A couple emails from listeners to start the show off, and then Samuel explains why the electoral advertising blackout should be a blanket ban, not just for broadcast media.
Tomorrow: Poll analysis and predictions
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As this episode is an interview and therefore not scripted, the transcript follows.
Welcome to Editorial Echoes for November 23, 2007, I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart.
A couple emails to start us off today.
Josie writes, “Another smear campaign in the Liberal party, surely enough is enough”. Well Josie, if it’s enough to turn you against the coalition, then so be it, but in my view the pamphlet farce has been appropirately dealt with. Three people have been expelled from the Liberal party over the juvenile smear campaign, and I don’t believe the Liberal MP who is the wife of one of the people behind the pamphlets deserves to be punished for her husband’s actions…but that’s for her electorate to decide tomorrow, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is a bit nervous.
Tom writes “I thought you said the journalist you were going to have on the show was on Four Corners last week. I didn’t spot James Goodwin on Four Corners.” Tom, I knew someone would say that. There were hundreds of Journalists on Four Corners last week, most of them in the background. James had a short spoken role, he was filmed on the Kevin Rudd media bus talking on a mobile phone to somebody, presumably reporting on the day’s events for 2GB. It was only a small spot, but I can assure you that he was there.
On to the editorial for the day and this political advertising blackout that started yesterday. But I got it wrong, I thought it was a real political advertising blackout…but it’s not, it’s only a blackout on the so-called licenced spectrum, the broadcasters, radio and television. Newspapers, the Internet and letterboxes can continue to be deluged by political ads, whilst the broadcasters miss out on three days of lucrative advertising dollars.
I think the advertising blackout is a great idea, it gives people the two days before the election, and the day of the election itself, to allow the dust to settle and decide for themselves without the vapid promises and noisy ranting of the advertising getting in the way. It’s a good chance to separate fact from fiction, but to limit it to only the broadcasters is utterly ridiculous.
Admittedly the broadcast ads are more intrusive as they just sort of pop in to your life and make annoying noises about why all the other candidates are horrible and nasty and awful, and the advertised candidate is wonderful, and almost without fail they are followed by three competing ads with the same content but the names in a slight different place. It may be harder to get rid of broadcast ads when they appear than it is to throw a pamphelt away or scribble over an ad in the newspaper, but they are still as annoying…and in the case of some Internet ads, even moreso, because you might be trying to read an online article and all of a sudden a politician starts dancing around your screen. It’s just downright annoying.
I support the advertising blackout, but it needs to be regulated properly. Quite simply, no political advertising should be allowed on the two days prior, and the day of, the election. Not on TV, radio, printed media, in your letterbox, on the Internet, sky writing, billboards or any other way they can think of. The two exceptions to this would have to be the how to vote cards, unless we ban them too, and the websites of the politicians. Those websites, technically at least, are advertising for electoral purposes, but they’re an important resource for policy information, and should not be banned.
Everything else is a mere annoyance in the days leading up to the election, it makes the analysis of the election more diffcult for voters, and should be banned.
Regardless of who gets in to power, if they are serious about the democratic process, they will make the advertising blackout a true blackout, by banning it from more than just the broadcasters.
This has been Editorial Echoes for November 23, 2007, as usual the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org for any feedback, and join me tomorrow for an analysis of the polls, who I think will win, where I will be turning for election coverage on the night, and if I decide to reveal it, who I will be voting for.
I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart, enjoy your day, if you’re still unsure of your vote then please consider it very carefully, and I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Until then, tada.