News editors have a powerful position. They can’t change the news but they certainly can affect public perception of the importance of certain stories through how they place or ‘play’ a story. At reputable publishers or broadcasters, the good judgment of the editor along with public response and interest will determine whether something is on the front page or 1/2 of a column inch on the bottom of page C-34. At disreputable media outlets, the political affiliation of the editor makes the determination.
Ever since the email Malcolm Turdbull was relying upon to hang Rudd and Swan as corrupt was revealed as a fraud, News Ltd editors have been playing down the story, decidedly against the concept of public interest and the actual public’s interest. The News Ltd line at present is that ‘the public are tired of the story and want it to go away.’ Ex-News Ltd editor David Penberthy on his blogsite ‘The Punch‘ goes so far as to spell out what the people are thinking. The front pages this morning of news.com.au, smh.com.au and abc.net.au/news are telling. Only news.com.au has no stories linked from the front page about the so-called ‘utegate’ or OzCar story.
Worse, News Ltd been manipulating the comments threads in OzCar stories which have been given them. As an experiment, I placed 20 comments under differing usernames and through various proxy servers to prevent the comments editors from knowing all of them were coming from one computer. 10 comments supported Rudd & Swan, 10 comments supported Turdbull. Of those 20, 9 were published. All 9 were those supporting Turdball.
News Ltd: It’s not news- but it is limited.
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