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(Sydney Morning Herald)   Holding journalists accountable for what they write vs freedom of speech   (smh.com.au) divider line 120
    More: Interesting, Andrew Bolt, freedom of speech, Herald Sun, special rights, racial identity, federal courts, rebellions, journalists  
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7913 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Sep 2011 at 12:38 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-09-29 09:59:11 AM  
If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.
 
2011-09-29 10:04:04 AM  

Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.


Most of what people consider lies in journalism are "He's worse than Hitler" opinions, or "Solyndra:Bad scandal or Worst Scandal?" hyperbole in framing the discussion.

Outright lies aren't hard to prove unless they are the type that Palin says are lies. She either did or didn't do cocaine/sleep with Glen Rice. But saying the unemployment rate is 14% when it is 9.1% is easy to prove.
 
2011-09-29 10:07:30 AM  
If journalists still had integrity this wouldn't be as much of a problem.
 
2011-09-29 10:57:26 AM  
For the record, farkers, Andrew Bolt is Australia's Bill O'Reilly.

He's an A-class, military-grade asshole. He makes his money spraying shiat in all directions and then sitting back and earning off the controversy.
 
2011-09-29 11:25:54 AM  
images.smh.com.au

themountainandwave.com

/the world of Red Bull
 
2011-09-29 12:23:00 PM  
This isn't a freedom of speech issue. This is a case where someone printed obvious untruths about specific people in an attempt to discredit and marginalize them.
 
2011-09-29 12:42:17 PM  
A reporter is not exercising his freedom of speech if he intentionally lies in his reports. If that was not the case, libel would not be a good reason to sue somebody.
 
2011-09-29 12:44:06 PM  

Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.


www.upcheer.com
 
2011-09-29 12:44:13 PM  
Wow! If Breitbart lived in Australia, he'd be wearing stripes by now...
 
2011-09-29 12:45:42 PM  
themountainandwave.com
2.bp.blogspot.com
Andrew Bolt is a cabbage head, twice removed.
 
2011-09-29 12:46:28 PM  

Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.


*looks in mirror, turns off lights.*
Fox News.
Fox News.
Fox News.
*turns on lights, tv.*
Nope, still here.
 
2011-09-29 12:46:38 PM  
I've felt a decent solution to this is to regulate the usage of the word "news." Kind of like how a newspaper will label an advertisement as such, if you want to call yourself a newspaper, or call your TV programming news, you have to actually meet some minimum standards.

Then, the journalists can say whatever they want. Fox News can continue to exist. But they just cannot label themselves news.
 
2011-09-29 12:49:32 PM  
His big problem was that he stated that stuff as fact.

What he should have done is just asked the question - Are Aborigine's who are able to pass using the system? One's like (people named in article)? He's not saying they are, he's just asking the question!

/Sad that I've learned how to work like the GOP media....
 
2011-09-29 12:50:13 PM  

chuckufarlie: A reporter is not exercising his freedom of speech if he intentionally lies in his reports. If that was not the case, libel would not be a good reason to sue somebody.


It seems that all they have to do is post a retraction if they get called on some BS.
As litigious as society has become, I think there should be more libel suits, having immediate and devestating effects, against irresponsible journalists.
 
2011-09-29 12:50:22 PM  
Can someone give a summary of that article for non-Australians? I get the feeling I'm missing a heck of a lot of context.
 
2011-09-29 12:55:15 PM  

Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.


It's been proven over and over that this is not the case. Look how long News of the World lived. Look how Fox News has some of the highest ratings in cable news. Why do you think people sensationalize the news? To get eyeballs on their news channel/newspaper/newswhatever, to sell advertising, to get paid.

Also, "freedom of speech" is in the American Constitution, so I'm not sure it applies here. I'm sure Australia has something similar, but it's not like Australians have First Amendment rights, blokes. And wouldn't this be more "freedom of the press?" I know they're similar, but still kind of different. Both protect against government oppression of ideas, but one is just saying something and the other is printing it under the guise of honesty and information dispersion.
 
