Tuesday 25 December 2012

***************A Happy Festive Season 2012***************

To All Our Readers
A Happy Festive Season

From Everyone Here at North Coast Voices

See you again on 1 January 2013
When we return from our holiday break

Monday 24 December 2012

Ethical Investors Be Warned: Metgasco is spouting propaganda again

The relentless propaganda being churned out by Metgasco Limited has reached such ridiculous heights that earlier this month the Echo NetDaily called it on the spin and misinformation being generated.
However, this mining company barely broke stride in its attempts to blacken the character of those who oppose coal seam gas exploration and mining.
It would appear that the Knitting Nannas of Grafton and other law abiding Northern Rivers residents are in this company’s sights.
Where does this sense of corporate entitlement come from – this very arrogant l'etat c'est moi attitude?
Once again, pictures demonstrate…..
Home of a Metgasco director and shareholder:
Typical home in the Glenugie area of the Clarence Valley:

How to track Santa tonight

Sadly, none of Santa's many elves live in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, but they do make sure that the jolly fellow vists on Christmas Eve when everyone is fast asleep.

Here is the Santa Tracker* which may show you just how close he is to your house tonight: http://www.google.com/santatracker/#/village/

* The tracker works best in Chrome.

You can also track Santa here.

For all the children in Austalia here is Santa's flight plan for tonight.....

Sunday 23 December 2012

Call to reduce speed on the Maclean to Brooms Head Road

Residents of Brooms Head say, "Enough is enough" in a letter to the editor of The Daily Examiner.

Road kill appalling

Plenty of well-meaning people work hard to address the impact of Brooms Head Road traffic on our wildlife. National Parks keep count of emu numbers; WIRES repairs victims; some attach tracking devices; and, occasionally, The Daily Examiner reminds us how warm and fuzzy are emu chicks. But none of this reduces the appalling road kill.

Eighteen months ago my wife and I concluded a series of letters to The Daily Examiner and The Coastal Views  about the level of the road kill on the 20km stretch between Brooms Head and Maclean, but the killing continues.

I recently presented photos of wildlife killings on that road to The Daily Examiner: roos, wallabies, wallaroos, possums, echidnas, various reptiles and a wide variety of birds. The reporter wasn't interested except to wonder why I cared.

I said that if I were hit, it would hurt me as much as if I were an emu or goanna. I asked if, in the scheme of things, an emu has a less-important right to seek a pain-free life than I do; that while I use its natural land, should deadly confrontation be inevitable; that while I possibly think quicker than the emu, does it give me a greater right to destroy it - or am I ethically obliged to care for the less able? Should my code of behaviour be based on the levels of difference between the surrounding wildlife and me and, if so, how should it be expressed caringly or non-caringly?

If conflict between "unequal" species is okay, what about between members of our species? Should we excuse killing one another on roads. If not, why not?

While it seemed my reporter preferred to pursue the warm and fuzzy approach, bosses/authorities who don't make decisions can have devastating effect. Reducing this 20km trip to mostly 80km/h all the way certainly increases the time by three minutes but allows that bit extra for sharper navigation and avoidance on a road where highway speed (and often more) simply invites collision. The administrative inaction shows poor duty of care. It's a little similar to the carelessness surrounding that thoughtless message recently allowed through to nurse Saldanah in London.

Brooms Head

Source: Letters, The Daily Examiner, 21/12/12

Joe Hockey: "a nasty man"

From @Pollytics

Predictions for 2013

* Biggest under the radar problem for Federal Labor in 2013 - Robert John "Bob" Carr.

* Most troublesome MP for Federal Liberal Party in 2013 – Anthony John "Tony" Abbott.

* Most likely political scandals next year –

Abbott’s political plots

who knew of James Ashby's plans and who funded his court case

the relationship between past and present MPs or their advisers and mining companies operating in New South Wales

super trawlers in Australian waters

NSW Health performance

Cardinal George Pell if his congregation don't manage to gag him during the Federal Government royal commission into child sexual abuse

