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To the Daily Telegraph & Sydney Morning Herald,
I am writing on behalf of hundreds of people who have expressed confusion and disappointment over your coverage of the March In May in your respective Monday papers. I’ve addressed the letter to both papers as Google informs us that you are friends.
This headline brought back memories of Telegraph journo Tim Blair’s article on the first marches (in march) which sliced and diced the event like one would a tomato for bruschetta. Matthew Benns story on Sunday’s event was similarly cynical towards the the March Australia community.
Your imagery on the front cover, Page “04” and page “05” chose to focus on the 13 rascals who were arrested when a “small group protesters broke away from the march near Central Station.” Among the three colour pages you set aside to March Australia, the Telegraph editors found no place to honour and acknowledge the 14,987 people who walked peacefully (apart from an image the size of a $1 scratchy in the bottom third).
I’m not sure whom I feel more empathy towards? The young men and woman you chose to dehumanise on your front cover or journalist Matthew Benns and the employees at the Daily Telegraph. I couldn’t imagine the pain of having to wrench myself out of bed everyday to go and work in an environment that thrives on cynicism and has vested interests in scooting from the truth.
To the Sydney Morning Herald – on Monday your newspaper disappointed the Australian community for a third time. It was encouraging to read that you had sent two journalists down to 2nd round of March Australia events after you’d chosen not to print a word on the first march. Once again though, your pages did not honour those who marched with a simple mantra: “We want a better government.”
Months ago you were sent Letter #2 which said I believed the march was “in fact a beautiful initiative to support a government,” as we are peacefully highlighting the changes we want – giving our democracy a voice. Exercising our “Supreme Power.”
From what I’ve come to learn – March Australia is a movement that ALL Australians can feel part of. 15,000 people in Sydney decided to give up their Sunday to tell the government why they are not happy and they did so in peace. You can understand our dismay when our “grab-bag” of issues were once again undermined by the Sydney Morning Herald:
“There wasn’t much but anti-Abbott sentiment to unite those gathered at Sydney’s Belmore Park waving signs in support of everything from ABC funding and asylum seekers to artists and sharks.” Sydney Morning Herald, why didn’t you encourage your young writers to dig a little deeper?
Political reporter Jacqueline Maley acknowledged the use of ‘sense and civilility’ in a letter we sent through to the Sydney Morning Herald on March 18th. Your team knew we were supporters of the March Australia community and we expressed clear disappointment in not having our side of the story heard. On Monday your paper did it’s best to sidestep our voice for a third time. Why? We could have put you in touch with any number of intelligent and civil people. Instead you gave the biggest feature of your article to a chance passer-by named Edna Dashwood who was out on an “afternoon stroll” with her two children. You quoted Edna as saying:
“We’ll march if they start talking about anything we feel passionate about. I am more concerned with changes that affect workers rather than those to do with welfare” said Ms Dashwood.
Dear Edna… If only she knew. Your two young reporters could have filled her in right then and there. As the SMH article said later, Australian’s marched to call for protection of Arts funding, the ABC, Sharks and greater care of Asylum Seekers. Imagine if Edna had known that thousands marched for Tasmanian forests, the Great Barrier Reef, protection of our drinking water from Coal Seam Gas mining and for equal marriage rights for the LGBT community. Imagine if Edna’s children had understood that a sea of faces were there to call upon the government to relieve us of our greatest national shame of having not yet recognised the true history of this land, and to give us the chance to amend the fact that; no matter what Andrew Bolt says – Australia is one of the only remaining countries in the world NOT to recognise it’s first peoples in its’ Constitution.
The difference between the March in March and Sundays 2nd installment was that 14,987 people came with a lot more clarity and intelligence. People left their Phallus placards at home and “F*** Tony Abbott” shirts in the wardrobe. We mustered fresh new friends and family across Sydney, Adelaide and Perth who found confidence to march after the Abbott government broke its’ pinky-promises in last weeks budget.
We see powerful hope in this idea. We’ve proved it: Australian’s are willing to put all differences aside and unite under the banner of TRUTH. Thankfully the power to discover credible and unbiased news (truth) is now firmly in the palms of our hands and the mainstream media’s future is at the mercy of our fingertips. We no longer depend on media outlets to get to the heart of what’s really going on – we are living in a new age where digital people power is uniting and setting us free. The proof is in the pudding 🙂
To the Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald – it’s simple – we want more compassion from the government and we want our future back. All Australians want to have confidence that the ‘future Australia’ we are promised and vote for is the landscape we experience.
We look forward to joining you on the streets in August.
– Love Your Mother
If you would like to read our letters re March In March coverage head here:
Letter #1 to Sydney Morning Herald
Letter #2 to Sydney Morning Herald responding to Jacqueline Maley’s article.
Media Watch Coverage of Letter: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3970592.htm
PS: Below is a series of testimonials from an independent March Australia instagram account – For full comments head to @marchaustralia or view them here:
projectofevolution The Ferals???….. I was at the march yesterday & saw nothing but passionate Australians uniting for each other & the future. There was laughter, jokes, chatting & chants amongst the marchers but the scene printed on that page is not even representative of what the vibe was like. Once again an inaccurate portrayal by the media desperate to portray the battlers as antisocial… So far from the truth.
bradmullins_hairI was there yesterday with friends . I was proud to be part of a such a peaceful march . It was a great cross section of young , old , creative , intelligent , passionate people . If the people there were considered ferals than I’m happy to be one. @marchaustralia
lautrichienneI took part at #marchaustralia in Melbourne on Sunday, and did not notice any disturbance or violence. The entire rally and march was so extremely well behaved, ironically I was rather worried that the march would be ridiculed as a Sunday stroll of middle class families not leaving a lasting impression (meaning that the anger and frustration over the cuts would not be communicated as powerful as it should) on media and onlookers. Although later the Federation Square was immensely crowded and speeches were emotionalising, people maintained a very civilised attitude. The interesting thing about the@dailytelegraph‘s attempts at manipulation is that 20 years ago it could have worked. Yesterday there were just too many people taking pictures and filming the whole entirely peaceful rally.
lewis_macmasterI found March in March an Inspirational event
freedomcyclistThe people, the spirit, the purpose that was us, the mass, yesterday … well done to all you amazing organisers yesterday xx
zeldateaIt was an amazing experience,power to the people!
dougie_schofieldThe people I encountered were all incredibly nice, good hearted, well behaved people. I found the spirit and energy of the speeches to one of frustration and passion (understandably), and the march was happy, respectful and peaceful. As for the purpose, due to our current government, we have purpose to march every single day.
samma_j Sydney march there were people of all ages, I was especially surprised at the amount of older Australians but so proud to see them participating and sticking up for their rights! It was a peaceful environment full of passion! I took plenty of videos, particularly to show the positive nature, heaps of families, people having picnics, instruments, music and dancing because I knew the tele would find a way to spin it. Yesterday really showed the diverse range of citizens upset at the government. Best bit was all the cars driving past beeping and tapping their roof in support and recording it on their phones.
staceylove444I was at the Sydney march yesterday (and the one in March) and was filled with gratitude, I even shed a tear or two… People from all walks of life coming together to stand up for what’s right. I had my 8 month old baby with me and we saw nothing but love, compassion & kindness. Couldn’t have been prouder to be a part of something so important.
johnnoboy65It was a wonderful human affair – all walks of life represented. Shame on any media that presented it as otherwise.