There was no welfare so those that came did so for the right reasons and good luck to the lot of them.

    Those of today come here partly because we working Australians cover the expenses of their every need in the hope that they will assimilate and embrace our way of life. In their midst we find those with links to extremist terrorist groups, those who plot against us in our home country, those with ideals very, very different to those we hold dear.

    Undoubtedly there are those who are genuinely seeking a better life and are happy to do what it takes to build that, but how do we effectively filter them out? The world of political and religious extremists is vastly different to that of years gone by, and we simply cannot afford to have an open house to all and sundry simply because they arrive on our shores in a leaky boat with a kid or 2 in tow to tug at our heartstrings, and sapping our welfare system in the process whilst so many Australians who have worked all their life, contributing to society and who served this country in times of war are left out in the cold and struggle to exist.

    To simply say we are a large country with lots of spare space so let them in is madness. Modern multiculturism has failed on a grand scale in Europe, so why are we not learning from their mistakes? Multiculturism will be the downfall of this nation if not properly checked and balanced. When people start bleating about not celebrating Christmas, banning Christmas carols in schools, or any one of a plethora of other BS PC issues because it may upset one faith or another we are already on the slippery slope to the demise of our Australian culture and way of life.

    By all means come to Australia seeking a better life, but work for a living, contribute to society, adopt our way of life and come through proper channels with proper screening. Otherwise we simply cannot afford to accept you. If these “illegals” can pay many thousands of dollars to come on a leaky boat, they can afford the airfare to arrive legitimately and subject themselves to proper screening and checks – unless there is something to hide.


  • 84 Keith // Feb 10, 2014 at 5:53 AM

    They are not illegals. History will judge the Abbott approach as wrong ethically, economically and socially. The fear reflected in screams here and elsewhere misconceived. That is all.


  • 85 James // Feb 10, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Another 20 comments further on, I’ll give it one more crack. What happens if a WH Smith opens in your shopping centre/strip.

    Let’s give that a think for a minute.


  • 86 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Feb 10, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Glenn, you must be quite young if you think that “terrorism” is a recent import.

    Growing up in Melbourne, I have strong memories of the fights between Croats and Serbs, the attacks on people and property. There was even a remnant cell of the Ustashi training in Victoria.

    In the period from WW2 to today there has been a single “terrorist” attack in Australia. Can you tell me who was responsible?

    And finally, if Australia is to continue being the US’s Deputy Sheriff and destroying the civil infrastructure of other nations, then yes, we do have a responsibility to those displaced by our actions.


    James, luckily mine is too small, but I get your point.

    This is a great forum, Mark’s original post was an excellent kick starter, but as often happens, biases come in to play and people respond out of fear, not reason.


  • 87 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM


    Let’s call it a mix or racism and xenophobia – that’s what it is.

    If we’re worried about cost then processing people on small islands should be the first place we look. The costs of doing so are exorbitant.

    There is simply no evidence that they rort our welfare system. Given that most would not even understand the complexities of our system it’s hard to imagine how they would be rorting it. Our welfare system is far from generous. It has for some time failed to keep up with the increased cost of living and many people struggle to maintain even a basic standard of living on it.

    You say would rather see the money go to disadvantaged Aussies but fail to take into account that many of the people who seek refuge here will become Australians.

    As for queue jumpers – there is no such thing. There is no orderly queue for asylum seekers. The UNHCR refugee camps resettle less than 1% of the worlds refugees each year. Arriving in another country and seeking asylum is actualy the most common pathway that refugees use.


  • 88 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 10:21 AM


    You paint a picture of long termwelfare dependent refugees, who choose not to work hard. The data shows differently with only 11.7% unemployed after four years. That’s a good outcome given the massive barriers they face in gaining employment. You can’t compare the current situation to the past influx of european immigrants. Non-skilled jobs and economic opportunity were far more pervasive than in the current climate.

    The terrorist accusations are scare mongering. You can’t taint tens of thousands because of a few people. We dn’t need to go further than our own backyard to find existing Australians with terrorist links.

    Multiculturalism has served us well for many decades. Does it incur some problems – yes. However so does a system that seeks to force everyone to conform.

    Religious celebrations in schools is a completely different matter. Seperationg of church and state is an important pillar of modern society. The state has no business pushing religion or prosthelytising of any kind.

    You say come through the proper channel with proper screening. Arriving by boat is a proper channel. Seeking asylum directly with a country is the normal, proper process – UNHCR camps are a supplementary process. All asylum seekers go through the same screening regardless of the method of arrival.

    Don’t you think if simply getting on a plane was an option they would? For the majority of asylum seekers it isn’t. Some don’t have access to suh facilities, some countries restrict travel and others would never pass the visa checks (since you need to be genuinely traveling for personal or business reasons).


  • 89 Steve // Feb 10, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    I’m just posting this last comment and no more.
    The often stated “There are no queue jumpers because there is no queue” is an intellectual conceit. Australia has a set humanitarian intake ever year. Every boat arrival who is granted asylum is counted as one of these and therefore denies another refugee who otherwise have been resettled in Australia that opportunity. Whether you class it as queue jumping or not the effect is the same.
    James I understand your concern about WH Smith’s growing presents in Australia but they have just as much right as you or I to operate news agencies. I aren’t in a shopping center but I’d hope there are clauses in contracts about allowing directly competing new business to open in centers where a newsagent is already established. But from what I read about shopping centers I’d expect thats a forlorn hope.


  • 90 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM


    Australia has a set humantiarian intake – yes. We set that intake and we can just as easily not count boat arrivals towards it. They are no different from arrivals by plane?

    The effect is not the same because calling them queue jumpers assumes there is an orderly queue – nothing could be further from the truth. The idea of a queue comes from the process that prioritises people who apply to UNHCR camps. However the majority of asylum seekers are not processed through these camps.


