Australia’s national broadcaster is acting like the propaganda arm of the Australian Government as it remains silent on once-in-a-lifetime anti-mandate protests taking place around Australia and globally.
Over the weekend, thousands of Australians gathered in cities around the nation to protest vaccine mandates. The largest protest took place in Melbourne where Victorians decried the sweeping pandemic powers Premier Dan Andrews is soon to push through the state’s upper house.
Extraordinary protest in Melbourne, Australia against interminable lockdowns, mandates, and the new pandemic law which would grant the executive indefinite emergency powers. No small feat, given past protesters have faced huge fines and police brutality.pic.twitter.com/tZIWXQHZP3
As the number of covid-related protests being held in Australia has risen over the last month, the national broadcaster has remained eerily silent. A search of the ABC News website yields just a handful of articles that are evidently framed to discredit those who took part, or that focus on the very small number of arrests that have taken place in otherwise peaceful months-long protests.
Typical of the national broadcaster’s partisan offerings is an article titled Protest against mandatory vaccinations in Perth earns rebuke from Australian Medical Association’s WA president. The piece claims that “more than 2,000 protesters” attended the rally when video footage clearly indicates far larger numbers.
Other corporate news outlets have given little attention to what should rightly be seen as a once-in-a-lifetime protest movement. Such stories routinely characterise the large crowds as ‘anti-vax’ when it is clear that vaccine mandates and other forms of government overreach have been the focus for the majority of protesters.
Meanwhile, both the ABC and other mainline media corporations have diligently covered climate protests that attract much smaller crowds.
The tendency of the corporate press to curate rather than report the news is a pattern increasingly seen globally. Crowds in the thousands – and tens of thousands – have been taking to the streets in cities across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and beyond, but few outlets have been willing to cover these events.
Predictably, the ABC —which is one of Australia’s most relied-on sources for global news — couldn’t be less interested in this historic global movement. The online footage being ignored by the ABC and other outlets has been emerging from a diverse array of nations.
Today Greece: Medical workers stage strike to protest Covid vaccine mandates. Hospital workers marched through central Athens Thursday as part of a 24-hour strike. pic.twitter.com/rX0C6wZ8C5
By failing to report on these events, corporate and taxpayer-funded media firms are only heightening interest in the global protest movement through what is often referred to as the Streisand effect.
The phenomenon is named after American singer Barbara Streisand, who in the early 2000s took legal action to keep the address of her Malibu mansion private but by doing so, invited intense public scrutiny. The Streisand effect is defined as “an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information [that] has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information, often via the Internet”.
Mainline media’s lie-by-omission approach to the protests has thrown fuel on the fire for conspiracy theorists. It has also raised the ire of more considered citizens who are turning to alternative news sources in droves as corporate media ratings continue to collapse.
Unfortunately for Australian taxpayers, this growing distrust likely won’t affect the enormous budget — or the partisan content — of our national broadcaster, which only 32 per cent of Australians feel represents their views.
There is a word in the English language for government-commissioned media presenting only the government’s point of view on a matter. It starts with a ‘p’. Is this the Australia you grew up in?
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