Sunday 15 November 2009

Cairns Post taints city's image

The bumwipe does it again.
This weekend’s edition of the Post carried the usual hysterical, sensationalised rubbish that it’s become now famous for.

The articles on page 2 and 3, Violence Taints City’s Image, where the Post and its anti-Cains editor Andrew Webster, have again painted the bleakest possible picture of crime in our city. He's dedicated 15 sentences in the main article telling us, the world, and potential tourists, what a terrible place this is. In another 14 sentences quoting shopkeepers, and another 5 sentences of horror statistics.
You would think we live in the worst city in the world.
I suspect when our so-called gang of four, namely Mayor Val Schier, Bill Calderwood, chair Tourism Tropical North Queensland; Russell Beer of Advance Cairns, and Jeremy Blockey from the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, open the weekend rag and see this kind of stuff sprawed across the pages, they would feel all their well-meaning efforts fly out the window as quick as you could say "come visit Cairns, it's a lovely place to raise your family."
What in fact has happened is that the crime rate has fallen. Yes, not even 4CA’s John Mackenzie could have distorted the figures more than the Post.
You have to flip down to the very bottom of page 2 to find out in fact that we have more police on the beat and that the crime rate has fallen. Just 11 sentences of it. Post editor Andrew Webster has lovingly devoted 34 sentences to denigrating our city in the worst possible way, and only 11 sentences on the facts.
If you go to the Queensland Police Service web site and click on the link to the 2008-09 annual report and statistical review, you will find in fact that the crime rate is dropping all over Queensland.
"Offences against the person has seen an increase during the late 1970’s, 1980’s and early 1990’s. The rate stabilised from the mid to late 1990’s and has shown a decreasing trend over the last four years," says the Police report.
"Following a peak in 1996/97, the rate of homicide has been steadily decreasing. In 2008/09, is decreased by 8% and recorded 3 less murders when compared with the previous year."

However, you’d never know this from the scaremongering that the Cairns Post engages in, along with other gutter media in our city.

The Police statistics go on to show that Queensland recorded a decrease of 21% in the rate of sexual offences in the year compared with the previous year.
Let me congratulate the Police on the fantastic job they are doing, as against the rotten job the Cairns Post does. Cairns district superintendent Brent Carter ought to be extremely proud of the job his men and women have done, up against the negative stereotypes that is pumped out from Abbott Street, let alone the damage it has on the delicate balance of our tourism business.
Policing is never easy, and we should all be grateful to the men and women in blue, on the real statistics that the Cairns Post plays down.
On the subject of drunkenness and violence in the city centre, the Post doesn’t tell you the real story either. That's because clubs, pubs and the rest of the alcohol industry are among its biggest advertisers. If the Post was for real, if it had any honesty or ethics left, and if it had the interest of Cairns at heart, it would start a campaign to against those pubs and clubs that encourage customers to get so drunk they don’t know what they are doing.
So drunk they are, aggressive and violent - not just against the public but against the police as well. You only have to go visit the club areas of the inner city to see customers reeling around the place, vomiting, fighting amongst themselves, accosting others. The inner city is an awful place at times.
So the Post could take on the real culprits - the alcohol businesses of this town - and make a difference. They could call for the service of alcohol to end at midnight. They could call for punishments available to the courts for service of alcohol to intoxicated people to be dramatically increased, both for the person serving, and the business involved.
They could promote making a loss of licence automatic for business found guilty of licensing offences. But they won’t. Because the Post makes an awful lot of its money from the alcohol business.
Our local newspaper is in a powerful position to influence and promote a positive attitude, to rally behind local leaders and the good things that happen in our community, yet it consistently decides not to. I really don't think they have any honesty or ethics left. They certainly don't have the interest of our city at heart. When are we going to get some positive and supportive media in our city? They could be part of the solution but have firmly resided in doing the total opposite.
It's not an unfair assessment to say that the Post actually contribute to the negative perception in our region.
Maybe the editor should read the likes of Andrew Griffiths, who writes in the very same edition, when he talks about our city's highest unemployment rate in Australia. Andrew is the king of positive spin.
"We have to unite and work together. If we can’t, we have already lost," Griffiths says.
A word of timely advice aimed squarely at Andrew Webster, the editor of The Cairns Post.


Blogster said...

Mike, you lost me when you started carrying on about licenced venues, drunks and advertising. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and I can tell who has been in your ear. You have become another pawn pushing the police propaganda. Mike, mark my words, until people are held responsible for their own actions (e.g. consuming the amount of alcohol they have), nothing will change (thank God for the High Court ruling the other day - it's the first step in the right direction). Please don't believe everything the police tell you. And please educate yourself about statistics and you will see right through them, as the Police are kings of spin.

CairnsBlog said...

Blogstar, no one has "been in my ear."

Anyone who know me and the issues I raise, knows that I'll not anyone's "pawn."

This certainly isn't police propaganda, as you say. The Cairns Post merely have not done their homework, again.

Here were area town in desperate need for positive stuff, and all this rubbish newspaper do is spread pages and pages of twisted "news."


Balaclava Rd Bandit said...

Crime rates are down? Well lets have a look at this.

As per my name i live down Balaclava road, at least once every weekend there are cops someone along the street either door knocking or investigating something. My car has been broken into once in the past 12 months, along with 4 other people who live close by (never been broken into before in 4 years). Not to mention the incidents at the nite owl, the almost fatal beating a month or so ago and the gangs of kids roaming the street at all hours of the nite.

Do i feel safer than i felt 4 years ago, no. Does anyone in Cairns feel safer than they did 4 years ago? Not many in my neighbourhood do, especially when getting door knocked by police investing a crime happens at least once a month.

It's not about the Cops doing a bad job, or how many cops we have, law and order issues can't just be solved by more white and blue. It has to be a holistic approach, and no one is taking it.... and we're going to spend millions on a bike track, instead of solving issues of inadequate street lighting and security cameras.... great we'll all be fit enough to fight off our attackers now.... but then again they'll be fitter

The article reflects how many of us have been feeling for a long long time.