Goodbye to “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne

Yesterday, we cancelled our subscription to “The Age” newspaper. We have written to Don Churchill (CEO and publisher of that newspaper) to explain why we can no longer tolerate the philosophy which guides “The Age”. He should be receiving our letter sometime this week. From next week we will be getting delivery of “The Australian.”

As background information, we relocated to Melbourne at the end of July last year. Avid readers that we are, we believed we should be learning about local Victorian issues and becoming familiar with the situation here. Our friends advised us against getting “The Age” if we wanted a balanced reporting about Israel. Despite their advice we went ahead and subscribed to the publication.

We are not sorry that we did this because now we know how biased this newspaper’s reporting is. Whenever something about Israel came up in the news, “The Age” was eager to blame Israel while defending the Palestinian or Muslim or Arab point of view.

Even when they published letters from the Jewish community which objected to this unbalanced reporting, there would be one letter that was pro-Israel, and three letters that were condemning Israel. Glaring factual errors were not corrected, or most likely, not allowed to be corrected

This was unfair and made us question “The Age’s” motivation.

The cartoons from Leunig and others were so prejudiced that had this approach been taken towards the Arabs, there would have been riots in the streets. As indeed there were over the Danish cartoon hysteria.

I stopped paying attention to what “The Age” was writing but my husband believes that it is good to know what the “enemy” thinks and does. His use of that terminology is revealing, isn’t it?

As for getting news about Melbourne, we learned a lot about some “reformed” druggie called Ben Cousins and other pathetic examples for our youth to emulate. As far as we could see, the local news was not informative. We could learn immediate news items from the internet and TV.

Let’s face it, newspapers are not current. By the time they are published, the news has been broadcast on other media. So the biggest attraction of newspapers is their longer articles, the columns from contributors, and even the Letters to the Editor which should be a selection of opinions from both sides, for and against and not just from one side. I would not want “The Age” to be totally biased against the Arab view either. There is no benefit in that because it just becomes propaganda.

The tipping point, to use the latest jargon, was “The Age’s” reporting on the constant shelling of Israeli towns by Hamas militants and the subsequent retaliation by Israel which is still going on as I write.

I don’t intend to go into the details of what is happening in the Middle East right now, but in my opinion, if you keep shelling me I will not keep taking it forever. Everyone has a right to self-defence. Israel should not be expected to sit back and do nothing about missiles being directed towards its civilian population. I am always amazed by Israel’s patience in the midst of such provocation.

None of this patience is ever mentioned in “The Age”. The fact that Israel wants to live in peace alongside its Arab neighbours is conveniently played down by this paper.

And if that is the way that “The Age” reports on affairs in the Middle East, then how can I believe what it writes about the rest of the world?

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9 thoughts on “Goodbye to “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne

  1. What actually amazes me is how confident you are about how wrong “The Age” is about the Middle East news. What if they are right? Israelis were “injured” by the “shelling” empty-headed undirectable missiles in the same time period of Israeli military strike on Gazza that “killed” 3’500 palestinian with advanced-missiles of white phosphorus. Isn’t this fact alerting? That maybe you are wrong? And the Palestinians are “shelling” because they were thrown out of thier homes. And assumingly, even if israel had the right in this particular israeli strike, do you think the israeli response was an militarily equavalent one? Anyway, it’s not that I refer to our disagreement in this conflict and whether you should read this paper or that. But calling Arabs and Muslims enemies, I think that was unnecessary and ignorant. Read a book “Reel Bad Arabs” by Jack Shaheen. Read about the holocaust survivor “Norman Finkelstein”.

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  2. So you removed my comment and yet you call for neutrality and to accept others POV. Then why would anyone read your lousy blog. Cheers.

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    • Actually, Jack, you are drawing a long bow when you compare a newspaper with a blog site, even a “lousy” one like mine. The pleasure of writing a blog is that I can give my opinion. I am writing my view. This is very different from what “The Age” is supposed to be doing. The newspaper is supposed to report events and should be seen as being even-handed.
      You have your opinion about Palestinian rights and I have mine about Israeli rights. As for military equivalents, this is first of all some crazy notion of tit for tat, which has never existed in history prior to the Middle East problems. I am a teacher of Ancient History and, as you know, history is mainly the study of conflict and there has never been such a thing as obligatory military equivalence until Israel fought for its survival.

      But if we are talking about disproportionate response, then how about including the fact that so many Arab nations got together and attacked Israel in the Six Day War? So many Arabs and so few Israelis. Did the Arabs feel bad about outnumbering the Israelis? I don’t think so. They were intent on destroying Israel and they put all their military force into it.

      Jack, I will be very happy to call Arabs and Muslims “friends” when they accept the existence of the state of Israel and stop calling for its destruction. Remember the pictures of Palestinians dancing in the streets on 9/11? Hmm. Not a very friendly sight, was it?
      BTW it takes all sorts in this world; so Finkelstein expresses his opinions. Does the name Benedict Arnold ring a bell?
      Cheers
      Lili

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  3. First of all, I didn’t give any compliment as to how good your blog. Actually, I discussed your point of view. Seems its becoming a trend to flip facts, even the obviously documented on-table ones. But for the record, I think you are pro-discrimination. You being an ancient history doesn’t make your opinions just ones. For your point of military equivalence, you are right. Arabs should have striked israelis out upon thier arrival to occupy Palestine and gunned the Palestianians out of their homes in 1930’s and 40’s, until now. But the Arab leaders were too busy keeping their titles, a punch of “Benedict Arnold”s, I give you that.

