The media, or those interested in the media, come up with ideas about how the media should behave. There is supposed to be balance, objectivity and other concepts that give us, the paper reading public, fairness in reporting. Dream on.
Even if media starts from a position of being fair and balanced it only takes one person who sees power as the main game to pervert the whole system.
The media offers the best way of establishing a public that is well informed with the ability to make decisions based on fact and policy. It also provides the opportunity for the power hungry to create a brainwashed and easily manipulated mob of unthinking robots that believe whatever they are told to believe. Democracy becomes mob rule.
The only way that I can see to avoid mob rule by the robots is to ensure that our physical media exists in small groups with diverse ownership. It would be unrealistic to expect balanced reporting from any block but there would be a diversity of views. We would have choice.
The media I am using now, the World Wide Web, must remain free to all views. On the web I can only express my views only because everyone else can express theirs. Freedom for one must mean freedom for all.
In the lead up to the last election Tony Abbott’s policy was private ownership of a sub-optimal system whilst saying repeatedly that he knows nothing about technology http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWAN5zkEaok . Tony Abbott’s Broadband policy has not changed. It is the only Abbott policy that is not aspirational or mobile.
We are living in an Internet environment where technology is changing so quickly that no matter what broadband speed we have it is never going to be enough and where it is essential that the Internet is never privately owned..
Privately owned would mean that every thing that any of use did on line, every email, every phone conversation and every little thing would be instantly available to the owner of the Internet. No need for phone taps when you own the line.
Subtle forms of censorship, such as slowing speeds to sites that were considered not in keeping with the Internet owner’s interests would abound. If my blog took five minutes to load would you read it?
There is an election next year. The fate of the WWW in Australia could depend on the outcome of that election. Not only the fate of the Internet is at stake. If a politically motivated entity gained control of the Internet it could be the end of democracy in Australia.
I want the Internet infrastructure in Australia to be a wholesale system where there is an entity charged with maintaining the highest levels of technology and making the system available equally to everyone without censorship.
The World Wide Web provides the conditions necessary for democracy. It give small groups or even individuals such as myself the ability to express ideas and beliefs without the power to impose those ideas or believes on others. It establishes what is missing in the print media. Democracy in Australia is under attack from many directions but at least we can keep the WWW open and democratic.