Dec 222010

This whinge from The Australian, as an anonymous editorial to avoid scrutiny from ‘new media’ undoubtedly, is 16 days old now and has just come to my attention, via that same ‘new media’.

It is a whinge, a gripe, a whine, and complaint for those who may not be cognisant with the Australian idiom. Why is The Australian’s anonymous editor of whichever section of that rag having a whinge, whine and bleat? Because The Australian has been caught out several times this year alone trumpeting a partisan political/ideological line in regard to Climate Change, the most recent being the Julie Posetti live tweeting of Asa Wahlquist’s address to the annual conference of the Journalism Education Association of Australia, which resulted in the Editor-in-Chief threatening to sue Ms Posetti for publishing Wahlquist’s revelations.
It’s well understood by a broad section of the Australian Blogosphere, Twittersphere and political commentariate that Murdoch’s so-called ‘flagship’ newspaper in Australia rigidly follows it’s bosses conservative ethos, to the last full stop. The editor in chief and many of the principal hacks writing for the rag are well known and often self-confessed conservative apologists, opposing anything which emanates from within anti-conservative political circles. The opposition to the science of Climate Change is clearly predicated upon an ideological denial stance which has its roots in the conservative ethos.
Since the rise of Twitter as the medium most used by the technologically savvy, The Australian and its editor in chief have been held even more tightly to account for the often rampaging, spittle-flecked rants, such as the one linked to above, which appear daily. Given the faux outrage one would be excused for believing The Australian & its editors don’t like being held to account, or being accused of what it is they do.
Yet, again today we see what amounts to possibly the most blatant piece of opportunistic journalism in opposition to The Oz’s latest hobby horse, the National Broadband Network. Scare mongering over baseless snippets of disjointed and disconnected information in totally oblivious ignorance of the true facts of what the NBN offers and will provide. Instead, we’re presented with hyperbole & hypotheticals, such as this rubbish, and this. The concern by The Oz for our environment, or residents of high-rise units, is touching, but transparently disingenuous. Mind you, there is the odd bright spot, dutifully dulled down by obfuscatory irrelevancies.
This type of journalism does not deserve the description. It lacks prudent analysis, or even basic ‘need-to-know’ public interest factors. Lead-Acid batteries have existed since pre-automobile days, and have been recycled for as long as lead has been recoverable. Indeed, I see nothing in today’s Oz in regard to another lead problem, being that of lead shielding included in soon to be out-moded cathode ray tube ‘analog’ television sets. 3.5kgs of lead in each set, judging from this article. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing in The Oz about the global success in recycling of the lead-acid battery. No political or ideological mileage in anything of real public interest, is there?

Lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 97 percent of all battery lead is recycled. Compared to 55% of aluminum soft drink and beer cans, 45% of newspapers, 26% of glass bottles and 26% of tires, lead-acid batteries top the list of the most highly recycled consumer product.
The lead-acid battery gains its environmental edge from its closed-loop life cycle. The typical new lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic. When a spent battery is collected, it is sent to a permitted recycler where, under strict environmental regulations, the lead and plastic are reclaimed and sent to a new battery manufacturer. The recycling cycle goes on indefinitely. That means the lead and plastic in the lead-acid battery in your car, truck, boat or motorcycle have been – and will continue to be — recycled many, many times. This makes lead-acid battery disposal extremely successful from both environmental and cost perspectives.

Clearly, the Editor-in-Chief, Chris Mitchell, sees his position in life as some form of champion of the conservative elite, given that he allows, even promotes this kind of partisan propaganda to be printed continuously. Even to the point of what I regard as highly unprofessional and vitriolic attacks on the Fairfax Press competition.
This isn’t investigative journalism or public interest journalism. It’s gutter press stuff. Others may choose to come running to the defence of this most disreputable rag, but I find it to be of the lowest possible order in journalistic reads.

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