Australian Republic Constitution
Australian Flag News Get Involved! Events Resources
Main Menu
ACM Home
About ACM
ACM News
Anthems
Afghan Court Martial
Book Reviews
The Commonwealth
Contact ACM
Convenor's Column
Constitutional Monarchies and Republics Compared
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Cost of Republicanism to the Taxpayer
Crowned Republic
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Event News
Federalism and the Mining Tax
Fiji
Flag: Keep The Flag
Governor of New South Wales
Head of State
Keating-Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
Knights & Dames
Latest News and Opinions
Links
Mate for a Head of State
Media and monarchy
Nile Inquiry
Opinion Polling
Orthodoxy and Monarchy
People's Republic?
Plebiscites
Prince Andrew
Prince Charles
Prince Harry
Prince Philip
Prince William & Catherine
Prince William In Australia
Prince William: The Early Years
Racist Republic?
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Resources
Return the Governor
Royal Commissions
Royal Finances
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
The Succession
2020 Summit
Join our Mailing List
See our selection of videos from across the world:-
ACM Videos
AussieCrownTV - ACM's own TV channel:
Aussie Crown TV
Follow ACM on Facebook:
Facebook
Self Funded Monarchy
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Finances
Royal Finances
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Head of State
Prince Philip
Prince Philip
Special Caribbean Report: Crown & Commonwealth

      Crown

The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth
Prince Harry
Prince Harry
Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew
Knights & Dames
Knights & Dames
The King's Speech: read the book, see the film.

The King's Speech

Watch the 2010 Neville Bonner Oration: Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott
Nile Inquiry
Royal Commissions
Royal Commissions
Opinion Polls

 

Plebiscites
Plebiscites
2020 Summit
2020 Summit
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Afghan Court Martial
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Mate for a Head of State
Mate for a Head of State
Racist Republic?
Racist Republic
A People's Republic?
A People's republic?
Keating Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
The Keating Turnbull Republic
Crowned Republic
Crowned Republic
Polls
Republicans' Best Asset?
Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Media and monarchy

Media and monarchy

Media and Monarchy


 
Comment is free, but facts are sacred


The  media play a crucial role in a modern democracy in informing the people. To do this they must be free. The media agree that there is an ethical requirement that  fact and comment should be distinguishable, and that the news should be as truthful as is reasonably possible.

As the editor of the Manchester Guardian famously declared in 1921, " Comment is free, but facts are sacred"

But while the private media are entitled to editorialise, this is not a luxury which the taxpayer funded public media, the ABC and SBS, can properly have.

In the 1999 referendum, the media were mainly and strongly in favour of change.  What became clear was that this seriously affected the presentation of the news.

As the international authority, and in his earlier career a highly respected editor, Lord  Deedes, wrote in the London Daily Telegraph :

"I have rarely attended elections in any country, certainly not a democratic one, in which the newspapers have displayed more shameless bias. One and all, they determined that Australians should have a republic and they used every device towards that end."

Dr Nancy Stone undertook a survey for The Samuel Griffith Society of two outlets at the time, The Age and The Australian.  Her research confirms Lord Deedes’ conclusion.



The media's role



"Our great misfortune, as we continue to consider the possibility of constitutional change,” observes Sir David Smith, an authority on the role and function of the Governor-General,” is that most Australians do not know enough about our present Constitution to be able to understand any proposals for change." 

To make matters worse, there are those who ought to know better yet would ignore or misrepresent its current provisions in order to advance their case for change.

“The media, who might have been expected to take a role in informing the electorate during the 1999 constitutional referendum campaign, behaved disgracefully, and no doubt would do so again in future. “Instead of reporting, the media were active partisans and conducted their own campaign for the republic.“

For example, when former Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen and former Chief Justice Sir Anthony Mason signed an open letter for the republic, it was published on page 1 of The Australian.

“The open letter in reply, signed by, amongst others, former Governor-General Bill Hayden and former Chief Justice Sir Harry Gibbs, was published on page 10 of The Australian.

“Support for the present constitutional arrangements was equated with disloyalty to Australia, and there were some particularly nasty and offensive examples, such as The Daily Telegraph’s “Queen or Country” masthead; and The Australian’s “scales of justice” motif featuring a crown versus a slouch hat.