  • 91 Jack // Feb 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Steve makes an excellent point. Those who pay the thousands of dollars to come by boat are taking advantage of those who cannot afford this payment and are stuck waiting in the queue.

    I don’t agree with the Liberal policy on the boats however they were fairly upfront about their policy and were elected. This either says the voters care more about other issues and were willing to vote against there interest on this matter, or more likely, they agree with the Liberal parties policy.


  • 92 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM


    What about those who arrive by plane? It is the exact same situation.

    Many asylum seekers are simply not in any queue. The queue is formed by those who are awaiting resettlement through the UNHCR camps. The majority of asylum seekers are not part of this process.


  • 93 allan wickham // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    God I am sick of this discussion. As somebody posted earlier, we cant fix oversupply and now we are up to 95 posts on how to solve the boats crisis.
    Might aswell make a post on Japanese whaling or how to save the endangered white breasted field mouse of south korea…….lets get back to business people.


  • 94 MAX // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM



  • 95 shauns // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Alan love IT , I am not into politics and I have had to sit back for the last week hoping something else would pop up .


  • 96 Jack // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Actually the plane situation is worse than the boat situation. It has been shown to be more likely those who arrive by plane are not genuine refugees. But at least they are documented when they arrive.

    The problem you have Jarryd is that you are getting bogged down in the morality and ethics of it all and that kind of stuff just doesn’t play well in politics. You would be much better served in scaring people into letting refugees into the country. I’d go with that due to our lack of a cheap labour force Australia is unable to compete commercially at an international level.


  • 97 Jack // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    So Mark has a blog post about politics and everyone complains in the thread we are not discussing WH Smith. Meanwhile the WH smith post from Feb 3rd goes completely untouched.

    Feel free to head on over.


  • 98 Jenny // Feb 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Allan, do Koreans really breast feed their white field mice?


  • 99 Jenny // Feb 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    On the topic of WH Smith, or any other gift chain/stores for that matter, I am glad to be in a small shopping centre that hopefully will never be on their list of location opportunities.


  • 100 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM


    There is no requirement for asylum seekers to carry documentation – however it does help the process if they are a genuine refugee.

    As for the disturbing realities of the current political environment – I agree. Scare tactics are clearly more effective than sound policy.

    Allan, Max, Shaun – there are plenty if other posts to engage with. To the best of my knowledge no one has been shackled to a computer and forced to read every post in this thread.


  • 101 Allan Wickham // Feb 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Jenny, it was “breasted” not breast fed.
    My apologies Jarryd, I thought this was a “blog for Australian Newsagents, media and small business in general” not a political soapbox.


  • 102 shauns // Feb 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Sorry Alan I can only hit the LIKE button once


  • 103 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Alan, the conversation deviates. No one is forced to read it. It does not stop engagement on other posts.


  • 104 Jenny // Feb 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Ha ha sorry Allan, best wear my glasses.


  • 105 rick // Feb 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    just proves what a divisive issue boat people have become in the country, i rest my case


  • 106 Allan wickham // Feb 10, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Just as a footnote Jarryd, our local hospital has announced that the ICU unit will close……and this country is “supposed” to take “extra” people……WTF that all about?

    Something seriously wrong with this country!


  • 107 Mark Fletcher // Feb 10, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Al, what’s wrong IMHO is that both major sides of politics are controlled by minorities on the extreme of each side.


  • 108 Allan wickham // Feb 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    You’re spot on Mark. I do have to retract the hospital statement as apparently it was falsely reported and our ICU is not closing. But in saying that there is plenty of terrible stories about cutbacks to many many regional services right across the country.


  • 109 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    I agree Allan, cutbacks to regional services is appalling. Our government spending needs to increase – infrastructure, health and education could all do with significant funding boosts. Our problem is that governments aren’t raising enough revenue and the political climate has made it unpalatable to raise taxes of any variety or fund large long-term investment projects with public debt.

    Take something like high speed rail. The studies generally show it would, over the long term, provide a net economically benefit. Yet no political party wants to put up their hand and say we’ll be the ones to spend $100B+. FTTH is largely agreed upon as a good long term investment both by economists and the tech industry – yet even one of our largest infrastructure projects had to be politicised.


  • 110 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Feb 10, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Jarryd, I agree there’s a need to fund infrastructure, but first we need to prise that money from the hands of those who spend it on war machines. Billions wasted on submarines, millions more on operating maritime surveillance from Adelaide and not the north of Aus.

    The government won’t pay a small subsidy to keep Aus manufacturing running, but will piss billions up against the wall to keep playing “Deputy Sheriff”.

    And don’t get me started on Abbott’s neutering of the NBN. Fibre to the node is a crap service. But what can one expect from a government that doesn’t think a Minister for Science is warranted, but that “counselling vouchers” will halt the rising divorce rate?



  • 111 Jarryd Moore // Feb 10, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    I was thinking the same thing when typing that David. Billions wasted on defence spending that provides little to no economic benefit.

    Announced today was a royal commission into union corruption – the cost will well into the tens if millions. Yet just a few weeks ago SPC was denied government funding that would have saved thousands of jobs. Clearly some misaligned priorities.


  • 112 Lance // Feb 10, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    The media pages of The Australian newspaper today continue the co-ordinated News Corp attack on the ABC. This time, they are calling the death of journalism standards at the ABC.

    The relentless attacks on the ABC by the News Corp. media outlets are disgusting. They are designed to achieve a commercial outcome for the company, nothing more. Their federal election victory has gone to their head.

    News Corp. questioning the journalism standards of the ABC would be laughable if it were not such a serious matter.

    While the ABC is not perfect, their journalism is of a considerably higher standard than that published by News Corp. newspapers.
    This seems so long ago…………..


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