The Australian newspaper's rightwing shenanigans

the entire federal general election campaign from start to finish

Saturday 22 December 2012

Sortius seeks answers

Sortius is a Geek sent this email below to the Department of Parliamentary Services on 18 December 2012. The next day Sortius alleged his website was being blocked so that staff at Parliament House could not read his opinions concerning Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
My name is Kieran Cummings & I write for Independent Australia (& my own blog) about technology & politics.
I recently wrote an article in regard to the press release offered by Tony Abbott’s office regarding James Ashby’s case against Peter Slipper. During my investigation I have uncovered quite a lot of information about the PDFs & when they were produced.
Yesterday I was contacted by journalists to advise that DPS had made a statement in regard to when the PDFs were produced. I feel this statement raises more questions than it answers & I would like to get some more information from DPS on this.
What are “technical staff” using to determine when the files were created/converted to PDF? Are you monitoring every computer on the network & all file creations/accesses?
How is it possible for APH’s computers/servers to run on a time zone outside AEST/AEDT? To my knowledge this will cause all sorts of problems with appointments, logs, etc.
The original press release does not use a “z date” format for time stamping, so I ask which file is DPS referring to? The one modified on 23/04/12 or the original that does not include the “z date” formatting? (I have included the original file that was emailed out before the press release that has passed on from a journalist to myself)
No other files around the time this was created exhibit the same symptoms, if APH does indeed use UTC on all the computers this would be easily replicated. Why is this not the case?
When DPS notes that this was a “technical problem”, where is it arising from?
Tony Abbott’s office advised on 13/12/12 that they were aware of the problem in April 2012, yet DPS does not seem to have known about the problem until 13/12/12. Can DPS please confirm that this has been a continual problem?
Your prompt responses would be appreciated.
Kieran Cummings
yeh, they are actually investigating it. Apparently my blog has been blocked at APH.

The electorate still mocking Abbott

This time it’s @AshbySlipper who says Since @TonyAbbottMHR hasn't had time to read the judgement, I thought I'd tweet it to him. One line at a time.”
The beginning of this Tweetathon in reverse order:
@AshbySlipper .@TonyAbbottMHR suggested that he was planning to use the record of his texts with Mr Slipper to empower others in a way that would affect
@AshbySlipper .@TonyAbbottMHR contemporaneous texts with his friends, of Mr Ashby feeling upset as a result of sexual harassment. Rather those texts
@AshbySlipper .@TonyAbbottMHR Ashby went to see Mark McArdle, a senior frontbencher in the then Queensland State LNP opposition. There was no hint, in
@AshbySlipper .@TonyAbbottMHR "closer", and hence sexual, relationship. Mr Ashby rebuffed whatever the proposed closer relationship was. The next day Mr
 @AshbySlipper .@TonyAbbottMHR text messages with Mr Slipper. That exchange could be read as conveying a proposal by Mr Slipper that the two have a
@AshbySlipper .@TonyAbbottMHR pages of Mr Ashby's text messages with Mr Slipper and many other people. On 1 February 2012, Mr Ashby had an exchange of

Friday 21 December 2012

Once again, Clarence Valley Council fails to consult the community. This time it's CCTV


It would appear that there is no tier of Australian government that is not intent on recording as much as possible about the lives and activities of its constituents.

On this occasion it is Clarence Valley Council, intent on encouraging the installation of CCTV cameras in the predominately small business districts scattered along the length of the river, and being this particular council, once again not asking residents using these streets whether or not they wish to shop, pay their bills or have a coffee under the gaze of one or more 27/7 street spies.

The Daily Examiner 19 December 2012:

An innovative program funded by Clarence Valley Council will provide local businesses with financial support to install CCTV.
The program is focused on addressing crimes, including vandalism, graffiti and break and enter, throughout the Valley.
"While we must keep in mind that our levels of these crimes are relatively low in comparison with other areas, there are some concerning incidents of crime happening locally which the business community and council are rightly concerned about." said the Mayor, Richie Williamson.
"This program will work hand in hand with other council and community strategies that target crime."
The program was developed after a series of consultations with NSW Police and the local business community…

So with Clarence Valley Council intent on encouraging private business to intrude on our everyday lives, is there likely to be any real and lasting benefit from the Big Brother effect?

