Monday 31 August 2009

Well, what did they uncover

I don't want to rain on anyones party, but this morning's Cairns Post dedicates a half page to some shameless self-promotion.

The annual Queensland Media Awards granted Post writer Thomas Chamberlin as the Young Journalist of the Year.
  • "Chamberlin’s success followed his work to uncover the so-called Cash for Comment saga, which saw Cairns Regional Council pay for Mayor Val Schier to receive friendly air-time with radio broadcaster John Mackenzie, without disclosing the deal publicly.

    The resulting fallout, which Chamberlin documented with incisive stories and opinion pieces, led to a clumsily handled internal investigation that in turn forced the departure of CEO Noel Briggs.

    "Tom’s work revealed a divided council organisation with questionable judgment when it came to spending public funds," The Cairns Post editor Andrew Webster said.
    "Sometimes it’s not popular, but we are all well served by journalism doggedly determined to reveal the truth and hold authority to account.

Well, good on you Tom, however you were a reactive proponent of the drama. You never got to the bottom of shamed CEO Briggs, and his sudden departure. There's still a massive story there, still, waiting to be exposed, why a CEO leaves with no explanation, mid-crisis, among monumental and complicit mis-management.

The culture of this Council, as dirty as it is and was, wasn't created in the last 12 months. Surely you can work that out?

You not only ignored one of the key agitators in all this, Councillor Alan Blake, you patted him on the back and thanked him for his good work after his colleagues lost faith in him and his ability to continue as Finance chair.

You ignored Councillor Sno Bonneau and Communications Manager Kerie Hull in the debacle. In fact you continued to publish rubbish that Hull was privileged to, ever since she went on 'stress leave' where is she still enjoys running her own business, whilst on a Cairns Regional Council WorkCover claim.

You and your editor published rot about Hull's 'media wall', in an attempt to debase the Mayor.

You wrote more crap about a weekly flower bill on the third floor of Council.

So did you uncover much? Well, not really. You left the ones alone who threaten and bully those in the community and drip feed you budget leaks. You appear more interested in talking to Feng Shui experts and making up stories based entirely on anon comments from your website.

If that's why you got this award, then congratulations. And congratulations to editor Webster for believing his paper is serving his community.

PS: Marc McCormack has done some amazing photography.


Mark Davis said...

Geez, a little jealous are we Mikey? Don't worry little fella, given the many sterling examples of journalism you have posted on this site it can't be too long before you get an award all of your own. Best melodrama perhaps?

Blogster said...

I could not believe that this guy actually received an award. He's a rat.

The people at the media awards are obviously as gullable as Cairns Post readers.

Thaddeus said...

Years ago, the journalist Robert Reed told me that people nominate themselves for this award. He nominated himself for a story on the late Xavier Herbert and he won the award for that category. TRUE DINKS!!!! Thus Mr Thomas Chamberlain nominated's that for narcissism!

cutting hedge said...

So that is what FIGJAM really means? hhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

"Thaddeus O'Kane" said...

This is hysterically funny. Thomas Chamberlin uncovered nothing. The story arose when Sno Bonneau asked a question in council. Reporting on that is hardly riveting investigative journalism. Had Chamberlin found out that Bonneau was part of the anti-Val conspiracy who knew about the secret cash-for-comment deal all along, then he could have been praised for good journalism. Instead the Cairns Post broke the story as if it was all Val's fault. Cairns Post got it completely wrong and the journalist gets an award??? Give me a break. As they say in internet lingo, I'm ROTFLOL. Michael Moore's investigative work was outstanding and all the outcomes of the debacle were the result of Michael's dogged journalism.
In fact, Michael's reports were on the blogsite days before the Cairns Post followed up. In fact, it got to the stage where Thomas Chamberlin's stories assumed people had read it on Cairns Blog first.
I know it sounds like I am, but I don't want to sound critical of Cairns Post. It is a great source of information to the community and its Saturday opinion pages have become more informative, inclusive and community-oriented since Gavin King got his long overdue marching orders.
If only the paper can get over its irrational anti-Val blindspot it could be even better.
Thanks Mike for the great job you do in giving us the real news going on in Cairns Regional Council.

nocturnal congress said...

I agree with "Thaddeus O'Kane" above (what is it with the nick Thaddeus??). Mike Moore did all the work on uncovering the "Cash for Comment" saga. Chamberlain has reaped the rewards of Mike's work. Chamberlain is nothing but a common thief.
Funny, but the comment about Robert Reid the journalist nominating himself for an award reminded me of when my old Public Service Manager nominated himself for a Public Service Medal..and what do you know...he got one! There he was for days afterwards strutting around with his chest all puffed out. We all gave him the bird behind his back.