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5:13 PM
The Manningham Leader newspaper has been taken captive by the Council.

I have been told that the Manningham Leader newspaper receives funding from the Manningham Council. This would explain why the Manningham Leader newspaper is little more than the public relations arm of the Manningham Council.

I find that far more critical and informative articles on local issues can be found in the Melbourne Weekly newpaper. And this is despite the fact that the Melbourne Weekly addresses issues from many different councils.


Our own local master of spin.

The Manningham Leader newspaper predictably and regularly falls into line behind council policy. I find that it regularly promotes council policy, overlooks council shortcomings and defends council decisions.

I find that it also regularly 'spins' stories to put the council in the most favourable light possible.


Reporting of the council, for the council.

A good example of how it promotes council policy to the point where their reporters ignore anything that would undermine the council agenda can be found in this article, which appeared on page 5 of the May 15, 2013 issue of the Manningham leader.

Notice how the Manningham Leader reports that people in the state ALP opposition lament the fact that the state Liberal government has 'all but abandoned' the Doncaster Rail project.

Manningham Leader 15May2013 page 5

Wait a minute!

Just who abandoned what?

The state Labor opposition is upset that the Doncaster Rail project is stalled? 

Labor themselves have shut this project down, ignored it, sold off it's land or simply prevented it at every opportunity they had in the past. And they have done this for their own well-researched reasons.

For instance:

  • The Hamer Liberal government purchased land for the rail line. It was the Cain Labor government turned it's back on the Doncaster Rail Line and around 1984 actually sold off land reserved for the Doncaster Rail Line.

  • In the 1990's the Doncaster Rail was considered by the Kirner Labor government. Professor E. W. Russell, who has over the years provided valued research to several Victorian Labor governments, found the Doncaster Rail line "desirable but too expensive".

  • In 2008 the Brumby Labor government ignored the Doncaster Rail project and decided to instead focus on developing Melbourne's freeway system.


This news article folks, is what is called cherry-picking the facts then spinning each individual cherry.

The Manningham Leader will report that the State Labor opposition is disappointed that the Doncaster Rail is apparently not going ahead. They do this because this supports the council cause.

The same reporters then simply ignore the long history of state ALP opposition to the Doncaster Rail line. Why? Because if they mention it, people would think there are some good reasons for not going ahead with the rail line. And this would not help the council's cause.

This is quite pathetic reporting.

The Manningham Leader is not really a newspaper that helps you understand the issues. It is more an exercise in 'people farming'.

We need intelligent, critical, accurate, circumspect, fact-based reporting. Not this selective reporting and spinning of information which distorts the issues and distorts the debate.


27 May 2013.

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