Apparently not:

Though billions of dollars are being spent world wide on CCTV systems, there is actually little evidence as yet of the success of CCTV to combat or deter crime or its cost effectiveness in doing so..
The evidence that the benefits of CCTV will fade after a period of time are backed up by a number of studies. [Townsville City Council paper 2001]
CCTV was found to have no significant impact on total offences, total offences against property (including other theft (excluding unlawful
entry), unlawful entry, other property damage, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and handling stolen goods) and total other offences (including drug offences, liquor (excluding drunkenness)) occurring in Surfers Paradise. Findings from Broadbeach indicated that CCTV had no impact on total offences or total offences against property (including other theft (excluding unlawful entry) and other property damage). [Bond University Humanities & Social Sciences papers 2006]
The American studies that met the criteria for the meta-analysis generally showed worse outcomes that those in the UK, showing an undesirable or null effect on crime….
Regarding violent crime, there appeared to be no statistically significant change in the level of crime anywhere in the 500 foot range around the cameras. [American Civil Liberties Union]
But before we rush to put all of Melbourne under surveillance, we should heed the example of Britain, which, in the past 20 years has spent billions of dollars on more than a million CCTV cameras across its cities, yet still has one of the highest crime rates in Europe.
Indeed, four years ago the policeman in charge of monitoring London's massive CCTV network described it as "an utter fiasco" that was responsible for solving only 3 per cent of crimes.
Detective Chief Insp Mick Neville said that police often avoided trawling through CCTV images "because it's hard work" and he believed criminals had no fear of CCTV.
The marginal effectiveness of CCTV in preventing crime has been well known for at least a decade. In 2002 a British Home Office review of studies into the effectiveness of CCTV in preventing crime found the overall reduction in crime in areas with CCTV was only 4 per cent. Half the studies examined showed CCTV had no effect on crime at all, and all showed it had no effect on violent crime. [The Herald Sun 28 September 2012]
The deputy director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology, Garner Clancey, says it is ''absolutely'' possible to move around the city without being caught on camera but most trips will be captured dozens if not hundreds of times.
However, there are questions over whether the huge costs to councils and the impositions on citizens' privacy are justified in an era when crime rates are falling.
''Crimes like motor vehicle theft and burglaries are falling,'' he said. ''Do we then say there's a point where cameras aren't cost-effective so we turn them off?
''Some of the crimes that have been increasing are around domestic violence where technologies like this will never have any impact so it's a difficult balancing act.'' [The Sydney Morning Herald 26 October 2012]
* Photograph found at Google Images

Quote of the Week

“if life is a game of cricket, there is some doubt over whether Mal Brough should even be allowed to carry the drinks”
{Malcolm Farr on 17th December 2012 in The Punch}

Thursday 20 December 2012

Which Ian Causley would that be?

As always, we at NCV are willing to take advice about matters we don't get right.

Whilst travelling away from the local area one of the lads from the table of knowledge has informed me that yesterday a letter to the editor of the local paper (The Daily Examiner) appeared above the name of an 'Ian Causley', but no address appeared. Now, how could that have happened?

Is the letter writer a local, a legend in his own lunch time, or a visitor from who-knows-where?

Unhappy at coverage

I am very disappointed with the reporting by The Daily Examiner in regard to ,,,

Ian Causley

Telling It Like It Is: Metgasco at Glenugie on the NSW North Coast


Henderson’s Allegations Baseless

Barry Fletcher, Glenugie
I write regarding the item ‘Lawless vigilantes delay CSG drilling at Glenugie’ featured in an ABC North Coast news item of 5 December, 2012, and available at http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/12/05/3648111.htm?site=northcoast.
These are the reported words of one Peter Henderson, identified as the CEO of Metgasco.
He was described as not mincing his words and while he may not have been mincing his words he was effectively mincing the truth in so far as he spoke of ‘lawless vigilantes’ taking unjustified action.
I was the ‘police liaison person’ on that day. I am not a lawless vigilante. I am a retired Probation and Parole Office now working peacefully as a Tea Tree Farmer within the small water catchment where Metgasco have begun their ‘activities’. My wife and I are long-term residents here and live just 1300 metres from the drilling site.
To describe me, or the gathering of people, of whom Deb Whitely was one, as ‘lawless vigilantes’ is simply wrong and offensive as well. In using these words Mr Henderson should realise that he is not endearing himself or Metgasco to the general public. While his non-mincing of words may appeal to some, it is a losing strategy among those who give genuine thought to the implications of Metgasco’s activities in this area and elsewhere.
Mr Henderson was not an eye-witness to the events of that day. He was not in the vicinity. He has relied on hearsay and that hearsay is wrong.
I also take issue with these words in the news report:
‘… while frustrated contractors looked on in disgust’.
An interview with the contractor who drove the truck to which Deb Whitely locked on may well give a different picture. May I suggest that someone from the media actually ask him. Ask him also if he intends to continue doing contract work for Metgasco after his experience on that day, which included meeting in a friendly atmosphere with some of the ‘lawless vigilante’ ladies who brought him a cup of tea while he sat for three and more hours in his truck. I believe that they were some of the ‘Knitting Nannas’ from Grafton. Hardly lawless vigilantes!
I spoke to the police a number of times on that day as ‘liaison person’. Every police officer was courteous to the people present in the difficult circumstances of such a gathering. The people too were co-operative with police yet stood their ground within the law. There were no arrests of ‘lawless vigilantes’.
Mr Henderson’s ill-chosen words do him no credit and are offensive to the people present on that day including Deb Whitley and by implication represents a serious criticism of the police for failing to deal with ‘lawless vigilantes’.
Let Deb Whitley’s words be heard:
‘It’s an extreme measure and I don’t know if it would be the best way but it seems like we have no choice, because we don’t seem to be heard by the government, or by Metgasco, or by mining companies about our fears in the area.’
I have expressed my views on the above to the ABC but I think it is an important enough issue to be brought to the attention of your readers, many of whom, I expect, take notice of the ABC. I believe that the general public should be informed of facts in relation to the happenings of that day and the activities of coal-seam gas companies in general.

