(PRWEB) March 27, 2009
The ethical journalist portal, JournOz.Com, has launched a detailed investigation into the reporting and activities of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) with respect to Schapelle Corby. The portal, which is committed to maintaining ethical and honest journalism, recently created a project to examine what it describes as "the worst excesses in Australian journalistic history" regarding general media coverage of the case in Australia. The ABC initiative is an investigation within the wider project.
JournOz is one of the oldest media related portals on the internet, with a stated mission to promote ethical journalism. With respect to the media campaign against Schapelle Corby, it states that "The name of Australian journalism is dragged through the gutter and the profession of journalism is justifiably castigated". Further, it has promised to investigate editorial control, specific journalists, particular stories, government role, and financial benefits.
In 2005, Schapelle Corby was sentenced to an unprecedented 20 years in an Indonesian prison cell, for importation of marijuana, following one of the most contentious cases of modern times. To this day she maintains her innocence, with observers, humanitarian and human rights support groups urging her release. A recent film (http://www.schapelle.net/videos.html) cites many of the disturbing aspects of the case, including the refusal of the court to test the drugs for country of origin, the subsequent burning of the untested drugs, the presumption of guilt, and the much lesser value of the drugs in Indonesia than in the country of alleged export, Australia.
In the opening article of its investigation, JournOz discussed the ABC's remarkable alignment with the government's hastily adjusted position on Schapelle Corby, following what it calls "astonishing government backed statements made by AFP Commissioner Keelty, which sent such damaging signals (for Schapelle Corby) to the Indonesian regime in May 2005". It also explains the government's rapidly deteriorating political relationship with Indonesia at the time, which is often cited as the catalyst which prompted it to adopt such a contentious position regarding one of its own citizens.
The introduction also provided a specific example of apparent censorship: of the global support protest for Schapelle Corby, which was presented to the United Nations last week and which was the first of its kind for an Australian in the history of that nation. Following a tip-off, a JournOz representative had sent full details and photographs to ABC News within hours of the UN delivery, to evidence that their complete lack of coverage of this historical event was not due to an oversight.
The second article in the investigative series goes much further. It graphically presents the overall methodology used, embracing External Media Management, Cultural Intrusion and News Management. Each is illustrated and evidenced with specific examples of previous ABC activity. These include the false allegations last year, for which ABC was forced to apologize: "Lateline apologises for a story aired last month with evidence suggesting that Schapelle Corby's father, the Late Michael Corby Senior was involved in the drug trade." (http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2356903.htm).
Rach James, of the Schapelle.Net web portal described the latest article as a breakthrough: "The media campaign has been obvious for years, as has the Australian government's sale of Schapelle Corby's human rights for political stability. To actually see the process in graphical format though should open many more eyes to what has been going on there."
She continued: "This poor girl has been dispensed with for political expediency, and the media have been used as a tool to cover up the tracks. Those tracks though are starting to emerge through the grime of the lies and innuendo which have covered them".
JournOz promises to expose more in future articles, as a "service to ethical journalism". Ms James though is more concerned with the immediate term: "Schapelle is an innocent who has now suffered almost 5 years of hell, struggling just to survive on a daily basis. How much more must she endure before her own government fulfils its obligations to protect her? The recent protest demonstrated that increasing numbers of people from across the world are absolutely appalled by this ongoing cruelty, and demand her release without delay."
The latest development from the ABC investigation can be viewed on the following web page:
Schapelle.net is a Web site dedicated to the Schapelle Corby case. It provides resources and information to help those who are willing to assist or help. For further information, including details of the case itself see: http://www.schapelle.net/faq.html