Monday 19 July 2021

 Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

19 July   2021


Media’s Soul


We quote from time to time Comment is free, but facts are sacred.” The source is British Journalist C P Scott:


[In a 1921 essay marking the Manchester Guardian's centenary (at which time he had served nearly fifty years as editor), Scott put down his opinions on the role of the newspaper. He argued that the "primary office" of a newspaper is accurate news reporting, saying "comment is free, but facts are sacred". Even editorial comment has its responsibilities: "It is well to be frank; it is even better to be fair". A newspaper should have a "soul of its own", with staff motivated by a "common ideal": although the business side of a newspaper must be competent, if it becomes dominant the paper will face "distressing consequences".] Wikipedia

I believe that it is the soul power of a public medium that carries it to the needy who are the ultimate destination of media’s work. Hence the need for a soul. To my mind this means when a medium is independent – its work gets carried by the Universal power of truth to the needy – globally and into the future.

On 10 July, I wrote to our Premier Ms Berejiklin:

[We are over 70 and have not seen our grandchildren in two months. We have not pushed for early vaccination but are awaiting our turn. With all those adjustments – I was upset to note that during today’s media briefing, your group did not follow their parallels of these stricter lockdown rules. What was the need for that group to be physically present with members of your government who are expected to lead by example?  Could you not have done it online? Some were asking questions – such as about modelling that had the effect of diluting the focus on the importance to ‘stay at home’.]

I wrote as a caring citizen who followed the rules without questioning the logic of it. Effectively, through my belief, I empower the government exponentially. The presumption of innocence principle states  that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. This is true only if the person finding fault believes in the law / rule through which s/he finds fault. The duty of the junior is therefore to take the law/rule/officer  as right until ‘proven’ otherwise. Hence it is an offence to resist arrest by a police officer. The word ‘proven’ confirms that evidence is needed by an authority to find a person guilty. Until then as per the above principle, one cannot find fault with a person except through due process of law. Due processes are the pathways through which common ideals of the past are shared with current owners of the system. Within a system,  a current owner therefore has no authority to find rights or wrongs with Due Processes. Then belief invokes the Universal powers we need. Through my own experience I believe that this works but I do not know how.

In the case of Covid restrictions the confirmation came through the Daily Telegraph report that Premier Gladys Berejiklian was without a face mask as she collected coffee in Sydney on Sunday. This meant that the Telegraph became my medium to give the same message I did through my letter of 10 July.

This morning I was directed through Dr Thurairaja’s Tweet  to BBC report ‘Coronavirus doctor's diary: Unvaccinated patients with many regrets’:

[As in many other hospitals, the number of patients being treated for Covid-19 in Bradford Royal Infirmary is sharply rising. About half of them had chosen not to be vaccinated, says Dr John Wright - which many now deeply regret.

"I was offered the vaccine, but I was arrogant," says Faisal Bashir, a super-fit 54-year-old.

"I was going to the gym, cycling, walking and running. Given that I was strong and healthy I didn't think I needed it. That also meant that if it turned out not to be safe I wouldn't have taken any risks.

"But the truth was that I couldn't avoid the virus. It still got me. I don't know how or where."

Faisal, who was discharged on Wednesday after a week in hospital receiving oxygen, is keen to warn others not to make his mistake.

"What I've experienced in hospital - the care and expertise - humbles me," he says.

"People are filling the hospitals by taking chances and it's wrong. I feel terrible. I feel so bad about it and I hope by speaking out it helps others avoid this."

He is one of the fourth wave of Covid patients in Bradford Royal Infirmary. Last month the number of patients in the hospital with Covid was down to single figures, for the first time since last summer. This week it is heading towards 50, as the Delta variant conquers all before it.]


I shared my experience as follows:


[Getting everyone vaccinated is important to the government. This is what our Australian government 'tells' us. My husband and I are 71 years old but through due process we have not had our vaccines yet. The 'gap' is due to double standards]


A couple of hours later, our local medical clinic contacted my husband and said that there was a slot available for tomorrow. My husband could not take it because the time clashed with his classes. We ended up firming up that time for me. How did that happen? I believe it was due to my genuine participation through due processes. I don’t need to ‘prove’ how it happened. Those who believe in me will know that it happened due to my genuine contribution

My media work has its own soul.

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