The 10 Pound Pom too busy "doing very important things" to read Rares judgment

Lord luv a duck! Australia’s most infamous assisted immigrant is at it again.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has admitted he is supporting friend and former colleague Mal Brough even though he has not read the damming Rares judgement.
The reason he hasn’t bothered to look at this judgement?
Why he’s been too busy “doing very important things” back in his mother country.
Presumably it’s been taking all his energy to brush up on his “Oxford cast of mind”.

Pic from The Suite World

Wednesday 19 December 2012

The pain is not over for Brough, McArdle, Pyne, Entsch & the rest of Abbott's merry men

Ashby and his backers get an early and unwelcome Christmas present.

Knit happens! Clarence Valley loop of the Knitting Nannas Against (Coal Seam) Gas have a blog

Australia and the Internet in 2012

Google's search engine is probably still the most popular method to look for information on the Internet and Google Trends is often a window into what Australians are searching for.

Here are four graphs created in December 2012 broadly covering general interests, selected Australian identities and terms covering some of this year's topical subjects:

In the last graph the term racism had too few searches to register
And one more for the Northern Rivers....  

Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 gives a global view of  the most popular search terms.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

How we see our public hospitals on the NSW North Coast

Even though Hospital Performance 2012 shows New South Wales has some of the longest emergency department waiting times in the country and the Healthcare in Focus 2012 report indicates that we are more likely to die than our metropolitan cousins within a month of public hospital treatment for heart attack or stroke in regional NSW, it appears that the majority of patients are relatively satisfied with the care they received as outpatients.
*Outpatient care module of the NSW Health Patient Survey 2010

Inquiry into Closure or Downsizing of Corrective Services NSW Facilities: attempting to politicize or bluntly telling it like it was?

A political decision was made by the O’Farrell Government to use the NSW public service as a cost cutting measure in the face of a 2011-12 budget deficit that wasn’t.
One of the local casualties was Grafton Gaol and its staff.
The Daily Examiner has taken a disapproving tone towards unspecified politicizing during NSW Legislative Council Select Committee into the Closure or Downsizing of Corrective Services NSW Facilities hearings:
I didn’t attend any of the Inquiry hearings to date so I have no idea how many speakers giving evidence mentioned the political background and, as the Grafton hearing transcript has still not been posted online I remain unenlightened.

However, what the Sydney hearing transcript shows is that one member of the select committee, Liberal Party MP David Clarke, appears to be more inclined to put the O'Farrell Government's case for the gaol closure than to seek to understand how this closure unfolded.

