Friday 4 September 2009

The Hypocrisy Post

How does this rank for hypocrisy?

In his Cairns Post editorial today, Andrew Webster asserts that the Cairns couple unwittingly thrust to the centre of the national "abortion" pill story, are entitled to privacy.

"Whether to terminate a pregnancy must surely rank as among the most difficult and intensely private decisions a person could ever face," editor Andrew Webster writes.

"So it is regrettable that the young Cairns couple now facing court have come under such scrutiny over allegations they attempted to procure an abortion.
They must feel bewildered at what is happening to them," Webster says ironically.

However, he leaves the best bit to last....

"Their privacy should be respected as they wait nervously for a judgment in their case."

Then I flick over to page 3, and hey presto, he's published a full page story about the young couple, names and all, complete with a huge photograph. They are mentioned by name, no less than 15 times in the same story.

Is it just me that sees the total hypocrisy here? The Post may claim that their name is already out there in "other" media, so they may as well do it as well, however the editor seems to want it both ways, and trump a moral high ground.
The writer of the story, experienced Post journalist Margo Zlotkowski, should have known that identifying the couple would not be in the interest of anyone, and certainly not in the interest of her paper when they want to run the privacy defence in their editorial. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

Comments on the Post's website about the story are damming of the paper's decision to name and print their photograph:
  • What next for this young girl, a scarlet letter tattooed on her forehead.
    Posted by: Gabbie of Nth Qld 11:20am

  • I'm annoyed at seeing their picture with this article. This poor young couple. I don't see how this is anyone else's [sic] business but their own. I cannot believe that they have been made an example of, and that matter has gone to court.
    Posted by: MD of Cairns 9:45am

  • The police and the courts must have very little to do if this is the case making the news.
    Posted by: Ken of Melbourne 9:15am

  • Please leave them alone... this is like a cristian [sic] witch hunt of the 1700's... this young couples lives were in a very desparate [sic] place... they need our support and understanding NOT a Christian Whitch Hunt!
    Posted by: Brendan Fitzgerald of Cairns 7:22am

The Post is a dirty rat running such a story, and then a few pages later, saying how horrible it is to be named.

If only abortions were mandated for some that might produce dodgy newspaper editors.

UPDATE: The Post published a series of photos on their website, after chasing the couple down the street after their court appearance.


Joanne Ryan, Cityview said...

yeah I saw that and thought the same.

how many more reasons do we need to use the post for our cat litter trays?

Stella Martin said...

This is directly relevant to Cairns because of events unfolding today at the Court House.

There is an e-petition on the QLD government site urging the repeal of sections 224, 225 and 226 of the Qld criminal code to ensure termination of pregnancy is no longer subject to criminal law. For wording see below. If you are pro-choice, please click on the link and add your voice. It closes on 11/09/09:

Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House the fact that termination of pregnancy remains a criminal offence in Queensland.

Under the current legislation, women are at risk of criminal prosecution for accessing a safe medical procedure. Health professionals also remain at risk of prosecution for providing safe abortion services to women.

Queensland law on this matter is increasingly out of step with other Australian states and territories. The majority of public opinion in Queensland has consistently supported the decriminalisation of abortion.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to repeal sections 224, 225 and 226 of the Criminal Code to ensure that termination is no longer subject to criminal law.

debbie said...

The same woman I saw on the ABC filmed seated in the dark in front of a bright window so all I could see was a black silhouette? With a fake name protecting her identity?

Well done Cairns Post for un-doing all of the ABC's hard work in protecting this woman's privacy.

Sir Humphrey said...

bloody ghost is a disgrace as said many times before its only useful function is wrapped around the ol fish n chips

Under the Radar said...

Yet another example from the Cairns Post of why they are used as a training tool in "what not to do" for communication and journalism courses around Australia, I recently attended a course in Sydney where they used the Cairns Post as a subject regarding ethics in journalism. I was ashamed and admitted I only read the paper for the horoscopes.

nocturnal congress said...

I hope the young couple take legal action against "The Cairns Post".

Joey JJ, Trinity Beach said...

I saw the FaceBook group called The Cairns Post (aka ComPost) is the biggest rag in Australia! (set up by Tyson last year I think)

It's a group for all people who have read, or indeed, heard of the "atrocity that is the paper we all find bringing shame to the newstands of Cairns."