“Writing just after the referendum, Tony Abbott, himself a former journalist at The Australian, noted that ‘the reputation of the media can hardly be enhanced by so consistently misreading the public mood, so unrelentingly barracking for the losing side – and by subsequently insisting that voters got it wrong. ... But if the media’s job is to reflect (as well as to lead) a pluralist society, journalists as a class should be embarrassed at the way they have allowed ideological enthusiasm to get the better of professional detachment.’ "

Even the editor of The West Australian, himself a direct electionist republican, had this to say about The Australian’s coverage of the referendum debate:

“’I think it’s one of the lowest ebbs in Australian journalism because The Australian’s become totally partisan. It’s boosterism at its worst and it’s propaganda that goes beyond the rights of a newspaper to have a point of view. It was semi-hysterical most days and as it became apparent that the yes case was in trouble, it got more hysterical.”

“Even one year after the referendum, the ABC could not restrain itself. In a television news item about separate functions held in Sydney by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and the Australian Republican Movement in November 2000 to mark the first anniversary of the referendum, the voice-over commentary by the ABC news reader told viewers that the republic would continue to be an issue 'because most Australians still wanted independence.'

Sir David adds "What was that about ABC bias?” 



The media in any future campaign
 

So how will the media behave in any future plebiscite or referendum? Will they behave ethically?

Sir David Smith doubts that they will lift their performance. If they do not, they will serioulsy risk the one valuable possession they have - their credibility.

There is a concern among journalists as to the future of quality journalism, and that is justified. The closing of The Bulletin and the running down of current affairs progammes on the Nine network  reminded journlists that these had existed only because of the indulgence of the late Kerry Packer.

The Australian only exists because its creator, Rupert Murdoch was - and perhaps still is - willing to subsidise it. The last thing journalist and editors should do is to jeopardise the standing of their outlets by indulging in shame faced bias in something as important as a proposal to change the bases of our constitutional system.

And journalists and editors must understand that the power of the mainline media has been diluted.Well before the mainline media were already losing their monopoly with the advent of talk back radio, which they had seriously underrated.

Since the 1999 campaign, the internet provides a way in which a voice minimised and suppressed by the mainline media can go behind the media filters and reach a large and increasing audience. 

Another factor will be the model presented in any future referendum.

If it involves a general election of the president, the united front among the mainstream media will fracture.  Most are opposed to this model. T

In 1999, a united mainstram  media were unable to ensure a victory for the politicians' republic in 1999.

But there can be no doubt that their long campaign for change had some effect, increasing to some extent  the "yes" vote.

Should they behave as badly as they did in 1999, they will only reinforce the lack of confidence people already show about the media in survey after survey.
 

Media and Monarchy: The Economist Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 08 May 2011

I took The Economist for well over two decades, but I began to lose confidence in it when I found that reports on matters on which I had some knowledge were  superficial and even wrong.

The newspaper, as it prefers to call itself, was once edited by that great constitutionalist Walter Bagehot.  It trades on the staus accumulated from its past high standards. But in recent times it has taken on an increasingly undergraduate air substituting opinionated  arrogance for knowledge, understanding, common sense and experience.
 

One of the worst examples was a cover calling on President Clinton to resign or be impeached. It was over the Monica Lewinsky affair. The President did not accept this advice.

I did not renew my subscription, but have received increasingly attractive offers to come back.

Not while it propagates infantile bitchy republicanism.

Image


 

Charles Moore’s comment in The Spectator of 7 May - which comes to me now as The Spectator Australia - gives  an egregious example: 

The Economist, published on the day of the wedding, covered it only thus: ‘A young man and his fiancée were expected to get married in central London on 29 April. Millions of Britons took advantage of the opportunity to take a foreign holiday.’ Strange how the cleverest often miss the most.



As silly as The Independent’s original and impossible policy not to report matters royal.  Why don't they all grow up?

 
Media Education Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Who cares if pensioners are against a republic? It's not their future, and therefore it's not their place to decide, writes Michael Koziol in an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald .

