The recent revelation that $750,000 tax payer dollars is to be spent by the State Government on buying favourable air-time and column space in the media upon the imminent opening of the New RAH should strike fear into the heart of every democracy loving resident in South Australia. It’s out of control cash for comment.
The Stale Labor Government is buying the free press in an unprecedented way. Sure both brands of politics have indulged in PR spin but never to such an extent as we are witnessing in this age.
State Labor openly brag about their will to “win at any cost”. There is no such thing. There is always a cost. In this case the cost to the community is the selling out of our democracy. They take for granted the most important thing we all share because they have been blinded by power and with arrogance unprecedented can’t even see the damage they are doing.
By institutionalizing such large scale public purse purchasing of “good publicity” the capacity for a free press to operate with the required high degree of autonomy becomes almost impossible. If SA’s population were 5 times larger the volume of media affected by such a PR investment would be far less. Because we have such a small population the scale of our media is smaller. Such a PR investment by government is highly likely influence every part of our media and that’s a big problem when you rely on an impartial media as a fundamental pillar of democracy.
With millions upon millions of dollars spent by Labor on PR the PR industry has become relent on a Labor Government. With the profitability of mainstream media questionable this type of Labor spending on the industry must be welcomed by media outlets. The media industry in SA has become institutionalized.
A key pillar of a functioning democracy is a free press. A press which is staffed by intelligent, capable, independent thinkers who inquisitively fight for the truth. Whilst the reality is often compromised by tight deadlines that deny further journalistic questioning and “personal loyalties” may slightly skew the occasional isolated story, the integrity of SA’s media system had been largely unpoliticised until Labor came to power in 2002. Ever since has seen a consistent yet torturous purchasing of media content. With a dull economy and so much government money on offer this further $750,000 will continue the twisting of the truth and damage to our democracy.
This is a double blow to the state which is already Governed by a Government which could easily be described as one of the most illegitimate in the history of Western democracies. Less than a 38% primary vote and 47% 2pp represents an appalling mandate.
South Australia deserves better.
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Categories: Lachlan Clyne - Personal Life