One has to wonder if this attitude continued once the Select Committee came to the Clarence Valley.
I do have a transcript of this speech from the 10 December 2012 Grafton public forum which accompanied that day’s hearing and readers can make up their own minds as to the legitimacy or otherwise of addressing the politics behind the gaol closure:
Firstly, I would like to thank the NSW Legislative Council for holding this Inquiry and for coming to the City of Grafton today to get an on-the-ground appreciation of how important an institution Grafton Gaol has been to the local economy and social fabric of the Clarence Valley.
A little over a year ago, I was fighting a by-election as the Country Labor candidate for Clarence, and one of my campaign issues was to warn of the possible privatisation or closure of Grafton Gaol.
My submission to this inquiry, written on behalf of Country Labor’s Grafton and Lower Clarence branches, outlines how this wasn’t hot air; we ended up with an effective closure, forced through without consultation.
This inquiry hopefully will put the downsizing of Grafton Gaol into some Statewide context and give Graftonians some answers to their questions about why this most political of decisions was made.
The people never accepted this decision and instinctively rallied to protest against it, in a way seldom witnessed in such a traditionally conservative rural area.
I pay tribute to the real heroes of the six-day picket outside the gates of the gaol -- those folk of all ages and backgrounds who came out of their homes and camped out to defy the powers that be, and keep a vigil over their gaol.
This decision came from Sydney; Corrective Services senior management had wanted to break up the culture of Grafton Gaol (whatever that meant), and this was a convenient fit with the Liberals ideological slashing of State public service jobs.
What would Grafton-born Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page – founder of the old Country Party and Australia’s 11th Prime Minister – have  thought of the National Party’s weak capitulation to the Sydney Liberals’ agenda?
Sir Earle was a conviction politician; he harboured the northerners' resentment of the 'Sydney octopus' and the Page family had been active in calls for a new State.
In January 1915, Sir Earle launched what became the Northern New South Wales Separation League in Grafton and in a grassroots network, formed more than 20 local branches.
He argued that metropolitan interests had stunted northern growth. The New State movement did not prevail, but its spirit lives on from time to time. It did in the people’s picket line.
The State Member for Clarence's evidence to this inquiry in Sydney and his recent comments to The Daily Examiner are unconvincing and smack of revisionism.
Regardless of when the MP was told of the plan to axe ‘x’ number of local jobs, he should have instinctively known that the right thing to do was to fight for those jobs.
Instead, he was quite prepared to sell out Grafton. Remember when this fellow was Mayor of Maclean Shire Council, he denigrated Grafton City Council when it suited his political campaign against council amalgamation.
And what can one make of the State Member for Clarence’s quote: “I was in the middle of an accident. It was an exceptional set of circumstances and everyone was on holidays, including the Premier.”
The electorate was looking for exceptional leadership, but it wasn’t to be found.
And the leaders of the Nationals, the party that so many of the electorate voted for in March 2011, were absent and silent as this betrayal of the bush was played out.  
Peter Ellem

Monday 17 December 2012

Walking the Bendy Bridge to protest against coal seam gas exploration in the Clarence Valley

Grafton Bridge, Sunday 16 December 2012
According to CSG Free Northern River’s Facebook page:
At the final tally there were approximately.....1,000 people in attendance….a very good turnout in numbers for a quickly organised short notice event…

As the year ends Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's disapproval rating climbs to the second highest in Nielsen poll history

Fairfax-Nielsen telephone poll for 13-15 December 2012

Columns left to right: Sept 13-14, Oct 18-20, Nov 15-17, December 13-15
Media reports indicate that 75 per cent of Nielsen poll respondents were aware of the AWU affair
Poll respondents numbered 1,400
Margin of error is +/- 2.6%
The Age 17 December 2012:

As 2012 draws to a close Alan Jones is finally forced to publicly apologize for racist remarks which led to a full-scale riot in 2005

The text of the forced apology:
"On 28 April 2005 on my breakfast program on Radio 2GB, I broadcast comments about Lebanese males including Lebanese Muslims.
"The comments were made following a Channel Nine television current affairs show about the conduct of young Lebanese men in Hickson Road at the Rocks.
"The Administrative Decisions Tribunal has found that my comments incited serious contempt of Lebanese males including Lebanese Muslims.
"Those comments were in breach of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act.
"I apologise for making those comments which I recognise were unlawful.
"I also apologise on behalf of Radio 2GB."

