When did you ever read a bad review of a motor car by a journalist? There is no such thing. Is this because we are now so good at producing quality motor vehicles or is it from industry influence.
One would think that in our society there is free speech, but there is a good case that much of it can be influenced
The terrible terror killings in Paris raises the question of free speech and who is the judge on what can and cannot be printed? Ultimately the editor determines what is published but it is the reader (in a country with free speech) that determines the demand. No demand will determine the editors choice.
Here in New Zealand, former broadcaster and Maori Party candidate Derek Fox has been heavily criticised for blaming the victims of the Paris terror attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo: Here’s the NZ Herald link
“Fox wrote that Charlie Hedbo editor Stephane Charbonnier was a “bully” who had abused free speech and was now responsible for the deaths of his colleagues.
“The editor of the French magazine has paid the price for his assumption of cultural superiority and arrogance, he was the bully believing he could insult other peoples culture and with impunity and he believed he would be protected in his racism and bigotry by the French state.
“Well he was wrong, unfortunately in paying the price for his arrogance he took another 11 people with him.”
He continued: “Power cultures all like to use the old chestnut of freedom of speech when they choose to ridicule people who aren’t exactly like them, and mostly they get away with it.”
Fox said in this Facebook post that the privilege of free speech brought with it responsibility and ramifications. “These guys liked the privilege but didn’t think they’d be caught up in the ramifications – they were wrong.”
“This should serve as a lesson to other people who believe they can use the power they wield by way of dominating the media to abuse and ridicule others they believe to inferior to them – just like [in] this country.”
Well I think most will disagree with Fox. No one deserves to die for what is in print.
So what about sport:
Recently Rolex, the major sponsor of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race asked journalist Sue Neales to be removed from the race media centre. She was told:
“Rolex is very unhappy with your article yesterday about how sponsorship is ruining sailing,” Ms Pearson told me angrily. “You are no longer welcome in this media centre. Please pack up your things and leave.”
This influence is outrageous and dangerous, but it happens.
Several years ago I wrote an article criticising the lack of leadership within NZ Motorsport in dealing with the emerging V8 rivalry resulting in the country now having two separate V8 classes. Officials didn’t like what was written and discussed this with me putting forward their view point. To their credit, they never set about trying to censor.
We must allow criticism and debate to happen within all media. Ultimately it is the reader/viewer that determines the demand.
Media: Benjamin Carrell