2011-09-29 12:56:19 PM  

Cagey B: This isn't a freedom of speech issue. This is a case where someone printed obvious untruths about specific people in an attempt to discredit and marginalize them.


Remember, it's libel if it's in print, slander if it's spoken!

Anyway it's all defamation and not protected speech in the US. Not sure how such rights are recognized in Australia though (any Ozzie Farkers want to pipe up after the sun rises over there?).
 
2011-09-29 12:56:21 PM  
And, as usual, a bunch of left-wingers will attack Fox News.

Funny, because it's pretty much fact that Fox is the fairest news station there is.

Scientific study results:
Least biased are ABC (Liberal bias), and Fox News (Conservative bias)
Most biased are CBS (Strong liberal bias), and NBC (Very strong liberal bias)
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Least biased are ABC (Liberal bias), and Fox News (Conservative bias)
Most biased are CBS and NBC (Strong liberal bias)
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Fox was unbiased in 2008 election.
ABC, CBS, NBC were biased towards Obama
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Least biased outlets are FoxNews, Newshour, CNN NewsNight, and ABC Good Morning America.
Most biased are Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, and New York Times.
Link (new window)

90% reporters vote for and support Democrats:
Link (new window)

Americans, on a 3:1 ratio, believe the media is liberal as opposed to conservative:
Link (new window)
 
2011-09-29 12:58:04 PM  

sloppyjoes7: And, as usual, a bunch of left-wingers will attack Fox News.

Funny, because it's pretty much fact that Fox is the fairest news station there is.

Scientific study results:
Least biased are ABC (Liberal bias), and Fox News (Conservative bias)
Most biased are CBS (Strong liberal bias), and NBC (Very strong liberal bias)
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Least biased are ABC (Liberal bias), and Fox News (Conservative bias)
Most biased are CBS and NBC (Strong liberal bias)
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Fox was unbiased in 2008 election.
ABC, CBS, NBC were biased towards Obama
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Least biased outlets are FoxNews, Newshour, CNN NewsNight, and ABC Good Morning America.
Most biased are Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, and New York Times.
Link (new window)

90% reporters vote for and support Democrats:
Link (new window)

Americans, on a 3:1 ratio, believe the media is liberal as opposed to conservative:
Link (new window)


Shhhh, truth makes liberals cry.
 
2011-09-29 12:58:59 PM  
The fact is, most people would rather the "news" tell them what they want to hear (ie, stories that fit into their preconceived notions) rather than the truth. And they also tend to like when it's spiced up as human interest stories and fake drama. That's what the "free market" will deliver when it comes to news, because it's what gets the most people to watch and therefore gets the most advertising money.

Whether this is healthy for a democracy is another question, but it's the truth about what the free market will deliver.
 
2011-09-29 12:59:59 PM  
False dichotomy. Freedom of speech does not protect the speaker from accountability. It only permits the person to speak or write in the first place.
 
2011-09-29 01:01:15 PM  

Di Atribe: Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.

It's been proven over and over that this is not the case. Look how long News of the World lived. Look how Fox News has some of the highest ratings in cable news. Why do you think people sensationalize the news? To get eyeballs on their news channel/newspaper/newswhatever, to sell advertising, to get paid.

Also, "freedom of speech" is in the American Constitution, so I'm not sure it applies here. I'm sure Australia has something similar, but it's not like Australians have First Amendment rights, blokes. And wouldn't this be more "freedom of the press?" I know they're similar, but still kind of different. Both protect against government oppression of ideas, but one is just saying something and the other is printing it under the guise of honesty and information dispersion.


Considering the Australian author of this piece uses the phrase "freedom of speech", I think it fair to assume that private citizens who are not also journalists also reserve such rights. Legalistically speaking, unless the press has some sort of special status within a nation, freedom of press and freedom of speech are pretty synonymous.
 
2011-09-29 01:03:17 PM  
This is Australia, not sure what their constitution says, but ours has never meant that according to the First Amendment, you can write whatever the fark you want with no ramifications whatsoever.

