There is a reason why newspaper journalists were just two places off the bottom of the Roy Morgan June 2009 poll, which rated public perception of the ethics and honesty of Australia's main professional groups.
Here is a perfect example of modern gutter journalism - The Daily Examiner indulging in a little Ngaru Village bashing (calling it the shame of Yamba) and in the process telling us that no-one wanted to talk to the newspaper even though it was going though politically correct channels.
According to the editor's Comment article; an urban residential area, with no more than fifteen unit clusters/houses (about twelve occupied) and a handful of kids, is apparently causing the greatest problem facing the Clarence Valley community today.
In fact it's a crisis!
In increasingly breathless purple prose the editor expects that any car he travels to the village in will likely be pelted with stones and abuse will be hurled.
Yes, I can really see his point.
Disregard the fact that many of the Yaegl traditional owners live quietly in the wider 6,500-strong Yamba community and, that there are around 50,000 people living across the Clarence Valley on any given day which means that the combined weight of the dominant groups outnumber these original Australian families.
Forget that it is the personal experience of many Yamba residents that when travelling into Ngaru Village they are only met with a quiet and dignified politeness.
Completely ignore those indigenous families where a parent works full-time and the children go to school regularly.
A few kids in one area are allegedly busy turning our cherished, otherwise major problem-free, whitebread way of life to dust if the hyperventilating editor is to be believed.
The day Peter Chapman published this tripe I happened to pass a Yamba home mourning the recent loss of a young indigenous person to suicide - but blinked editors don't even think about the sort of conditions which cause this all too frequent tragedy, do they?
Oh, but I am remiss! I am forgetting to mention that the very next day after his Comment went to print the editor offered to 'help' Ngaru Village.
How did he do that? Why by splashing out on the entire front page of The Daily Examiner's Saturday issue with this supposed offer, in which his opening paragraph stated that the Yamba aboriginal community...is collapsing.
Then on Page Four filling the personally-penned article with hearsay, outright gossip and ill-formed opinion.
As well as admitting that he had sent an apparently uninvited photographer into the village at 6.15am the previous day (when the Yamba air temperature was 7 degrees Celsius according to BoM and sensible folk were still inside eating breakfast in front of a heater) to take surreptitious photographs of one of the three dwellings that had already been scheduled for demolition years ago and what appears to be one occupied house.
Which seems to encompass the entire range of spurious help the editor offered.
Peter Chapman is indeed the ugly face of Australian journalism.
A letter to the editor (very similar to this post) was sent to The Daily Examiner, which published same on 16 June 2009, along with a lengthy Editor's Comment attached.
The comment was a laugh and a half as it stated in part; you are so far wide of the mark you couldn't find your way back with a guide dog, a compass and a map.
The editor rather strangely went on to say that this [my] attitude of indifference was what has caused all the problems at Ngaru Village.
However, what produced the greatest laughter was Peter Chapman's assertion that when publishing the letter in question he was not deleting any of your diatribe.
Poor man just can't help himself, as this was yet another extravagation - he had indeed deliberately deleted eleven words in the middle of a sentence; the Yamba air temperature was 7 degrees Celsius according to BoM and.
Apparently the rest of the Clarence Valley was not supposed to know that he sent the photographer out in cold weather!
Just as that Saturday's frontpage story and Page Four article have not been posted on The Daily Examiner website to date.