So in a hostile atmosphere where The Australian appears to have thrown out the rule book on how quality journalism should be conducted it is quite funny to see this in their newspaper this morning:
Defence dodge 'a disgrace'
Rather than reproduce the entire article (you can read it for yourself online) I will highlight just a couple of paragraphs for your entertainment:
What followed next was a breach of trust, running counter to a long-standing practice between defence ministers and the media. Defence Minister Stephen Smith gave an update of the troubled project during question time yesterday, choosing a time when the full attention of the federal press gallery was focused on parliament.
His move appeared designed to limit the damage to the government of yet another Defence project debacle, but also to spoil what was planned as an exclusive front-page story.
The editor-in-chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell, said he viewed it as "one of the most significant breaches of trust for many years".
"It is an absolute disgrace that questions from a journalist prompt a premature announcement, simply to try to avoid embarrassment," he said.The article is written by Stefanie Balogh, not one of The Australian's brightest stars.
What I dont get is how the paper thinks that making a full announcement in Parliament, in front of both the opposition and the Federal Press Gallery, avoids embarrassment for the Government.
Also - "one of the most significant breaches in trust for many years" Really? In what manner? By publicly disclosing information in an appopriate manner, rather than as another misrepresented smear article on the front page of The Australian.
Now The Australian invites its online readers to provide a response, a sort of online letter to the editor. These very rarely, if ever, get published. So I'm going to publish my response here:
This article represents all that is wrong with The Australian today. I cannot believe that you believe that this is either a) newsworthy b) in the public interest or c) a good read. It is none of those. All I can think of is that The Australian has become a "sook". "It's not fair" you cry. "They're not playing by the rules". And this, after all the spiteful, misleading, inflammatory articles that this newspaper includes each and every day of the week about how "bad" the current government is.
Spare me your tears, drink some concrete and harden up.
Yes, it's a Friday.