Can the media spell ‘policy’?

Feb 5, 2013

A friend of mine, Ian McAuley, has drawn attention to an election study by the ANU’s Institute for Public Policy Trends. It covers elections 1987-2010.

The study shows conclusively that our media is badly out of touch with what the public wants. For the 2010 federal election campaign, the study asked voters what were the most important considerations in their voting decision. 52% said ‘policy issues’. 25% said ‘parties as a whole’. 15% said ‘party leaders’. 8% said ‘candidates in my electorate’.

The media and particularly the Canberra Press Gallery keep pushing personalities, leaders and politics when clearly the public wants to hear about policy.

Policy is harder to understand and explain. It is so much easier for the media to serve us up a diet of politicians and politics.

I would have hoped that the ABC would do better, but watching or listening to its flagship programs on TV and radio, I get the same diet.  At the moment it is leadership, leadership, leadership.  I turn off more and more.

We will have a new government after September. We also badly need a new Canberra Press Gallery that can at least spell the word ‘policy’ even if it cannot explain what it means!

John Menadue

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