"Pensioners? It's not their place to decide."

Does this mean the aged should lose their vote?

His piece was published on the day following ANZAC Day, when the nation honours Australia's warriors, both young and aged, including pensioners.

It was headlined: ‘’ Let wisdom of youth lead social agenda

Image
[ Prime Minister Guizot is to the left of The King, who is of course seated ]
 


..media studies...

 

Mr.Koziol  is described as studying media at the University of Sydney.

He does not seem to be aware of the many media reports over many years about polling which indicate that support for a vague undefined politicians’ republic is weakest among both the old and the young.  He could consult the reports we list in our section on Opinion Polls -just click on the icon on the left of the home page of of this site.

Mr. Koziol begins his piece by damning the quotation "If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 40, you have no brain,'' as silly, offensive and patronising.  He says it should be put to bed.

This is the most diluted version of the saying that I have ever seen. It is usually about socialism, and the age of maturity is usually 30.
 
He may be interested to know it derives from the French Prime Minister
François Guizot , who said:

Ne pas être un républicain à vingt est preuve de veulent du coeur ; être un à trente est preuve de veulent de la tête.”

In English that is “ A man who is not a republican at 20 has no heart; a man who is a republican at 30 has no brain.”



....respect...



 In a letter in the Herald (27/4) Sophie York of Turramurra writes:
Read more...
 
Republican movement tells the BBC one thing, the ABC and Canberra Times the opposite. Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 19 April 2011

 The republican movement seems to be intent on misleading the media. (Or the leadership is seriously divided about what they should be doing about the Royal Wedding.)

Image
[We ARE going to campaign during the wedding! No, we're not that stupid!]


This emerged when the  BBC’s Sydney correspondent Nick Bryant pointed out in The Australian (18/4) that Australia’s  republican movement can hardly hope to compete with the Royal  Wedding ”... in a country where two out of three of the most watched television events in history have involved the Windsors: Diana's wedding and funeral.”



...
the truth?...



Mr. Bryant added:

The truth, of course, is they are not trying, and are waiting for the confetti to blow away. ‘We don't want to be party poopers,’ a leading republican, who did not think the wedding had broader implications for the cause, told me recently."




...the ABC gets a different story...


  
Well, that is not what the republican movement told the ABC on 17 November, 2010.

They said that the wedding was the ideal time to push their campaign.  Here is their former chair, presently deputy chair and spokesperson, Professor John Warhurst with a debate with me on the announcement of the Royal Wedding:







...no were not...





But then the republicans showed no sign of pushing this campaign, and seemed to restrict themselves to a personal campaign against Prince William. 

So it seemed fair to conclude that they had changed their minds. I wrote on this site “The republican movement had proposed a campaign for a plebiscite at the time of the Royal Wedding; it would seem this strategy may have been reconsidered (“Republican movement peeved by Royal Visit” 20/3)


I then received this intemperate email from the movement’s vice chair and media director David Donovan who had previously denigrated  my partial Asian origins by describing me as “perma-tanned”:

“We never proposed anything of the sort – as we have asked you before, would you please stop telling lies about the ARM. Perhaps you can’t stop?”



...yes we are...


  

But then Professor Warhurst insisted on continuing  to push the campaign  in the media - the one  which their media director says they had never proposed. 

Writing in the Canberra Times on Thursday 24 March (“King William? No thank you”) Professor John Warhurst, deputy leader of the republican movement declared his continuing  support for this campaign:

“As the Royal wedding looms, there is no better time than now to dethrone the monarchy and for Australia to finally become a republic.”

The message could not have been  clearer.

Image

Professor Warhurst says he even delivered the very same message the day before to school students at a national convention in Canberra.  But then the movement tells the BBC they do not want to be "party poopers." 

 So are they misleading  the media, or are they of two minds?
 

 

 
The role of the media Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Thursday, 03 March 2011

Remember how almost all the media backed a plan for a republic, only to have it rejected at the 1999 referendum?  

