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Media Watch -

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(generated from captions) since World War II. by a real estate agent Well, maybe as described but the figures say otherwise. squeeze around the country, There's no doubt there's a rental like Perth and Brisbane. especially in the resource hotspots has been fevered. But it's in Sydney that the coverage over the summer There was little reprieve the 'Sydney Morning Herald', for readers of advertising paper. the city's dominant property of New South Wales. Bingo for the Real Estate Institute to be abolished It's pushing for the State's land tax so as NSW moved into election mode, a media release. the institute sent out Hang on - 7% to 10%. Where did that 20% come from? president, Cristine Castle, The much-quoted Real Estate Institute

figures on new leases also showed reporters some government with some suburbs up around 20%. as an across-the-board fact. It was used a place to live, With so many people trying to find by 20% this year. demand will push rental prices up rents to rise by 20%. An absolute assertion - told us - Seven reporter Marguerite McKinnon homes in those salubrious suburbs. They do. But only for very large went up less than 2%. Smaller homes in one of those by as much as 17%. In some suburbs rents went down Seven featured those statistics. But neither the 'Herald' nor Channel come from The only comprehensive figures of Statistics. the Australian Bureau of just 2.4% in Sydney. It had found an annual increase Herald' use that stat? So, why didn't the 'Sydney Morning the future The story was looking into Peter Costello, and consequently it quoted and it quoted a survey that was done it quoted the Macquarie Bank of NSW. plus the Real Estate Institute industry figures The ABS figures and the housing which are very, very late - are historic figures late by the time they come out they are at least one-quarter story so, it had no relevance to the by the Real Estate Institute But the figures provided were just as old. the Residential Development Council The next lobby group off the rank was which wants stamp duty removed. to model the Sydney market. It commissioned BIS Shrapnel increase in rents over five years, Now that's a prediction of a 40% 'Daily Telegraph' got to the report, but by the time Sydney's the news was dramatically worse.

at it four pages later. And the 'Telegraph' had another go but still not right. Well, that's closer over five years. Remember the report predicts 40% That's 8% a year - not 20%. outside the real estate lobby, One property analyst was very annoyed. Fancy that! was just as bemused. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Glenn Stevens, Even the Reserve Bank Governor, last week - told a parliamentary committee in the papers, I read too about the rental crisis is a crisis. because everything in the media Is it a crisis? Well, I'm not sure I'd use that word a tight rental market. but it certainly is But surprise, surprise, the 'Sydney Morning Herald'. not a word of that made it into before the committee, um, Mr Stevens spent about three hours other journalist, our journalist, along with every has to make an assessment of that three hour testament. of the newsworthy aspects journalist who covered it She decided along with every other were the fact that Mr Stevens said that the most interesting facts interest rates in an election year. that he wouldn't rule out raising that had reporters fumbling. It wasn't just the stats on Seven news? Remember Marguerite McKinnon's story two-bedder It's a poky semidetached, and thousands want to rent it. right under the flight path Thousands? just 14 actual applicants. The agent told Media Watch there were Herald' went beachside for a tenant. Sunanda Creagh of the 'Sydney Morning

the 'Herald' that. Aaron Wheeler says he didn't tell

the reporter has notes to show it. The 'Herald' insists he did and that Regardless of who's right,

suffered two rent increases the paper's claim that Mr Wheeler in the past year is plain wrong. rise in six years In fact the tenants have had just one when the story appeared. with another notified a frightful 1% per annum All up - rent on that apartment rose from the beach. and that's just two minutes that the story was factually wrong. At the moment we don't acknowledge of correcting all mistakes. The 'Herald' has a policy Over at Channel Nine, was handed a real furphy. veteran reporter Peter Harvey Sydney is full of Elissa Kracjers, for a place to call their own young people looking anxiously send them broke. at a rent that won't It's almost mission impossible. two months of solid looking. I found a place after about in the market. There wasn't what I wanted was a real estate agent Until recently, Elissa Kracjer managing rental properties.

