Green Left Weekly's $250,000 Fighting Fund: Corporate media profits from Howard's lies

Issue 

If you were to believe those federal government advertisements now saturating television and radio, pigs do fly.

These ads expect us to buy the incredible proposition that the Work Choices laws actually improve our bargaining position with our bosses by forcing us into individual employment contracts.

We are expected to ignore all past experience, which tells us that collectivity is the only defence workers have against exploitation. We are expected to ignore the mounting evidence (see article page 4) that, despite the mining boom, workers who are being forced into individual contracts are worse off than those under collective agreements.

When a government wants to sell a lie as big as this, it has to spend a lot of money. And so the Howard government has, spelling bigger bucks for the corporate media at the public expense.

The September edition of advertising industry newsletter AdNews celebrated: "The release of the Top Media Advertisers report for the fiscal year 2006/07 reveals good news for main media ... Among the top 10 advertisers, the Commonwealth Government boosted spending by an estimated 25% to finish in the number one spot. Others to surge in main media spend were Telstra with a hefty 29% lift, Woolworths Limited (+12%), NSW Government (+20%) and Mitsubishi Motors (+43%)."

This list of top 10 advertisers is a list of the country's top liars.

AdNews estimated that the Howard government spent between $170-$175 million on advertising in the financial year ending 30 June 2007. This does not include letterbox drops, online advertising, and the escalation of the government's advertising campaigns since the end of June.

Last year the federal government spent over $25 million in advertisements in the media for its anti-worker laws but the total spent by the federal election could be as high as $100 million, according to Crikey.com.

Last financial year, $23 million was spent lying about the health system that federal and state governments are destroying, $14 million on promoting the armed forces, $10 million selling tax cuts and $7.5 million promoting the prime minister and his cabinet.

As John Pilger explained at the very successful Green Left Weekly annual dinner in Sydney on September 29, publications like GLW are essential to counter this multi-million dollar deception. You can help us keep up this important job by making a donation this week to the GLW Fighting Fund.

Donations can be directly deposited at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at http://www.greenleft.org.au/fogl.htm.

Last week our supporters raised $3,609 bringing the total raised so far this year to $166,279. We need to raise another $83,721 by the end of the year to meet our $250,000 target. Please help us if you can.

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