Must Read – Jonathan Holmes on Today Tonight

Last Monday night ABC’s Media Watch featured a story from Today Tonight last week which was just unbelievably bad. Now MW host Jonathan Holmes has an article on the Drum about it which is essential reading.

Holmes describes it

I’ve spent four years in the Media Watch chair – and in all that time I have never seen a more mendacious, deceptive and inflammatory piece of ‘journalism’.

Go and read the rest now. (Coincidentally it must be the first time I’ve seen an article on the drum with all the commentors basically in agreement)

It was truly disgraceful as they stirred up anger against refugees based on total misreprentations of the facts. I don’t think there was a political motive, it’s just that stirring up outrage is a good way at getting ratings and you pick some of the most disadvantaged people in our society (a common tactic for so-called current affairs shows as pointed out on Frontline so many years ago) then you can get away with it.They seem to have no regard for journalistic ethics, don’t care what happens to their victims … just as long as they get more viewers than their competitor. We all know that these prime time “current affairs” programs are terrible  but this seems to be a new low even for them.

Holmes concludes with

I hope that anyone who had anything to do with Today Tonight’s tawdry effort feels ashamed of themselves. They should. That includes, of course, the reporter and producers involved. In my view it also includes executive producer Craig McPherson; his boss, the director of news Peter Meakin; his boss, Seven CEO David Leckie; all the way up to the chairman, Kerry Stokes. They are the ones who tolerate and excuse a culture that treats this sort of ‘journalism’ as acceptable.

Hear hear.

If you watch Today Tonight then why not just switch off instead. You’ll be better informed about what’s going on in the world by staring at a blank screen for half an hour than by watching their show which leaves you less well informed than you were in the first place.