Lazy Luddite Log

23.11.07

Media Hits & Misses

Getting your message into the media is always a challenge for minor party campaigners. One of the exceptions to this for all candidates is the provision in local papers of space for supporting statements. This is the one bit of media coverage a candidate can be sure of getting (assuming they get it in on time and under the word limit - 50 words in this case). Here is mine from the local Leader papers (the question was relating to what voters wanted):

Voters want secure jobs and decent funding for education, health and public transport. They want better management of our environment.

They also want more compassion exercised towards marginalised groups like refugees and Indigenous Australians.

Finally, voters want limits on government power, which the Australian Democrats are best placed to achieve.


The Australian Democrats have been getting better media this election than last time round but it has still been the kind of "blink and you miss it" kind of coverage. We have compensated somewhat for this by using member and supporter donations to pay for advertisements. We have an ad in The Age today for instance. However we had to be selective in that spending so we lack (for instance) an ad in the Herald-Sun (which has much better circulation and can therefore charge more for space). With that in mind I made a last-minute pitch for some free coverage in the form of a letter to the editor. It was far too politically partisan to get published however. I will finish off by 'publishing' it here...

The Democrats have as many senators as the Nationals or Greens, but that could change after Saturday. Their focus on policy nitty gritty is far from exciting, and a resulting lack of publicity could translate into too few votes.

If the Democrats go, then we lose a party that pushes whoever is in power to improve laws for all Australians, focusing on evidence and debate, rather than political doctrine. Senator Lyn Allison does much to defend our quality-of-life, an effort we may only notice if she is not re-elected.


Errata

I was mistaken. I assumed that my letter (submitted Thursday) would be published on Friday if it was published at all. However it was in fact published in the Herald-Sun on Election Day with only one wording change - replacing "Saturday" with "today". This impresses and surprises me. It was a very timely letter to get published on that historic day (a topic which I will discuss sometime soon)...

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