there’s currently a debate raging on twitter regarding the sunday star times choosing to have judith collins as a columnist. giovanni tiso and others have been encouraging people to cancel their subscriptions to the paper, in protest.
the response has been the usual. there are claims that this is censorship. even though the choice to not purchase a product that no longer appeals to you is hardly censorship. the SST is a commercial media that works on the capitalist model of free market consumerism. their objective is to sell enough papers that they bring in significant revenue for their shareholders via subscriptions or advertising. they use this framework to their advantage, and in fact promote this model in various ways through columns, articles and advertising. but somehow, a legitimate part of this model, being the market (ie consumers) correcting for things it considers unworthy or unwanted, is seen as bad when it is applied to the paper & its editorial choices.
other opinions are that this is just a way to silence any opinions from right-wing commentators:
Twitter says newspaper can't have Right Wing columnist. Yawn. Hello? Anybody home?
— Patrick Gower (@patrickgowernz) December 7, 2014
because having an MP columnist who has been involved in some very questionable activities that have yet to be fully investigated equals “right wing columnist”? there have been plenty of take downs of mr gower’s misrepresentation, & that of other journalists who have been busy giving examples of previous sitting MPs who have had columns in various papers.
i personally don’t subscribe to the SST and never have. i was given the opportunity to have a free 6 week delivery of the paper a few years ago, but i rang up and cancelled that. my objection was that they continued to publish michael laws’ columns, even after press council rulings against him for some pretty nasty stuff, and i wasn’t going to let them boost their numbers to advertisers on the basis of free deliveries to me. the fact is that they were pushing on to me a product that i didn’t want. i was perfectly within my rights to refuse it, and to do so does not equal censorship.
the facts also are that there are plenty (and i do mean plenty) of right-wing columnists in many papers who do not calls for people to stop their subscriptions. it’s not the right-wing views that are at issue here, it’s the person delivering them and her history. can we at least be honest about that?