It means there's no prior restraint. The govt. can't tell you what you can and can't write. That doesn't mean that if what you write is false or offensive to people that you'll never have to explain it or justify it or possibly face negative consequences for it. Like getting sued for libel or defamation, or getting fired.

This isn't that hard. The people who claim to not understand the difference between "freedom of speech" and crapping all over someone in the press with false statements are either weapons-grade stupid or lying.
 
2011-09-29 01:05:15 PM  

I_C_Weener: Most of what people consider lies in journalism are "He's worse than Hitler" opinions, or "Solyndra:Bad scandal or Worst Scandal?" hyperbole in framing the discussion.

Outright lies aren't hard to prove unless they are the type that Palin says are lies. She either did or didn't do cocaine/sleep with Glen Rice. But saying the unemployment rate is 14% when it is 9.1% is easy to prove.


Yeah, it is easy to prove that things like that are lies, but most people on "news" channels don't bother. Instead, they routinely just let their biased guests lie with impunity and leave the lies hanging out there. At most, they will meekly comment about how everyone has different opinions in the face of outright lies. It's gotten so that it's unusual to even see a TV host challenge a guest on anything of substance (for example, policy issues beyond just short-term politics), especially on "serious" programs.

I will agree though that the main way the media lies isn't directly. Instead, their worst lies are lies of omission and focus. They don't talk nearly enough about things that are actually really relevant to our political choices, such as the merits of various alternative forms of health care reform, but they talk incessantly about whether Michelle Bachmann's latest BS will "hurt her" politically. All they cover is the politics, from a standpoint that assumes that all political opinions are equally valid and that it's nothing but a contest to convince more people to go with your side. That's nonsense, because facts matter, but facts apparently don't matter to most people in the media.
 
2011-09-29 01:06:15 PM  

Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.


I'm not the biggest fan of the "free market" mythos, but there is nothing else capable of enforcing journalistic standards.

Gordon Bennett: False dichotomy. Freedom of speech does not protect the speaker from accountability. It only permits the person to speak or write in the first place.


This is true, but in the case of the news media, who will hold them accountable, and how?

Have the government do it? Terrible idea.
Some sort of professional organization? It'll be made up of the same people it's trying to hold accountable.

The consumers are the only ones who can do so, and they have to vote with their wallets.
 
2011-09-29 01:10:01 PM  

qorkfiend: I'm not the biggest fan of the "free market" mythos, but there is nothing else capable of enforcing journalistic standards.


The journalists and editors could actually have some personal integrity and ethics. Apparently that's too much to ask nowadays from people who have great influence over public opinion?

I'd like to see more of a movement in society to just fire people who are dishonest scumbags or assholes. Sleazy behavior just shouldn't be tolerated in ANY organization. I like the fact that some corporations are adopting "no asshole" policies for their employees, and I think it's a step in the right direction. Media corporations could sure use a bit of that.
 
2011-09-29 01:13:13 PM  

sloppyjoes7: Funny, because it's pretty much fact that Fox is the fairest news station there is.


Oh, cool, what do you base that on?

sloppyjoes7: Scientific study results:

The study finds that the three broadcast networks combined have given twice as much good press to the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential candidates as they have to the Republicans


Oh cool, so news networks gave twice as much good press in 2008 to the (D)'s. It's clear liberal bias, it's not like this can be explained by perhaps the Democrat candidates were actually better, right?

static.guim.co.uk

The only way to know there was no liberal bias would have been for all news stations to all say good things about both sides, no matter how bad one may have been, right? The only reason someone might say something negative about Sarah Palin is because they are biased.

sloppyjoes7: 90% reporters vote for and support Democrats:


So people who pay attention to the news support Democrats. Perhaps we can draw an alternative conclusion from here?

sloppyjoes7: Americans ... believe


el oh el
 
2011-09-29 01:14:26 PM  

Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.


archive.easymodo.net
 
2011-09-29 01:18:40 PM  
You hold people accountable by responding and discrediting them in the proper forum, not by co-opting government to punish them because WAAAAAAAHHHHH THE BAD MAN OFFENDED ME.
 
