TEAM UZUNOV POLICY IS TO OPEN UP AUSTRALIA'S DEFENCE DEBATE.
Therefore, we encourage diversity of opinion on ths issue
The host of the ABC TV's Media Watch, Jonathan Holmes, responds to the TEAM UZUNOV story: ABC-Fairfax hissy fit at Afghan news.
MEDIA WATCH DEFENDS PAUL McGEOUGH
“ABC and Fairfax big name reporters spit the dummy over not being able to navigate through Afghan warzone without a helping hand from the ADF...”
Not on Media Watch, they didn’t. No ABC journalist was quoted complaining about ADF media policy on our program. Nor was ABC News. The only ‘big name journalist” who was quoted was Ian McPhedran, defence correspondent for News Ltd. And he was complaining about the lack of access to Australian troops on the ground, not about his inability to ‘navigate through Afghan warzones”.
The same complaint as John Martinkus makes in his New Matilda piece.
Paul McGeough, who you so snidely deride, has probably spent more time in the “Afghan war zone” – and in Iraq, for that matter – than any other Australian journalist – including you. The fact that he doesn’t have a military background is to my mind entirely irrelevant.
- Jonathan Holmes
TEAM UZUNOV RESPONSE:
PUT DEFENCE DEBATE TO THE PUBLIC
Thank your for your prompt and frank reply..
But asking Paul McGeough why he didnt volunteer for military service is highly relevant, much in the same way we would scrutinise medical doctors, mechanics, etc over their "qualifications."
The general public has an interest in the issue, which is why it keeps me in print and above the poverty-line! (freelanceer's attempt at humour!)
It only seems journalists without actual military experience who oppose such scrutiny. If it is irrelevant why not put it to the test? Why not ask the public?
Why do certain sections of the media, namely ABC Media Watch, avoid this issue? Is it because by opening up this debate to the public that big name reporters at the ABC will have their lucrative business of writing books and appearing on television threantened?
Furthermore, when McGeough refuses to answer the question put to him but then complains when politicians deny him information it is hypocritical. It is a case of wanting to have his cake and eat it too.
Mate (Jonathan Holmes), you're a big name ABC reporter and you sounded as though you were upset at the ADF denying reporters info....Therefore my story is correct...
I can supply you previously published stories with quotes from your former colleagues Chris Masters and Max Uechtritz and their "views" on military service....
MEDIA WATCH (Jonathan Holmes): News Ltd is not the same as Fairfax. Or hadn’t you noticed?
TEAM UZUNOV: I wasnt focusing on News Ltd but Fairfax.... You're forgetting Cynthia Banham's gabfest at ANU..
A WORD FROM JO PUCCINI, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF MEDIA WATCH:
Thanks for your email Sasha. I appreciate your perspective.