CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Just days out from Australia’s ‘Indigenous Voice To Parliament’ referendum and Australia’s biggest media companies remain as committed as ever to avoiding any in-depth coverage of the proposal.
As newspapers around the country provide readers with double page spreads explaining the complex history of the Gaza conflict this week, even the most unengaged voters have realised that the Indigenous Voice has not been given anywhere near the same focus.
The opportunity to keep Australians in the dark about this has been embraced by both the Nine Newspapers and their chairman, former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello, and the NewsCorp rags that belong to the same multi-billionaire media family that gifted the world Fox News and Donald Trump.
This intentionally vague coverage of a major moment in Australian history has only given rise to flat-earther levels of misinformation on social media, as Australians fall victim to conspiracy theories in their desperate search for answers.
Even the ABC, terrified of the wrath of the Murdoch commentators, have dedicated the vast majority of their referendum coverage to obsessively following the sensationalist and inconsistent rollercoaster of Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine – two NO campaigners who have explained nothing in their efforts to lower the standard of political debate to never-before-seen depths.
In the final week of this misinformation vortex, a vast number of Australians are still asking ‘Just tell me what the fuck this is?’
In short, the Voice To Parliament Referendum is an opportunity for Australians to decide whether we include Indigenous people in our nation’s passport-sized constitution – it’s also a referendum to decide whether we should allow Indigenous people the opportunity to have a ‘Voice’ in our parliament.
So basically, a room in Parliament House for Indigenous elders and community leaders to convene – and for politicians to visit if they have any idea they would like to run by the Indigenous community, or questions they would like to ask about cultural protocol or lived experiences.
However, even allowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into Parliament House as an advisory body is too much for Australia’s conservative media and political classes – who would rather nuke this entire referendum than ever share the halls of power with ‘them’.
They are also relishing in the opportunity to give Opposition leader Peter Dutton an easy win, after the Liberal Party lost over twenty seats at the last federal election.
It’s for this calculated lack of journalistic integrity, that one local Betoota grandmother is now learning about the Indigenous Voice through a grainy JPG of the Prime Minister dressed as a 1940s Soviet Dictator, complete with an Aboriginal flag manipulated to include a hammer and sickle – with block letters detailing completely illogical conspiracy theories riddled with spelling errors.
“Ooh. I’m not sure about all of this” said Nan.
“Why is Bill Gates in this photo. How is he involved?”