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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      The Truth Behind 'The Hidden Truth'

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      How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes

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Name: The Ethical Journalist

Wednesday, June 17, 2009



I have received a number of emails recently suggesting that I should investigate the ABC Board. I fully intend to look at this area in due course, but in the meantime I had a quick scratch of the surface.

Readers will recall that part 2 of our investigation cited the astonishing ABC MediaWatch broadcast of 30th May 2005. This was a ferocious and sustained attack on other media organs, whilst defending the Indonesian regime which had so seriously breached Ms Corby's human rights. It appeared to be a very clear and open message to the Australian media regarding the requisite nature of future Schapelle Corby reporting.

Straight out of the blocks was a journalist called Janet Albrechtsen, who two days later, produced a shocking piece in The Australian newspaper laced with open hostility to Schapelle Corby, and defending the Indonesian regime, astonishingly referring to "defensible positions taken by democratic governments to deal with perceived problems". Accusing many Australians of "overdosing on compassion", her position could not have been more stark.

The Australian newspaper is a News Corporation publication. With their significant investments and presence in Indonesia, this is perhaps the sort of disturbing story which might be expected to align with News Corp's general editorial stance on this issue.

But wait, Janet Albrechtsen?

Yes, the same Janet Albrechtsen who had been appointed to the governing board of the ABC by Prime Minister John Howard shortly before Schapelle Corby's imprisonment.

You might wish to read that last sentence again. You did read it correctly.


Amongst the general vitriol, Ms Albrechtsen did produce one noteworthy remark: "it may damage Australia's relationship with Indonesia". That relationship was indeed under severe threat.

This insight into the ABC's thinking, at Board level, is extremely interesting. As referenced in part 1 of our investigation the Australian government values that relationship higher than Schapelle Corby's human rights, with the apparent ABC led media campaign in support of this policy emerging simultaneously.

Ms Albrechtsen's comment demonstrates clear knowledge of the political dimension in play. Having been appointed by the government, this is perhaps not surprising. But dropping a direct reference like that amongst the general hostility to Schapelle Corby certainly is surprising, as it illustrates openly what was going through her mind at the very point in time at which the hostile media campaign actually began to unfold in earnest.

[Note that Janet Albrechtsen is still a member of the ABC Board.]


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