[This was published at Independent Australia 16 Jan]
Most discussions of the roles of media in Australia are painfully narrow and superficial. Commercial media apologists claim “independence” (from whom?), demand “freedom” (well, but not for the bad guys) and have the gall to talk about “quality”. A proposal to enforce the most minimal standards on commercial media provoked hysterical indignation at the supposed threat to free speech. The idea of actually requiring editorial comment to be separated from reporting didn’t get a look in, let alone penalising those who report only a highly biassed selection of the news, or are systematically and deliberately divisive (which is all of them), or who persistently promote falsehoods.