A discussion of contemporary issues in media ethics, with olives and a twist. Made with only the freshest ingredients, shaken, stirred and poured over ice. I should also mention that I do like the odd, occasional martini. Bombay Sapphire gin and Lillet, dry and plenty of salty olives. Welcome to this cocktail of journalism and alcohol. A fine combination!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Janet Albrechtsen - why are you still here?

I was alerted to this piece on The Orstrahyun blog by an item in Crikey today.
I've long maintained that Janet Albrecthsen, a senior columnist on Rupert Murdoch's Australian, was a neo-con. She's even said so herself. But her shamelss spruiking and her close ties to the Howard government are now there for all to see. By her own hand is she damned.

Thanks to Daryl Mason of The Ostrahyun for this:

A columnist for The Australian newspaper - the supposedly "balanced" and "not biased at all" flagship of the Australian Murdoch media empire - has been outed as not only a rabid supporter of prime minister John Howard, but also one that lets the prime minister know, days in advance, when she is writing an op-ed that may reflect badly on him.

Who's doing what now?

Yes. Janet Albrechtsen, a columnist for The Australian, rang John Howard's office before she had even written her column about why it was time for him to step down, to let him know what she was planning to write.

She called other ministers as well, allowing them the opportunity to try and talk her out of writing the 'Time To Go" column that supposedly "rocked the Howard government" when it appeared in The Australian on September 7.

The one thing that's missing from the Orstrahyun blog is any mention of Janet's other contentious hat. She's a faithful Howard-appointed a member of the ABC Board.

I have said before that I think this is a dreadful conflict of interest and I've suggested she should resign that position. She is a staunch critic of public broadcasting and her stablemates at the Murdoch Limited News press are vicious witch-hunters of any one vaguely left-leaning at the national broadcaster. Rupert's commercial interests in the Australian media are diametrically opposed to the vibrant health of the ABC. It would be in Rupert's long-term interests for the ABC to be shut down.

Janet, why are you still here?


Anonymous said...

As if you know anything about her and what she's like! She rang him to let him know what she thought, but he didnt listen or take it into consideration, so she wrote the article. i think it was a reasonable proposal. She did waht she thought was right. so lay off her.

Marty said...

Thanks anonymous, I have been following Janet's career as a media pundit for many years, so I do know what she's like.
She is on the record through her work for Rupert.
As for laying off. I don't think so. I have always felt it is untenable for Ms Albrecthsen to be on the ABC board while working for a rival news media organisation. To me this is clearly a conflict of interest.
If it was a leftwinger, like David Marr for example, I'm sure Janet and her friends at Quadrant would be purple with rage.
I stand by my callf or her to resign from the ABC Board.