Words in my mouth

A local AM radio station interviewed me the other day. The 6PR afternoon drive-time host wanted comment on the new Labor government’s missive on telling certain agencies that all media material had to be cleared through the relevant minister’s office.

 

What the shock jock wanted me (being an ‘expert’) to say was that nothing had changed from the previous Liberal government. Cripes, Labor’s only been in power a few weeks and already the media’s beating it up.

 

All I could do was to continually reinforce my key message (developed quickly after his introductory comments and first question) that “it was early days and you had to give the government the benefit of the doubt”.

 

I doubt whether this chap was really listening. He had his agenda, and I really didn’t. After all, I was just there to comment.

 

For me, this interview was a prime example of the media trying to influence opinion, when it should be striving for balanced coverage. How blissfully naive of me – a former daily newspaper journalist.

 

Yes, it asked for an independent person to provide comment, but it becomes hard when the interviewer just doesn’t want to see the other point of view (or even a neutral one). It’s not entertaining radio.

 

All up, it was a pretty amateurish interview (not helped by the cliché of ‘spin’ as an analogy linked to the first cricket Test, which was being played between Australia and India).

 

I didn’t hear the interview, as I don’t listen to talkback radio. One of my surf club mates said he referred to me as Dr Greg Smith, from Curtin University. Well, he got the university wrong, which just proved my point about the amateurism. It was my last interview on 6PR.

 

You can read this blog at http://www.prlab.com.au 

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