This is a key question Andrew Bolt asks  in his opinion piece on 3 March 2011 in The Daily Telegraph, “A mammoth difference in standards”

He says that the Prime Minister:

....repeatedly promised she would not introduce a tax on carbon dioxide emissions—in effect, a great green tax on electricity and petrol. There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead,” she said. But six months later Gillard says she will indeed give us that carbon tax, and from next year, without even going to another election for a mandate


Image




...ACM’s concern...





ACM has of course no position on whether there should be a carbon tax, or whether Ms. Gillard is justified in announcing that one will be introduced in this term.

 We are however concerned that the media play the key role intended in our Westminster system. That is to present the news honsetly and objectively.

 But as that distinguished former British editor Lord Deedes observed in the London Daily Telegraph on 8 November, 1999: 

“I have rarely attended elections in any country, certainly not a democratic one, in which the newspapers have displayed more shameless bias. One and all, they determined that Australians should have a republic and they used every device towards that end.”

In the nineties, with some honourbale exceptions, the media failed to perform their core duty.


Image
[ Lord Deedes just before the Normandy invasion, 1944 ]
 





...a different world...




 Andrew Bolt opens his piece with three questions:

Remember how so many journalists hated John Howard, who nevertheless won four elections in a row?

Remember how almost all the media backed a plan for a republic, only to have it rejected at the 1999 referendum?

How often have we seen this gulf in opinion between the mainstream media and the public they report to?

He adds:


[Continued below]

Read more...
 
Crime and the media Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 01 February 2011

We thought it was over when the  journalists who hacked into the message banks of members of the Royal Family and other prominent people were tried and found guilty. (“Crime and punishment,” 27 January 2007).

Until then, there was an attitude among some journalists that in the Royal Family codes of ethics and even the law did not apply.   

Image 
     

The trial ended with the gaoling of a journalist and an investigator engaged by the Sunday newspaper, the News of The World.  This is a Sunday tabloid which has become the UK’s biggest-selling newspaper with a circulation of around 3.3 million copies. 

According to The Guardian of 26 January, 2007, the News of the World “royal editor” Clive Goodman was sentenced to four months in gaol after pleading guilty to intercepting phone messages. His co-accused, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was sentenced to six months.




...not about press freedom...

 

 

 

The judge, Mr Justice Gross, described their behaviour as "low conduct, reprehensible in the extreme.  Neither journalist nor private security consultants are above the law. 

This case was not about press freedom; it was about a grave, inexcusable and illegal invasion of privacy.  It was not pushing at the limits, or at the cusp: it was plainly on the wrong side of the line.

It is essential for the decency of our public life that conduct of this kind is clearly marked as unacceptable. 

This was serious criminal conduct to which we must not become numbed.  It is to my mind [of] the very first importance to the fabric of our public life that such intrusive, sustained criminal conduct should be marked by immediate loss of liberty."




...revenge...

The exposure of this criminal activity was followed by what seems to have been an enhanced media campaign against the Royal Family ("News of the World revenge on the Royal Family").  

In 2006 another Murdoch newspaper, The Sun, published three year old photographs of Prince Harry in an obvious, underhand and vicious attempt to create problems for him with his current lady friend.

Image

That fabrication went around the world, but when the true story emerged – that these were old photographs – The Sun refused to apologise for its appalling conduct.

Then in 2009 the News of the World  found – we suspect bought – a video which showed Prince Harry engaging in the sort of banter young men in the army typically engage in. It was three years old.

Some people who have obviously had no military experience complained.





....from News of the World to 10 Downing Street...


 

[Continued below]

Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next > End >>

Results 28 - 36 of 66
ROYAL VISIT 2014

Image

The Book Depository
Image
Image
Prince William: The Early Years
Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Constitutional Monarchies & Republics Compared

Image


Defend the Constitution and Flag
Australian Election Watch

10th Anniversary Neville Bonner Oration

11th Anniversary and Appeal

Crowned Republic 

   Keep The Australian Flag
Return the Governor to Government House
The Succession
The Succession
The Governor of New South Wales
Governor of New South Wales
Fiji
Fijian soldier
Media and Monarchy
Media and Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Events
October 2017 November 2017 December 2017
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Week 44 1 2 3 4
Week 45 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Week 46 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Week 47 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Week 48 26 27 28 29 30