Interview - Scott Balson: Author of Murder by Media

I/V: Scott Balson: Journalist & Author: Murder by Media: 28th April 2003

What's your background?

I was born and raised in Tanzania and went to school in S Africa. I immigrated to Australia in 1986 to come to the "lucky country". I have had my own business, Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd, since 1991, see

In 1986 I established the first on-line daily newspaper which ran for five years and beat Packer and Murdoch by at least three years.. My main business is the development of web pages for small business.

What do you think about freedom of the press, or lack thereof in Australia, and why?

There are only two families who enjoy real freedom of speech, and one of them is not even Australian. How sad. Freedom of the press in Australia is a misnomer as the press and its entire operation is controlled, with an iron fist, by these two families.

What is the worst case of trial my media that you know of?

Trial by media takes place all the time. As one who has personally faced this Australian phenomenon I can assure you that it is not pleasant being verbally bullied by a quasi-government institution especially as you have little or no recourse through a rich man's judicial system.

To answer your question, I would suggest that the current pursuit of our Governor-General is one of the most stark examples of a media beat-up to suit the agenda of a few powerful men. One has to look no further than the cover up surrounding "shreddergate" - a uniquely Queensland phenomenon to understand how sick and biased the Australian media is. This issue which, if pursued, would see heads roll in Queensland's state government has been covered up by our local media.


What do you think about "chequebook journalism"?

Depends on who is getting paid and what for. If it forms some sort of compensation for someone who has been duded by the system - no probs. If it is a payment to some "sicko" whose outrageous behavior lands in financial reward then it is wrong - but typifies the sensationalizing way the Australian media works.

Did 60 minutes do the right thing, and how was Tara Brown's "performance"?

Who's Tara Brown? I don't watch 60 Minutes. It is an appalling current affairs show with glitzy presenters, a dishonest producer (see the book "MURDER BY MEDIA" and biased reports wrapped up as the truth.

In reflection, it is an excellent example of Australian reporting.

Who are Australia best reporters?

They no longer work for the two media barons - because they have credibility. Most write books today while others are serving breakfasts at McDonalds.

What has the internet done for you?

Certainly changed my life in more ways than you could imagine - and would take several books to fully document! That's all I have time for now mate.


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