2011-09-29 01:19:18 PM  

I_C_Weener: Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.

Most of what people consider lies in journalism are "He's worse than Hitler" opinions, or "Solyndra:Bad scandal or Worst Scandal?" hyperbole in framing the discussion.

Outright lies aren't hard to prove unless they are the type that Palin says are lies. She either did or didn't do cocaine/sleep with Glen Rice. But saying the unemployment rate is 14% when it is 9.1% is easy to prove.


Years ago I was stuck on a grand jury. I read an article about a case we heard the previous day. Everyting except that fact someone was murdered was all lies. I was shocked, but since I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone I couldn't point out the lies. Not sure anyone would care.
 
2011-09-29 01:21:34 PM  
Holding journalists accountable
Only if they write libel or call people to commit violent acts.

printed obvious untruths about specific people
He didn't name specific names, only the political group. Are you seriously supporting the idea that it should be illegal to deride a political group such as the Tea Party?
 
2011-09-29 01:22:27 PM  

The Face Of Oblivion: You hold people accountable by responding and discrediting them in the proper forum, not by co-opting government to punish them because WAAAAAAAHHHHH THE BAD MAN OFFENDED ME.


I don't have an issue with things like fake news (Works for The Onion and Daily Show/Colber Report), but when the government should step in and smack your peepee is when you start passing off your lies as truth.

Fox News: Fair and Balanced.

False advertising.
 
2011-09-29 01:22:47 PM  
the last actual journalist died over 20 years ago.
 
2011-09-29 01:23:44 PM  

The Face Of Oblivion: You hold people accountable by responding and discrediting them in the proper forum, not by co-opting government to punish them because WAAAAAAAHHHHH THE BAD MAN OFFENDED ME.


Ahhhh..... that's exactly what they did.

FTA: The nine chose not to sue. They did not want damages but a public correction and a promise not to print such stuff again. So they brought an action under the Racial Discrimination Act, which has embedded in it a strong freedom-of-speech defence: insulting or humiliating people because of their race or colour is not unlawful when it is done "reasonably and in good faith" in pursuit of a matter of public interest.

He's a public figure with a national stage. How else would you suggest they respond in kind?
 
2011-09-29 01:24:29 PM  

TsukasaK: The Face Of Oblivion: You hold people accountable by responding and discrediting them in the proper forum, not by co-opting government to punish them because WAAAAAAAHHHHH THE BAD MAN OFFENDED ME.

I don't have an issue with things like fake news (Works for The Onion and Daily Show/Colber Report), but when the government should step in and smack your peepee is when you start passing off your lies as truth.

Fox News: Fair and Balanced.

False advertising.


And you are factually wrong. It is one of, if not the most fair and balanced. Just because you hate Republicans and conservatives, don't pretend the press should stump for Democrats to be fair.
 
2011-09-29 01:24:30 PM  

I_C_Weener: Lost Thought 00: If they routinely lie in a verifiable manner, the free market will marginalize and force them out of business.

Most of what people consider lies in journalism are "He's worse than Hitler" opinions, or "Solyndra:Bad scandal or Worst Scandal?" hyperbole in framing the discussion.

Outright lies aren't hard to prove unless they are the type that Palin says are lies. She either did or didn't do cocaine/sleep with Glen Rice. But saying the unemployment rate is 14% when it is 9.1% is easy to prove.


I can see that you have no real-life experience, yet you are able to post near the top.

Your ignorance is only matched by your willingness to advertise it to the World.
 
2011-09-29 01:25:01 PM  

Thunderpipes: And you are factually wrong. It is one of, if not the most fair and balanced. Just because you hate Republicans and conservatives, don't pretend the press should stump for Democrats to be fair.


/*PLONK*
 
2011-09-29 01:26:51 PM  

lennavan: sloppyjoes7: Funny, because it's pretty much fact that Fox is the fairest news station there is.

