Undiluted Cordial.

Has anyone ever been faced with this situation?

You’re thirsty. VERY THIRSTY. And you’ll drink whatever is available. The plumbing is shot, so there’s no chance of water. 

You go to the fridge, there’s no water. No juice. Nothing. Hmmm. The pantry? Nothing. Oh, wait. Well, there’s some cordial. Undiluted though. You could drink it. You probably shouldn’t. But, you really need something to drink! Ugh. You take a look at it. On the bottle it says “Highly Concentrated”. It’s supposed to be diluted, but THE PLUMBING IS SHOT! ARGH. 

Dilemma. 

Do you drink it? No. 

Is there any other option? No. 

Do you drink it? Yes.

Well, Australia’s plumbing isn’t quite shot. And there’s some water, chilled in the fridge in two bottles – One labelled ABC, and the other labelled SBS. There’s cordial. Lot’s of cordial. 7 bottles of it! Various colours, all appetising to look at! These are labelled Seven West Media, Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia, Nine Entertainment Co., Southern Cross Media Group, Win Corporation and Network Ten. 

So, two basic options. Water and Cordial. 

We know the water is better for us. Preservative free. Additive free. All nat-u-raleeeeeee. And we know the cordial isn’t great for us. But man, those colours. . . . 

Most Australian’s end up drinking too much cordial, and with that, they ingest lots of additives. These take the form of ideas, values & opinion. All valuable nutrients, when part of a balanced diet, WHICH INCLUDES BORING, PLAIN, UN-FLAVOURED WATER. 

Okay, enough of the symbolism and metaphorical language. 

Most of Australia’s media is controlled by just 7 corporations! Highly Concentrated (just like undiluted cordial (; LAST ONE FOR A WHILE I PROMISE)

Now, that is an interesting situation. But what does it mean?

Well, the Media is trusted to be a reliable source of information – It serves a specific purpose within a democratic society, which is to facilitate the decision making of the constituency through information communication which is efficient, accurate and reliable – Most importantly, it must do all of this free of bias.

When Media ownership is concentrated like it is in Australia, interests begin to compete against each other. So much to the point that journalistic standards drop, and bias is apparent and perceived by the audience – Evident through the 2013 Election Bias Scandal. As a result of this some publications can leverage the poor journalistic standards and perceived bias of their opposition as a competitive advantage. A prime example is The Sydney Morning Herald through it’s masthead statement “Independent. Always.”

SMH Masthead

A clear strike at The Daily Telegraph and it’s 2013 Election coverage. Hmmmm.

I think this means I’m getting close to an answer. Who owns The Tele? News Corp Australia. Who owns News Corp Australia? News Corp. Who/What is News Corp? Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch. (James Bond reference, anyone?)
If you were to only read The Tele for your daily news digestion, you’d be exposed to only the school of thought that Murdoch’s company chooses to press through that particular publication. Many are of the opinion that if this were the case, you’d vote, 1. Liberal.

Of course our own political standpoint and opinions come into the equation, but the media is certainly powerful. When we let the media get too concentrated, we lose diversity of ideas. When a convergence of ideas saturates the society, it isn’t difficult to envisage the end result – A lack of personalisation in the way we think. A set ideology. Australia is a multicultural, diverse nation – One set of ideas is not supposed to define us. We are by definition, diverse.

So, we have Seven. Seven commercial broadcasters pushing their values. Is that healthy? Yes and No. Australia’s public broadcasters – the ABC and SBS – have tremendous engagement. But do they balance out the equation? To some extent.

There are positives to the current setup – Production values can be quite high, and we certainly get some quality entertainment from our seven media corporations.

But, news is the important thing here. The delivery of information. In a democratic society, the delivery of factual, accurate and unbiased news is a must. But competing commercial interests brought about through cross media ownership as concentrated as undiluted cordial doesn’t allow this to always eventuate. Defeating the purpose of a democracy. 

Cordial is great. As part of a balanced diet. 

So it’s probably time to get some of that chilled water out of the fridge.

Oh, and to save ourselves from having to drink undiluted cordial in the future, let’s dilute it while we still can.

 

References:

Fairfax Media, 2014, SMH Masthead, image, Screenshot, viewed 28 March 2014, <http://www.smh.com.au/>.

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Undiluted Cordial.

  1. OK before I even read this my initial thought was “this is way too long.” Any marker will be able to deduce that this is way over the word limit in about 2 seconds, which isn’t a great first impression. Your introduction, whilst creative and clever, is way too long and lacks focus. To build upon your food metaphor, your introduction is a whole lot of empty calories.

    I’d be inclined to try and build bits of your metaphor into your proper arguments for flavour as you read, rather than construct it all right at the beginning and then spend the second half trying to justify its relevance.

    Lastly, references and citations. I’ve been seeing so many people still not referencing properly in week 4 and we’ve all been told multiple times that we need to do it. Here’s the link to the guide that should tell you all you need to know.

    http://public01.library.uow.edu.au/refcite/style-guides/html/

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    • Thank you for the constructive reply!

      Haha, yes this one got a bit of out hand re: word count! Will keep a closer eye on it in the future!

      I will keep all re: the metaphor and it’s use in mind.

      As for the referencing, I have referenced in each post besides this so far – The only reason I didn’t here, was that I was confused about how exactly to reference a certain aspect of my post.

      Thanks so much! Love constructive criticism (:

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  2. Great blog post! Love the cordial metaphor.
    Question – Do you think it’s the fact that they are state-owned and yet editorially independant that makes ABC & SBS the ‘water’ as opposed to ‘cordial’? Does this mean it’s effectively relatively free from bias?
    Keep up the good work 🙂

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    • Cheers Sam! Ahaha dat metaphor doe 😛
      I do believe this to be true. Those two outlets are intended to be a reflection on the population, as such no bias should be presented from either towards any particular area of the political spectrum.
      Assisting this is the fact that they are also free from the confines of commercialism. Despite SBS being funded by a mixture of public funds and advertising revenue, overall it’s ad revenue is too small for me to believe that it would effect editorial policy, especially considering it is a state owned outlet with a clear goal.
      The goal is to be balanced, therefore I deem them to be water (:
      Thanks man!

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      • I agree, the ABC & the SBS are such an asset to our nation. Crazy to think that there are no real similar networks in the US!
        What’s your view on the allegations of the ABC’s left-wing bias? I tend to think that there’s always going to be some element of bias in any reporting, but the ABC seem to be pretty objective most of the time….

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  3. “If you were to only read The Tele for your news gathering,”

    News gathering is the wrong term to use if youre just talking about one person reading the paper. News gathering is pretty much like researching in order to broadcast.

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  4. Cordial ! best thing, and the way you integrated it into your issue made for an easy read from start to finish. I think the link to cordial really linked your other points well promoting a good flow from point A to point B. Thanks for the read !

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