Why we need people powered media

Issue 
Duncan Storrar was viciously attacked in the media after asking a question on ABC’s Q&A.

Sometimes there are things that appear in the media that just make you shake your head in disbelief. Take for example the tale of Duncan Storrar, the man on ABC's Q&A who dared to ask why the budget was looking after higher income earners while ignoring those on the lower end of the scale.

For his trouble, Storrar was mercilessly attacked by sections of the media for everything from his tax record to his criminal history — all because he publicly dared to question the economic orthodoxy of the federal budget.

These attacks on a private individual who was simply taking part in a public debate, proved to be so fierce that last week a group including the Australian Lawyers Alliance, ACOSS, and the ACTU among others, called on the government to “clearly and publicly reaffirm the rights and responsibilities of all people regardless of background, disabilities or income level, to take part in public debate and to express diverse opinions in the public sphere in a peaceful way free from bullying, personal intrusion, harassment or intimidation".

To be sure, there are still journalists and news organisations out there, even in the corporate world, doing great work — the releases around the Panama Papers are just one recent example. But sadly, this type of investigative journalism is increasingly becoming the exception rather than the norm as newsrooms are pared back due to budget cuts.

In a vacuum it may be possible for purely objective journalism to exist. But in a world where human exploitation, suffering and greed are unquestioningly treated as a natural part of the system, how can journalism claim to be objective if it does not seek to challenge these injustices that are built into the system.

That is why we need Green Left Weekly. We need a media that does not just report on, but is part of the fight for a better, more equitable society.

Unfortunately while we are operating within this unfair, neoliberal system, we have to rely on our subscribers, supporters and fundraising to help keep Green Left Weekly going.

If you like what you read here, please support us and help us to continue this work by donating to the GLW fighting fund. You can do so by calling the toll-free number at 1800 634 206 (within Australia). Donations can also be made to Green Left Weekly, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account no. 00901992. Otherwise you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007.

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