Shhhh, truth makes liberals cry.


Well look at the model for the study:

They define xi as the average adjusted ADA score of the ith member of Congress. Given that the member cites a think tank, they assume that the utility that he or she receives from citing the jth think tank should be
aj + bj xi + eij .

The parameter, bj, indicates the ideology of the think tank. And if xi is large (i.e. the legislator is liberal), then the legislator receives more utility from citing the think tank if bj is large. The parameter, aj , represents a sort of "valence" factor (as political scientists use the term) for the think tank. It captures non-ideological factors that lead legislators and journalists to cite the think tank. Such factors may include such things as a reputation for high-quality and objective research, which may be orthogonal to any ideological leanings of the think tank (emphasis mine).

They also assume that eij is distributed according to a Weibull distribution. This implies that the probability that member i selects the jth think tank is

exp(aj + bj xi ) / ∑k=1J exp(ak + bk xi ) , (emphasis mine)

where J is the total number of think tanks in their sample. Note that this probability term is no different from the one we see in a multinomial logit (where the only independent variable is xi !!!!).

They also define cm as the estimated adjusted ADA score of the mth media outlet. They assume that the utility that it receives from citing the the jth think tank is

aj + bj cm + emj .

And lastly, they also assume that emj is distributed according to a Weibull (again!) distribution. This implies that the probability that media outlet m selects the jth think tank is

exp(aj + bj cm ) / ∑k=1J exp(ak + bk cm ).

I mean, c'mon. No -wonder- they got such crazy results.
 
2011-09-29 01:30:02 PM  

Thunderpipes: sloppyjoes7: And, as usual, a bunch of left-wingers will attack Fox News.

Funny, because it's pretty much fact that Fox is the fairest news station there is.

Scientific study results:
Least biased are ABC (Liberal bias), and Fox News (Conservative bias)
Most biased are CBS (Strong liberal bias), and NBC (Very strong liberal bias)
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Least biased are ABC (Liberal bias), and Fox News (Conservative bias)
Most biased are CBS and NBC (Strong liberal bias)
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Fox was unbiased in 2008 election.
ABC, CBS, NBC were biased towards Obama
Link (new window)

Scientific study results:
Least biased outlets are FoxNews, Newshour, CNN NewsNight, and ABC Good Morning America.
Most biased are Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, and New York Times.
Link (new window)

90% reporters vote for and support Democrats:
Link (new window)

Americans, on a 3:1 ratio, believe the media is liberal as opposed to conservative:
Link (new window)

Shhhh, truth makes liberals cry.



Fox News admits to lying
(new window)
 
2011-09-29 01:31:06 PM  

gilgigamesh: He's a public figure with a national stage. How else would you suggest they respond in kind?


Find a journalist of a sympathetic political stripe and invite him to do a rebuttal piece. This is how most political news coverage operates.

Also, "chose not to sue" is simply not a honest statement of fact: "brought an action" = "brought a lawsuit", unless you're only interested in arguing semantics. I'm a lawyer. I do enough hair-splitting. This is not one of those times where one can do it with a straight face.

Attempts at regulating speech are invariably attempts by one group to punish their ideological enemies through an illegitimate mechanism and gain power without engaging in a real debate. This is why religious fundamentalist groups are so interested in making "defamation of religion" (read: blasphemy) punishable. Supporting government supervision of acceptable speech is akin to supporting the joinder of church and state: it's a relic of shiatty forms of government from another era and has no place in modern, liberal, secular states,
 
2011-09-29 01:32:50 PM  
a dailykos link? really? Hehe.
 
2011-09-29 01:34:23 PM  

Ball of Confusion: the last actual journalist died over 20 years ago.


your math sucks. July 17, 2009 was not over 20 years ago. It is not even close.
 
2011-09-29 01:37:46 PM  

chuckufarlie: Ball of Confusion: the last actual journalist died over 20 years ago.

your math sucks. July 17, 2009 was not over 20 years ago. It is not even close.


