Case in point - The Tas Times published a comment which i submitted last night (below), however it chopped the section which I have highlighted for readers in Bold italics.
Yes I know, its hard to believe.
I write an encyclopaedic volume of criticism of the Examiner and its published, yet I write 3 lines about TAP and its pulled.
This is not a good look for TT.
Infact I am gobsmacked that the Tas. Times has chosen pulled this comment.
The Mercury, Examiner and most other local media would not blink before publishing the comment that TT chopped. It would not even register on the richter scale of concern.
Yet the Tasmanian Times is a website that says of itself............. "Tasmanian Times is a forum of discussion and dissent - a cheeky, irreverent challenge to the mass media’s obsession with popularity, superficiality and celebrity.
It is in the tradition of dissenting Tasmanian journalism, drawing inspiration from the first great Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, John West (b. 1809). West earlier had a strong association with The Examiner, founded in 1842. He successfully used its columns as a vehicle of dissent to promote the abolition of the transportation of convicts to Van Diemen’s Land.
West wrote this in his History of Tasmania (1852): “The newspapers of this hemisphere were long mere vehicles of government intelligence, or expressions of the views and feelings of the ruling powers. Malice or humour, in the early days, expressed itself in what were called Pipes—a ditty, either taught by repetition or circulated on scraps of paper: the offences of official men were thus hitched into rhyme. Thus, the fear of satire checked the haughtiness of power.”
Amen to that". http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pages/about-us
The Tasmanian Times has and continues to publish comment that makes my mildly critical observation about TAP look like a glowing eulogy.
So what is going on at the Tas Times?
Is the website too close to TAP or people in TAP?
Has Tasmania's culture of cosiness crept up on TT?
Now I know many of the good people down at TAP and if there is one thing they hold dear it is democracy and the right to freedom of expression.
After all this one of the things they have been fighting for in their battle against a pulp mill that has seen Tasmanian's sued and cowed for standing up for what they believe in.
So I would be shocked as i know most punters down at TAP would be if they thought the Tas Times was afraid of publishing adverse comment about TAP or any other group.
I would suspect that Tappers would adopt the position - "whilst I might not agree with you I will defend your right to state your position".
Indeed, I have previously worked for TAP in a volunteer capacity raising funds, organizing etc etc and have vigorously defended the group in the print and electronic media. Indeed, one only has to lower their eyes to the article below on the Examiner to see an example of how this blogger has defended TAP. This cost me bollocking from the Examiner editor.
The comment TT chopped was the type of criticism that myself and other members of TAP made whilst active in the organisation. Indeed, TAP meetings and the group in general is and open and honest forum. Unlike the Tasmanian Times, TAP were able to accomodate such criticism, which is one of the things I always like about the group. Tappers would also acknowledge that their group has over the years dished out plenty of very harsh criticism to political parties, Gunns and others and has always been prepared to cop it back.
What I can say is that if I submitted the same observations about Gunns or the Liberal or Labor party to the Tasmanian Times that I have made in the comment below about TAP, the comment would certainly be published. Indeed, the Tasmanian Times has published many articles recently which contain all sorts of wild unsubstantiated accusations about other environmental groups and political parties. Read the website for yourself.
It is the intention of this blogger to continue to write and report and in an even handed manner.
Can the same be said for the Tasmanian Times?
The Tas. Times claims to operate under the maxim "Balance is appeasement, fairness is truth".
I say to the Tas. Times editor as my mum used to say to me "actions speak louder than words"
Editorial bias? It certainly would appear so.
The comment in question..............
...........If you completely lose the ability to trust your peers then you are well and truly on a path to isolation and irrelevance. This has long been my beef with elements of the anti pulp mill movement in the Tamar Valley, most particularly those who are running TAP. If ever a group needed a change at the top because of problems trusting and work co-operatively with others it is TAP. I will have more to say on them soon.
If you lose the ability to trust then you've defeated yourself before your enemy has even fired a shot. Will Hodgman is another recent example of this. I wrote about this recently on my blog. Hodgman looks like a spoilt dill and he may well have blown his one and only chance to be the Premier of Tassy. Michael Ferguson is waiting in the wings. http://wwwtascommentary.blogspot.com/2010/04/has-will-hodgman-done-herschelle-gibbs.html
The fact is, if you believe that the greens are your best chance at having your issues represented and you voted for them, then you dont have a bloody choice.
This is the first time in countries history that we will have a Green Minister.
At this stage this is as good as it gets.
Look, I can sympathise with peoples cynicism, but green supporters and labor supporters are now faced with a choice. Personally I reckon if having supported and voted to the party up to this point, you now jump ship now and say "oh nick and cassy have done a done a deal with the devil, I'm going to vote Liberal or Labor next time" then you have big issues with trust and all the political conviction of Paris Hilton.