Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

HomeIssue 22Snowdon's new career as Groucho Marx impersonator?

Snowdon's new career as Groucho Marx impersonator?

Slags off at all local media except the ABC which gets funding increase.
“Really the ABC is the only news outlet that’s got the capacity or the interest it seems to make sure we the rest of Australia understands what’s happening here.”
So said Labor candidate for Lingiari Warren Snowdon, announcing a $222,000 top-up (with taxpayers’ money) to the existing budget of $10m (in taxpayers’ money) for the ABC in Central Australia.
So, as a journalist for 39 years in this region, and a worker in one of the media that are neither interested in, nor capable of, reporting adequately from this region, as Mr Snowdon sees it, let me return the compliment.
Without a cent of public funding, I have produced thousands of TV and newspaper reports for all major Australian and many overseas networks and publications. I founded an independent newspaper that has now, in its 20th year, morphed into an online medium with more than 50,000 page views a month. Of these many are from interstate and overseas.
Kieran Finnane was with the News then as a founding journalist. She has 25 years in The Centre behind her and also writes regularly for prestigious national publications. We don’t need Mr Snowdon’s approval.
On the other hand Mr Snowdon’s role  as the Member for our area in the Federal Parliament for three decades (except for the occasional stint with the Central Land Council) is nothing to be proud of: he must bear part of the responsibility for governments not understanding “what’s happening here” and so contributing to untold deaths and misery with their destructive policies in which he either had a hand, or stood by idly.
Billions of dollars later, after a generation of Mr Snowdon’s “representation” in the nation’s capital, that portion of the population for with the Commonwealth has responsibility is widely in despair, wretched poverty, sickness, steeped in crime and without hope for a decent future. They are the often quoted shame of the nation.
We have had a professional relationship with Mr Snowdon for a long time but it deteriorated at the same time as his following in the bush dropped away, and his erstwhile constituents began looking to the Alice Springs News to get the answers they were not getting from him.
As the stonewalling by Mr Snowdon had gone on for some two years I raised the issue with one of his Alice Springs based aides, himself an occasional political candidate, at the Alice Springs Show this year.
Addressing a face with a blank stare, I said, words to the effect: We’ve made around a dozen requests for comment or responses for months now. We don’t get any replies from Mr Snowdon. We want to have a good professional relationship with him, but it’s now up to him to agree to that. Mr Snowdon did not give a reply.
So, if he holds his seat tomorrow, he will continue his pathetic presence. In Opposition he will be even more irrelevant. NT Senator Nigel Scullion – an admirer of Mal Brough – will be the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. His mammoth task will be the social black hole left by Mr Snowdon in The Centre.
Maybe Nova Perris can pick up the Labor baton dropped by Snowdon all these years ago.
If Snowdon doesn’t make it tomorrow, there may still be time for a career change – as a Groucho Marx impersonator.


  1. “Yeh”, flick off his hat give the man a cigar! Aaah come to think of it, lets not! Lets hope the voices of Lingiari that made their presence known so forcefully in the Territories Election take the same stick to a Federal Member who has taken their vote for granted for so long, inflicting a chip on the shoulder, us against them policy of isolation that has been an unmitigated disaster for all, time to tear those attitudes down! Time for everybody to work at bringing the peoples of Lingiari into today’s world as equal and productive citizens.


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