And that's the way it is.
 
2011-09-29 01:39:41 PM  
"Freedom of Speech" does not mean "Freedom from Responsibility".
No government agency, office or body is going to stop you from writing, saying or printing anything you want in the United States.
You will still have to deal with the consequences of what you write, say or print.
Your right to write, say or print is covered by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Your ass is not covered from the repercussions of what you write, say or print.
If you are going to write, say or print something libelous, slanderous, untrue or stupid, be prepared to deal with what comes next, or don't do it.
And it will come.
 
2011-09-29 01:41:38 PM  
This is yet another News Corp talking head sack0crap. Too bad they don't give him a kick in the jewels with the big boot as a sentence. I like that concept. You can say what you like, but if you are repeatedly inflammatory and flat out wrong, bang! kick in the nuts time. Then you would know who's full if carp by the fact that they sing soprano.
 
2011-09-29 01:43:08 PM  
"Mr Bolt is an experienced journalist," said Judge Bromberg. "He has high-level communication skills. His writing displays a capacity to cleverly craft language to intimate a message. I consider it highly unlikely that in carefully crafting the words utilised by him in the newspaper articles, he did not have an understanding of the meaning likely to be conveyed by those words to the ordinary, reasonable reader."

Replace "Mr Bolt" with "Fox News" and then award this judge a medal.
 
2011-09-29 01:44:17 PM  
It is one thing to report the news no matter who it might offend. It is another thing to lie about what is reported. Then too, the non-reporting of big news is also a lie as well. There is also twisting the news to suit the reporting media's agenda. What was the term: "Over Suggested" when Obamalamadingdong lied about how many bridges were in bad repair?
 
2011-09-29 01:46:19 PM  

Gordon Bennett: False dichotomy. Freedom of speech does not protect the speaker from accountability. It only permits the person to speak or write in the first place.


-- THIS
 
2011-09-29 01:47:07 PM  

mtylerjr: lennavan: sloppyjoes7: Funny, because it's pretty much fact that Fox is the fairest news station there is.

Shhhh, truth makes liberals cry.

Well look at the model for the study:

They define xi as the average adjusted ADA score of the ith member of Congress. Given that the member cites a think tank, they assume that the utility that he or she receives from citing the jth think tank should be
aj + bj xi + eij .

The parameter, bj, indicates the ideology of the think tank. And if xi is large (i.e. the legislator is liberal), then the legislator receives more utility from citing the think tank if bj is large. The parameter, aj , represents a sort of "valence" factor (as political scientists use the term) for the think tank. It captures non-ideological factors that lead legislators and journalists to cite the think tank. Such factors may include such things as a reputation for high-quality and objective research, which may be orthogonal to any ideological leanings of the think tank (emphasis mine).

They also assume that eij is distributed according to a Weibull distribution. This implies that the probability that member i selects the jth think tank is

exp(aj + bj xi ) / ∑k=1J exp(ak + bk xi ) , (emphasis mine)

where J is the total number of think tanks in their sample. Note that this probability term is no different from the one we see in a multinomial logit (where the only independent variable is xi !!!!).

They also define cm as the estimated adjusted ADA score of the mth media outlet. They assume that the utility that it receives from citing the the jth think tank is

aj + bj cm + emj .

And lastly, they also assume that emj is distributed according to a Weibull (again!) distribution. This implies that the probability that media outlet m selects the jth think tank is

exp(aj + bj cm ) / ∑k=1J exp(ak + bk cm ).

I mean, c'mon. No -wonder- they got such crazy results.



I was told there'd be no math.

Opinion is protected (iirc), which is why all of our 'news' tilts one way or the other. Commentary has replaced investigative reporting and there are far too many people who can't distinguish between reporting and editorializing.
 
2011-09-29 01:49:20 PM  
PS - A good example: 9.1% Unemployment Rate Left Out of 77% of Network Job Stories.
During the Bush administration the unemployment rate was 4.5% and there was no ending of news reports saying how bad that was.
 
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