Do you know that Smithfield High School base a whole semester on analysing the bias and breaches of the Australian Journalists' Code of Ethics!

Maximinus the 3rd said...

Shame, shame, shame on the Cairns Post!

What brazen attitude expressed by the Cairns Post. In the process, the community is held in contempt and it is taken for granted. The management must think we are illiterate fools.

They should hold their head in shame. In their quest to increase dwindling circulation, sensationalism prevails, all sense of decency is jettisoned.

With their backs to the wall, management would insist they have no control over the journalists. However, their duplicity knows no bounds. Their insincerity is obvious and their creditability is in tatters.

Their pages are smeared in poison ink and I wouldn't use them for fish n chip wrap!

William H Hughes, Mossman said...

No matter where you sit on this issue, you can't defend want this trashy paper is up to.

I wrote to the editor a few months ago - when he moved from Innisfail and wished him well in his quest to turn the paper around and gain some cred with the community. His early editorials were positive and there was a gleem of hope.

However Mr Webster has far from done anything impressive and divided this community from the Council to the issues we really care about like our citizens in almost every suburb.

He is a very nasty person.

Would he run the same stopry like this WITH HIS DAUGHTER?

I bet he wouldn't.

What a crook and a charlatan he and his trashy low down paper has continued under his leadership.

Ovemi said...

Has anyone notified Media Watch?

Syd Walker said...

What should we expect from a media empire that brazenly sells wars based on blatant disinformation?

Why doesn't CairnsBlog publish the photos of all Cairns Post staff - so this community can more easily identify these shysters and give them a wide berth?

Some details about their marital affairs, expenses rorts, sexual preferences, drug-taking history etc might also come in handy.

At present, we apparently can't stop the Murdoch media from dominating our local print media market. The phony ACCC seems to have more important things to do than move against de facto media monopolies.

Under those circumstances, some form of citizens defense seems appropriate.
Murdoch's Cairns-based liars should be named and shamed.

For example, how many of the members of their own families sign up for the wars these conformist scumbags continue to promote? Shouldn't we be told?

Incidentally, as it desperately tries to leverage its bloated share of the Australian print media into dominance of Australians' blog-reading habits, News Corp is developing more online 'news media'.

The Punch is an example.

A few days ago, it ran an article on the NSW Della Bosca affair. It attracted 93 comments and counting. Here's one comment that wasn't published, contributed by yours truly as an experiment on the extent to which glasnost has arrived at News Corp.

The answer: it hasn't...

"I would like a series of in-depth investigative exposes on the extramarital affairs and expenses rorts of News Corp management and staff.

If the Murdoch media published stuff like that, I might even start buying its lousy rags once again, although on second thoughts probably not.

Oh, and to all aging female News Corp journalists scratching their heads and wondering whether it was me they had that fling with at a party back in the 1980s, your secrets are safe with me and I threw away the negatives.


Guido the Plumber said...

I will consider lodging a complaint with Media Watch if someone is prepared to pass on to me their contact details.

Denis Walls said... is best to contact them.

One thing I have learned in many years of dealing with the Daily Getsmuchworse is that they are NEVER the story. If you put in a press release or a letter to the editor, which even tangentially refers to them in a negative way, the letter or PR will not get a run or the part which is critical will be excised. Read Antonio Gramsci and his concept of cultural hegemony. It is more relevant than ever.

nocturnal congress said...

I almost puked at the Editor's offhand and insensitive commentary today concerning the dilemma the people of Yarrabah face over grocery costs. The average income at Yarrabah is well below the average in Cairns, and it's a damned disgrace that they are forced to pay so much for good food. I remember at one time, the Editor was planning on investigating and writing about the "racial problem" in Cairns...

cutting hedge said...

Media watch ARE aware of this trust me.feel free to inundate them gang.

Media Burger said...

Sure thing, Syd, why don't we publish details on the sordid private lives of our so-called local media? While we're at it, why don't we reveal what our own Michael Moore gets up to in his spare time?

Hang on - someone already did. But Mikey didn't like it, and he's been moderating (read: censoring) comments ever since.

Why don't you people turn the spotlight on yourselves for a change? I think you'll find the stink wafts from a little closer to home.

Harden the f#ck up said...

Med Burger, get a job in classifieds...