13 NOVEMBER  2007






On 5, 6 and 7 November 2007  The Age  ran items supporting Freedom of Information. For this they should be congratulated excepting that their stance is only evidence of their hypocrisy. In any statement made by The Age  on Freedom of Information, it should attach a fundamental, proviso. They have held a position of freedom from information since the 1960s on the position and activities of strong supporters of Public Education and opposition to State Aid.

 The Age might moralise about Freedom of Information but when it comes to kow - towing to the Church School interest, they follow the policy of Freedom FROM information.

No-one should be fooled by The Age  when it occasionally publishes articles by opinion writers such as Catherine Deveny and Leslie Cannold. This does not mean to say that the DOGS aren't delighted to read the work of these  journalists.

An Australian Report on the Freedom of the Press by Irene Moss entitled The Report of the Independent Audit into State of Free Speech in Australia was published in early November 2007.  The Age  commented upon it in both an Editorial and the news pages. Both made  profound, fundamental points on the issue of freedom of information. No believer in the virtues of a genuinely liberal democracy could disagree with them. Consider the following:

  • Silence is suppression

  • Public interest is being eroded

  • Public's  right to know what is being done in its name is one of the cornerstones of a healthy democracy

  • The lure of political advantage increasingly trumps principles of democratic transparency

  • An erosion of (media freedom) being whittled away imperceptibly

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

 Like the Report, The Age pointed an accusing finger at the instruments of government as the real offenders in the manipulation of information in Australia. It failed to acknowledge the culpability of the print, radio or television media itself.

The DOGS have kept the record.

The Age and Freedom From Information since the 1960s

In an article entitled Press Bias: One Account from DOGS in the University of Melbourne student newspaper, Farrago

 June 19 1970, pp 11-12, DOGS  first alerted Melbourne readers to the policy of Freedom from Information adhered to by the major Melbourne newspapers. We quote:

The three biggest and dangerous hypocrites in Melbourne are The Herald, The Sun, and The Age. They violate Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: Everyone has the right of Freedom of Opinion and Expression: this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

They defile one of the basic assumptions on which a free Press should operate: ''The Press exists to supply the information which the public needs to make political decisions.'( A Free Press - The Times Literary Supplement of 18 November 1955....

How is it done you may ask? How does the Press form rather than inform? Consider some of the following as elements in the process of censorship:

  • Daily selection of news, exclusion, or minimum coverage of views contrary to those being pushed whilst

  • giving maximum coverage to those  being pushed (the politically correct ideology)

  • use of emotionally charged words

  • use of assertions in editorials, features and news items which are not supported by fact

The genius of this process is not in any single one of the above elements or their components but in the whole. If one element is to be chosen to be more important than the others, then it must be the process whereby censorship is done by snuffing out the arguments of those who are for State support of State schools only.

 Control of Information by the Age : Previous Years

DOGS refer readers to some of the Advertisements placed in the Age which we were forced to insert in order to inform the public:

The Age November 27, 1972; July 12, 1973, June 23, 1977; December 2, 1977; February 24, 1983; May 3, 1984; November 28, 1984; May 1, 1985; 30 August 1988; March 2, 1998.

Our members gave sacrificially so that the facts, figures and lack of public accountability concealed by church school interests,  governments and The Age could be recorded in the Press which failed to print them in the first place!

In the last two years, the DOGS inserted full page  Advertisements in the Age. These dealt with  the Victorian Government's Education legislation  ( April 26, 2005 and March 27, 2006).

 The above does not include DOGS various complaints to the Press Council. We decided in the 1980s that was a farcical exercise with a paper tiger.

So you see, since the 1960s DOGS have gained first hand knowledge about freedom of information and freedom from information. That is why we have this website and the 3CR program.

Control of Information by the Age: from August 2006 - November 2007.

Inquiry into Private School Funding: A Closed Shop.

Although the Age poses as a Freedom of Information newspaper, it could not find space to inform its readers about a closed inquiry regarding the giving of over $5 billion per annum of federal taxpayer's money to private church schools. The private schools were given a box seat at the inquiry while public schools were deliberately excluded. DOGS only discovered the existence of this enquiry because the Sydney Morning Herald found the  time and space on August  11, 2006 to run editorial on the question. DOGS quote:

To exclude outside participation makes the Inquiry look a partisan and biased operation, conducted for the benefit of one privileged group of schools at the expense of another, less privileged.

For further details of the selection and rejection of information by The Age see our Press Release No. 163 at www.adogs.infor/pr163.htm .

Secret Meetings Lead to Dumping of 35 Year Old ALP Needs Policy October 2007

DOGS invite readers to discover in The Age information regarding the Roman Catholic Church representatives - Cardinal Pell and other religious representatives - involved in the dumping of the 35 year old ALP Needs policy by Rudd and Smith. We cannot. This omission is extraordinary because one of the key proponents and supporters of the Needs Policy was The Age in the 1970s. We found background information on the religious networks and their wheeling and dealing in The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald.  For further information on this matter see our Press Release No. 224 at

The Strange Case of the Report: In the Balance: The Future of Australia's Primary Schools issued October 13, 2007.

For an understanding of this strange matter, readers can go to the following reports: Sydney Morning Herald October 16, 2007; ( Report Calls for School Funding Changes) and compare that report with two articles in The Age on October 17, 2007  ( God Beats Science in School Study) and October 22, 2007 ( Schools Buckle Under Demands)

The titles of the articles in The Age differ from that in the Sydney Morning Herald. They also differ in content and emphasis. The Herald article relates to school funding, Seven out of the first eight paragraphs deal with the need about and for information on school funding.

The Age October 17, 2007 is sourced from Anna Patty, a Sydney Morning Herald journalist. Yet it contains no reference to the need for funding information. The October 22, 2007 article contains 22 paragraphs. The 19th paragraph contains 32 words on transparency.

 There is a massive difference between the two newspapers on the issue of transparency in funding and the right to know what is happening with taxpayers' money.

The Even Stranger Case of  Howard's First Launch in Victoria for Federal Election 2007

After calling the election, Howard made his first launch in Victoria at a Roman Catholic secondary school, St. Joseph's College, Ferntree Gully. Who matters, who is more equal than equal to Howard? Yet DOGS had to go to the Daily Telegraph in New South Wales website on October 30, 2007 and the Courier Mail Queensland website of October 30, 2007, to discover an up front revelation of the place . There was no such revelation in The Age. It required memory and interpolation of two separate articles in The Age to discover that Howard's visit had occurred at St. Joseph's College Ferntree Gully. The article that mentioned St. Joseph's College did not mention Howard, and the article about Howard did not mention St. Joseph's College.

 In conclusion, since the 1960s the DOGS have found The Age a master of Freedom from Information on the Anti- State Aid issue and promotion of a free secular universal public education system. The pattern was set by Graham Perkin. How do we know this? We met with him and he told us that he would not give the DOGS a fair hearing. Subsequent editors have followed his lead.

When we read the Michelle Grattan article in The Age  November 7, 2007, p. 12, 'Secrecy, Spin, and The Right to Know  we can only shake our heads. DOGS have been at the Press game as long as Michelle Grattan and, in time, have discovered where some of the bodies are buried.

We can only wonder and grieve at the suspension of conscience of the fourth estate.





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Last modified:Monday, 12 November 2007