Welcome to the Schapelle Corby Media project. The rationale for the project and the objectives of the project are detailed on our introductory page.

The need for such an initiative is evident from even a cursory examination of the media publications and broadcasts over a number of years. Equally, serious criticism of the Australian media is now widespread and international. The YouTube film embedded on the front page for example was produced in the United Kingdom. A similar film has recently been produced in the United States.

Even Civil Liberties Australia (CLA) have commented: "The real story is how a young powerless woman is being imprisoned for a crime that she probably had nothing to do with. But the Australian media have become her persecutor"

Neither is it a question of the odd rogue article or broadcast: it has been systematic. We have seen countless examples of unsubstantiated allegations and in some cases outright lies. We have seen widescale censorship, in the form of hard news stories being completely ignored.

For any ethical journalist this is deeply disturbing. The fact that it has continued for so long reflects upon the profession as a whole.

The project will investigate and examine all aspects of this. It will probe the origins, explore the nature of editorial policy, examine the role and motives of individual scribes, and expose many of the specific smears and abuses.

It will seek and expose truth: truth being a pre-requisite to even begin to address this sorry situation. The project is essentially a service to journalism itself.

Tranche 1:
Fairfax Media Limited, News Corporation, AAP, Seven Network, Nine Network, ABC, Ten Network.

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Monday, March 2, 2009


On our project introduction page we published the six-part opinion management process cited by the 'Burying The Truth, Burying Schapelle Corby' video film:

Within this, the second step of the process is described thus:

["Routinely refer to her as "Convicted drug smuggler, Schapelle Corby"... as though the wholly discredited show trial had some sort of credibility.
EFFECT: This connotation invokes powerful negative imagery in the public mind, re-enforced consistently by repetition."]
Scholars of media influence and branding techniques will understand that the impact of this upon the human psyche over a period of time cannot be over-emphasized in a case like this one. It suggests validity where there is little, and it consistently associates Schapelle Corby in a wholly negative sense with drug smuggling.

But has this particular step of the overall media process been applied through pro-active choice? Or simply by accident or via poor quality journalism? How widely has the phrase actually been used in mainstream reporting?

When describing Schapelle Corby in a textual context, there are countless terms and phrases that could in fact be employed. For example:
"Imprisoned Australian, Schapelle Corby"
"Wrongly convicted, Schapelle Corby"
"Human rights abuse victim, Schapelle Corby"
"27 year old Schapelle Corby"
Or perhaps plain and simple "Schapelle Corby".

The possibilities are endless, and of course span supportive, damaging and neutral terminology.

For a single publication to select the term "Convicted drug smuggler, Schapelle Corby" from all the options available and then repeat it for years, almost by rote, is more than suspicious. For almost the entire mainstream media of Australia to adopt exactly the same phrase is rather more serious.

I recently undertook some research into this aspect using the JournOz archive database. The results were staggering. However, to present this in public via a trusted third party archive database, albeit a much smaller one, I simply used Google News:
  • A search on the phrase "Convicted drug smuggler, Schapelle Corby" reveals 357 published returns (1,680 without the quotes).

  • A search on "Human rights abuse victim, Schapelle Corby" reveals 0 published returns.

  • A search on "Imprisoned Australian, Schapelle Corby" reveals 2 published returns.

  • A search on "Wrongly convicted, Schapelle Corby" reveals 0 published returns.

  • A search on "27 year old Schapelle Corby" reveals 0 published returns (ditto 28, 29, 30 and 31).
The search terms themselves are simply illustrative, but the actual search results clearly demonstrate the point. This is also just one of a number of analytical approaches I adopted, all of which indicated exactly the same pattern.

A key aspect here is to look at the wide range of Australian media organs using precisely the same starkly accusing phrase: Melbourne Herald Sun, News.com.au, Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Regional Online, The Australian, Radio Australia, The Age, The West Australian, Livenews.com.au, Cairns Post - this list just goes on and on.

Presumably they would all suggest that they all chose to routinely use the exact same phrase ["Convicted drug smuggler, Schapelle Corby"], with its hugely harmful and negative connotations, by a coincidence of monumental proportions.

But the real world doesn't work like that. Statistically, this is no coincidence: it is outside the parameters of mere random chance. And again it surely raises questions regarding the sort of agenda adherence or orchestration suggested by the Global Protest Censorship Case.

It is extremely disturbing.


The media video which I have posted above outlines the broad process which has been evident in this case for some years.

That film was produced in the United Kingdom. This week, however, another video has emerged, this time from the United States. This tackles the blatant Sydney Morning Herald smear and many other specific media fuelled myths:

Such is the volume of this type of grossly misleading material, its sustained nature, and its grave implications for a human life, that I rather suspect there will be many more investigative films appearing in the future.




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