    Don’t come back with Jews living there since ever. Muslims and Christians were there too since ever. Read 6th paragraph under history in this pro-israeli website [http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/jerusalem/jerusalem3.htm]. In Torah, Jews are forbidden to establish a state. Read about that.

    Responding to empty-headed rockets from Gazza defending their land which BTW undirectably hit empty side-walks and traffic lights and killed a dog, Israel defended itself with what they got of internationally “unlawful” and “forbidden” WMD’s in “Christmas 08-09”. Like a heavily armed coward who lives in the attackers home, I agree. Maybe this is why they must be disarmed of WMD anyway. They are irrational using them, I totally agree. They are armed in such fashion, because they know that this is not their land nor thier right to establish a state there.
    As for Finkelstein’s opinion, of course you come to accuse him right away of being a traitor without even mentioning why does he oppose Israel. Even if he is a holocaust survivor, opposing Israel revokes any good deeds or prior “common” calamity. The ME region is on fire because of Israel as an occupying state, not as jews. Jews were there and lived well in the area of Palestine and jordan peacefully since ever, “especially” during arab rulership as you might have read in the link above.

    I’m not sure if this is a discussion. But if it is, I really hope that you read about Arabs and Muslims with a neutral mind. And if you are Jewish, read about your orthodox jews, neturi karta. Either way, I don’t wish to continue on this discussion unless you stop adopting the media image about Arabs and Muslims, and have your own.

    Thank you for your feedback anway, and wish and your family a prosperous life.

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  4. Jack,
    If you are going to refer to Finkelstein who associates himself with Hezbollah, then I can recommend to you a site called Honest Reporting. http://honestreporting.com/

    It’s interesting that Jews who lived in Yemen, Iraq and the North African countries were forced to flee their homes and leave everything behind and yet there are over One Million Arabs living in Israel, voting for their representatives in the Israeli government and going to universities etc. What a contrast!

    The media image of Arabs and Muslims is the result of terrorists who are invariably Muslims or Arabs or both. There are home grown Islamic terrorists and there are imported ones, but they are the ones who choose to blow up trains and planes, schools, kindergartens, shops, cafes and other buildings.

    It must be upsetting to you, Jack, to see your fellow Muslims behaving in this way but please don’t blame the rest of the world or the media for the image that such atrocities create.

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  5. For Jews fleeing their homes from different Arab lands, that is what mainstream feeds your minds. And I certainly wouldn’t take your word or the media’s over the “pro-israeli” website I sent to you. The history clearly states that the Arab rulership was the best happened to the Jews. And by the way, many of them live well in Arab countries as we speak.
    And for the Arabs living in Israel, they were living in their homeland when Zionists came to occupy. So to make Israeli occupation rational and merciful, they granted those the rights of a “third” degree citizenship. Obviously you have not heard of those degrees and the clear voice of Israel to be announced as a “Jewish” country. Means, the countries values statement puts Jews first. What a democracy!
    Also, the website you sent “HonestReporting” seems to be pro-israeli. I pass on that too. Try some neutral materials. But even though, let’s try this: [http://www.honestreporting.com/a/region.asp] says:
    1917: British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour makes the following declaration in a letter to “Lord Rothschild”: “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in “Palestine” of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object”.
    Can you read between lines? Who gave “Palestine” to them? What makes UK eligible to grant a whole non-Commonwealth country for Jews? Since when a “secular” country like UK advocates a system that handles one specific ethnic or religion? Who gave them the right anyway? Was Lord Rothschild even a Jewish? Research the Rothschild’s intensively and I promise you, you will find it very surprising.
    As for Arabs and Muslims image, the black sheep shouldn’t affect it, don’t you agree? But the media keeps on generalizing through the feed that this is Islam and this is what it tells Muslims to do. That is where you as a viewer are wrong. The media keeps on damaging this image so if the western forces keep on killing them, you wouldn’t feel bad. And for why they are killing them, many reasons! If you don’t know them, especially after the lie of Iraqi WMD was exposed, that would be definitely your fault. Allow me to say even if sounds harshly, you are a history teacher. Don’t count on the media for information and knowledge. Read about Islam, at least to know the truth about real Muslims.

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    • Jack,
      Thank you for your comments. I appreciate that you have taken the time to have a lively discussion with me. Evidently, we have different views on the subject and so I have to agree with your earlier suggestion that we should conclude this exchange of ideas. I wish you all the best in the future.

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  6. I agree. However, I went the extra mile to read and research your opinions in the west for long time. It was never the people that Muslims are in disagreement with, but foreign operations of western governments.

    In return, I just would love to leave you with this thought. Read about Islam from their sources, with a neutral mind. Just to know your neighbours. Please do.

    Thank you Lili for your patience.

    Cheers.

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  7. Maybe you can start with this sorted information series of videos. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8cByFjbAk0] Only a suggestion.

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