The reason for this apology:

13 In the decision granting leave for the complaint to proceed, the Tribunal characterised the complaint as relating to three comments made by Alan Jones (AJ): Ekermawi v Jones and Harbour Radio Pty Ltd t/as Radio 2 GB [2010] NSWADT 262 at [3]. Those comments are italicised. The immediate context is also included.
First comment
P: The police obviously can't or won't do anything about it. The politicians are not listening to us as usual. If need be, mate, I'll get babysitters for my kids on Sunday and I'll be down there.
AJ: OK. Now, let me tell you, P, let me just say this to you because - you know I'm the person that's led this charge here. Nobody wanted to know about North Cronulla. Now, it's gathered to this, we really have to be hands off here we don't want a situation whereby there's open warfare between people calling themselves Aussie whites and people calling themselves Lebs or whatever. We have at least alerted the government.
Second comment
AJ: And the text message urges Aussies yesterday to take revenge and Lebs and wogs. Now it's got pretty nasty when you start talking like this. It says, "Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day . . ."
I do understand what people are saying, let's give the police a chance to do the job. And I can understand the young blokes who've sent that text message yesterday, "Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge", it says. "This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day, bring your mates, let's show them that this is our beach and they're never welcome." Well, now that's not the way, I do understand what you're saying, P, but we've just got to back off a bit here. We're not giving any ground to them. I'm saying backing off and letting, backing off and let the police do the job.
Third comment
AJ: Yeah, well I've got, I've got a stack of emails in front of me, let me read you this one, "Alan, its not just a few Middle Eastern bastards at the weekend, its thousands. Cronulla is a very long beach and it's been taken over by this scum. It's not a few causing trouble. It's all of them, it's an attitude that you feel whenever you go there, it's just straight out racism against the skippies, it will not go away, the police have their hands tied - I'll come to that later in the program - reduce numbers and powers, I wish there was an answer".

Coal Seam Gas: "the constant noise of drilling went on, 24/7, for months on end...followed by diesel motors rattling away for years to drive the pumps"

Letter to the Editor in The Daily Examiner 10 December 2012:

Democracy inaction

OUR elected representatives appear to have no understanding of the meaning of the word democracy, flippantly rejecting public concerns about coal seam gas mining and the climate consequences of burning it.
Fortunately some media outlets are prepared to publish opinion pieces based on the solid evidence that is available, and bring the facts to the public.
On December 4, The Guardian's George Monbiot summed up the issue with the following comment -
"Preventing climate breakdown - the four, five or six degrees of warming now predicted for this century by green extremists like, er, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency and PriceWaterhouseCoopers - means confronting the oil, gas and coal industry. It means forcing that industry to abandon the four-fifths or more of fossil fuel reserves that we cannot afford to burn. It means cancelling the prospecting and development of new reserves".
At Wednesday's meeting in Lismore, local member Thomas George and minister Brad Hazzard were left in no doubt as to the general public's thought about the way their concerns have been scornfully dismissed.
One lady's statement registered with me above many others: "What I struggle to understand is why my property has to be trashed to provide cheap fuel for China," she said.
As I left the Lismore venue an elderly man told me: "You have no idea how intrusive this bloody awful industry is. I've got a cluster of four wells grouped within metres of each other, just 210m from my home. They were all drilled at different times and the constant noise of drilling went on, 24/7, for months on end. That was followed by diesel motors rattling away for years to drive the pumps.
"It's just endless and we can't get away from it. Yet planes have to stop running overnight, and we can't mow our lawns before 7am on a Sunday because of the noise."
This is what Glenugie residents will have to put up with if Metgasco finds a viable gas resource at The Avenue drill site.
So is it any wonder the workers have been met with abuse and opposition?

John Edwards
South Grafton

Sunday 16 December 2012

More belt tightening on the way for APN newspapers?

In recent years the number of press releases (often published almost verbatim with source unattributed) masquerading as news articles has been steadily growing in Australian mainstream media generally and in Northern Rivers media in particular.
With little or no critical evaluation of the contents of these releases finding its way into print and journalistic opinion frequently being substituted for investigation; sometimes by the time one reaches page five of any newspaper it almost feels as if the proprietor should be paying readers and not the other way round.
APN News & Media, which has an established presence in regional New South Wales, saw its shares hit a new low that immediately wiped an estimated $33 million off its market value after declaring its publishing revenue down 10 per cent in the second half of this year on 13 December.
With another $25 million in cost cutting scheduled for 2013, it is hard to see how regional newspapers like The Daily Examiner and The Northern Star will be able to resist the temptation to pad their daily issues even further with the viewpoint of political and industry interests churned out in cost-free publishable form by people paid to further party or corporate agendas.
It’s becoming harder and harder to believe that print media has a legitimate future as it begins a slow devolution in the direction of 17th Century propaganda sheets.