All legal freedoms logically come with a responsibility to uphold the legal or political framework which allows those freedoms. Freedom of the media logically comes with a responsibility to uphold the structure of democracy. If any media entity attacks the structure of democracy in Australia, it should be deprived or at least restrained in its freedom.
However, this does not happen. Western democracy is being torn down, in a large part because of the licence of the media. I do not stand aghast at more authoritarian regimes for their tight control of the media. Australia’s own governments should before this have considered some restraints on media which flaunts its ‘freedom’ and attacks the structure of government.
It is because of the media that the Australian populace has no more respect for politicians in general than it has for journalists. The media have made electioneering little more than another race on which we can gamble and speculate. It tears at the reputations of politicians as though they are expected to be more than human, even when they are of a standard which is above that of the majority of the populace.
Worst of all, the media is guilty of attacking the morale of our armed forces, for the sake of selling news. Unfortunately in this unfair world, who dares does not always win, though who dares to throw stones seems able to throw them with impunity, and reputations are not merely sullied without just cause, but lives are wrecked.
Once mud or stones are thrown, the damage is done and cannot be repealed. Our armed forces hold up our democracy with their lives, while our lily-livered journalists hide behind an argument of ‘the people’s right to know’, regardless of whether worthwhile people are interested in knowing. If only cheap white trash want to know, it says little for the media which prints the fabrications. Sadly, such lies and gossip are printed alongside wholesome news, so that we get the situation of the poison being hidden in healthy food, much as Saul of Tarsus sold the mess of Christianity to the people two thousand years ago.
I say, until we have a government which will restrain recalcitrant media outlets and define the difference between freedom and licence, let the reader beware.