Vexnews: ‘what journalism should be’

Posted on August 19, 2010 by

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In fellow electioneerer Fraser Allison’s recent blog a range of ‘tools’ were proposed to assist the less ‘policy-inclined’ voter to decide who will earn their support in the upcoming federal election. I am writing to add one more source to that list, indeed the only source worth consulting in order to objectively weigh up your options at the ballot box this Saturday: that of course is Vexnews.com – the home of fair, balanced and scrupulously researched political commentary.

Unlike mainstream newspapers such as Melbourne’s The Age, which the website describes as openly and ‘lovingly embracing’ the Greens, Vexnews is passionately non-partisan, guided by three steadfast principles: ‘Speaking truth to power. Afflicting the comfortable. Comforting the afflicted’. One need not delve deeply into Vexnews’ archives to see such a philosophy playing out. Take the website’s current feature articles, for example: ‘Abbott says he doesn’t get enough sex from wife’, it reads in bold, imposing letters. Follow the link and it reveals a positively damning article about a gaff Abbott made back in 2007, where he admitted suffering ‘far too much abstinence’ in his marriage.

Vexnews’ coverage of Labor’s campaign is equally uncompromising. ‘Julia Gillard once embraced “lesbian lifestyle” as student leader’, reads a headline dated 16th August. True to its ethical code, the article goes on to affirm that Gillard did not ever, in fact, ‘bat for the other side’, but was rather ‘closely aligned’ with the lesbian political movement during her time at the helm of the Australian Union of Students. Phew. For a second there I thought she might actually have a hidden agenda of supporting same-sex marriage!

It is with regard to the Greens, though, where Vexnews really shows its journalistic integrity. In a piece on 3rd August, the Liberal party is castigated for potentially assisting the ‘extreme-left doom-boosting militant Greens’ to win their first lower house seat through preference deals. Vexnews does not shy away from putting to the public just what this would mean for the safety of Australia’s democracy: ‘death taxes’, stripping away billions of dollars from independent (i.e., private) schools, ‘the closure of Australian zoos’ and other such radical, industry-crippling initiatives. In more specific terms, it rightly warns against the impact ‘recently outed…Marxist’ Adam Bandt could have if he is successful in his campaign to enter the lower house – that is, if his previous attempts to incite ‘global communist revolution’ are anything to go by.

So, if you are still undecided who to vote for this Saturday; if you are looking for something which reaches beyond the facade of stage managed politics that has become the order of the day this election, then have a careful look through Vexnews’ archives. You will almost certainly find something there you didn’t know before.

Words – Dylan Bird

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Posted in: Comment, Dylan Bird