SOME time ago I found myself seated next to a University academic – he had thin grey hair. We were squashed together at the end of a long table in a dim and noisy Vietnamese restaurant in Brisbane [Australia]. The gathering was organised in support of alternative online media, so, I felt comfortable suggesting to him that the mainstream media had lost its way; that journalists at newspapers across the English-speaking world too often just repeat whatever is politically correct.
The professor was offended – what right did I have to pass critical judgement on his colleagues! So, I changed tack. I tentatively ventured that there seemed to be a lot of repetition in reporting of issues in the mainstream media.
He agreed, and went on to explain that there are established story lines – that journalists only add to these narratives, as one might add to a large tapestry.
I was struck by the metaphor. The mainstream news had to all fit together like a picture. What is reported tomorrow is expected to accord with what was reported yesterday.
Politicians, wanting to ‘save forests’, support naive legislation based on the story. The red gum forests become progressively less, rather than more, resilient including to wildfires.
Every time there is a hot fire in the red gum forests along the Murray River koalas are burnt. This koalas just survived a forest in Barmah Forest, in the Central Murray Valley, on 17th October, 2008.
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