As anyone who’s dealt with the mainstream media knows, any time you’re directly involved in a story, you’re likely to see that it’s been misreported.
I was interviewed recently about the economic problems facing the new government and said, several times, that we would be better off if both parties had not committed themselves to large tax cuts on the basis of optimistic projections but that, having made the commitment, the Rudd government should honour it. This is how it came out in the news.com story
Some economists believe the promised $31 billion tax cuts should be abandoned.
“The country would be much better if we hadn’t had these tax-cut promises from both sides in the election campaign,” University of Queensland professor John Quiggin said.
“It was irresponsible to promise such large tax cuts where the fiscal situation needed more flexibility than that allowed.”
But Mr Swan insisted the tax cuts would be delivered.
You could argue that the report is accurate. Some economists do believe the tax cuts should be abandoned and I did make the remarks quoted. Perhaps the reporter submitted a story in which these two facts weren’t run together as they have been here, and it was cut in a way that produced this misleading impression. Or maybe the original report was wrong.
Either way, it confirms negative impressions about the mainstream media. Of course, bloggers make plenty of mistakes too, but it would be nice to think the professionals could do better.
Update I got a phone call this morning from news.com.au and I’m happy to say the story has been rewritten with my views reported correctly. Blogging gets results!