“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” ― Albert Camus
Publisher’s Note: When we read Murdoch papers we can see that the articles fit within an editorial line that is anti-union, climate change denial and pro-free enterprise. The Courier Mail in Brisbane is a pamphlet for the re-election of the LNP to government. However when the paper starts editing out important sections of letters to the editor, we start to wonder about the ethics of the people running that paper. We post this small example here to highlight the need for a more independent media in Australia. As readers can see, this complaint was addressed by it’s author to the ABC’s Media Watch. Ian Curr, 30 July 2015.
Dear Media Watch
I had a letter to the editor published by the Courier Mail [see attached page].
What I submitted was:
Mr Abbott is pressing for an increase of the GST from 10% to 15%. The virtue in G.S.T. is that it is an efficient tax. Its vice is that it casts a disproportionate tax burden on lower income earners to the advantage of high income earners. Last week it was reported that Joe Hockey told a meeting of tax accountants that it is desirable to reduce the top marginal rate of income tax, currently 47% (including Medicare levy) citing the New Zealand rate of 33% with apparent approval. The G.S.T. rate in New Zealand is 15%.
Is the proposed increase in the G.S.T. designed to replace the funding for health and education or is it to fund tax cuts for the coalition’s primary constituency, the rich?
I feel that the omission of the sentences in red converted the letter from a reasoned opinion with a factual basis on a matter on which I have found a dearth of comment from the opposition or in the media to a meaningless whinge which the supporters of the coalition would characterise as a case of the politics of envy.
( I note that Greg Jericho did an opinion piece published in The Drum (online) dated 22 July 2015 but I have found nothing else) The address to PWC Tax Forum on 15 July 2015 is at http://jbh.ministers.treasury.gov.au/speech/020-2015/).
I am aware that newspapers reserve the right to edit letters but I had believed that that was to remove problematic parts or to shorten prolix letters. The editing of letters should not occur when it alters the meaning of a letter or holds the writer up to ridicule. If they do not want to publish it , then don’t.
I would be interested to know if you receive other complaints in this vein and, if so, whether you might find it a suitable subject to address on your program.