political connections too. And she has some fascinating

acting directions. Elissa Kracjer says she even got Elissa Kracjer told Nine News - But in her newly rented apartment in the market. There wasn't what I wanted Since then she's told Nine believed to be true at the time. that that interview was what she

confirms Nine approached them The Opposition Leader's office and it obliged. someone to lie. And they say they'd never ask rental conditions, In any event, given the tough the Liberal Party to find a tenant? why did Channel Nine need to go to the rent crisis story, As the NSW election fuelled Week has driven another story the lead-up to Australian Fashion and into the news. off the fashion pages forms, in Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph', That story was also run, in various Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' Adelaide's 'Advertiser', and Hobart's 'Mercury'.

for Seven's 'Today Tonight'. And of course it was perfect fodder In the past six months, starved themselves to death. three top international models have 22-year-old Luisel Ramos. Next was former Uruguayan beauty dieting on nothing but lettuce At 44 kilos she wasted away after for three months. And two days ago, Luisel's 18-year-old sister Eliana died from malnutrition weighing just 40 kilograms.

And ABC Radio National's 'Life Matters' reported - They all claimed Eleana Ramos died from malnutrition or anorexia. Media Watch can't rule out either, but according to the local investigating judge in Uruguay, Roberto Timbal, Aliana Ramos died of - And the judge says her sister Luisel died from the same inherited heart defect. In Uruguay the national press seemed to have no problem getting the facts right. So, how did the Aussie media get it so wrong, especially when the international news agencies were much more circumspect. The Managing editor of the 'Daily Telegraph', Michael Wilkins, told us the paper used - But did the 'Daily Telegraph' contact the parents of the model? Or the judge? Or the newspapers in Uruguay? Nor did ABC Radio National's 'Life Matters'. It relied on - Should have - and in any case, Associated Press didn't report death by anorexia.

It's ugly when high fashion tries to force the human body to fit its idea of beauty. But it's even uglier when the media tries to fit two young bodies into what it's decided is the story. Now, before we go, can I remind you that you can download a vodcast of tonight's Media Watch from our website at - Thanks for joining us - good to be here. Talk to you next week.

Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.


Good evening. The former ABC

journalist Maxine McKew has put her

name forward to challenge the Prime

Minister in the Federal elections.

She wants to be selected by Labor to

fight the Bennelong seat, which John

Howard has held for the last 30

years. Ms McKew is Labor's latest

recruit. She's admitted she knows

little about the seat in Sydney's

west. Chemists want to ban some cold

and flu treatments because they're

fed up of being robbed. Some

medications contain pseudoephedrine,

an ingredient that can be converted

into illegal drugs. Pharmacies say

their staff have had to deal with a

dramatic rise in armed hold-ups. A

computer monitoring system is being

introduced nationally to help

restrict the availability of the

chemical. The veteran director

chemical. The veteran director Martin Scorsese has finally won an Oscar.

After being passed over on five

previous nominations, he won two

awards - Best Picture and Best

Director for 'The Departed'. The

Australian film 'Happy Feet' won

Australian film 'Happy Feet' won Best Animation. As expected, Helen Mirren

won in the Best Actress category.

Now, tomorrow's national weather -

showers and thunderstorms for Darwin,

Sydney and Canberra, a few showers

also in Brisbane and Melbourne,

drizzle in Hobart and the chance of

light showers in Perth, but fine in

Adelaide. For more news join

'Lateline' at 10:30.

CC, tonight on 'Difference

of Opinion', 'Putting

Education to the Test'. Are

our schools and teachers

world class or are we failing

our kids? Is there a growing divide between private and

public schooling and should the Federal Government

dictate what is taught and


APPLAUSE Good evening and welcome to 'Difference of Opinion'. Tonight we confront

the state of our nation's

schools. Education is the key

to our country's future so

are we unlocking our kids's

full potentialal? There are

growing divisions among

politicians, parent and

educators about the quality

of our education and about

the imbalance between public

and private schools. To

discover and discuss this welcome Dr Kevin Donnelly from Melbourne education

consultant, author, former

secondary teacher and La

Trobe University electricity truer. Associate Professor

Robyn Ewing, deputy Dean of

education at Sydney under and

a primary school teacher.

Stephen O'Dougherty, CEO of

Christian schools, Shadow Minister for Education and

Judy King, history teacher

and national advocate for

public education. A very warm

welcome to you all.


With us each week to give

Tuesday big picture, Warren

Brown, cartoonist. This is

like the old days at school,

sitting in the corner on the

high chair. I'm looking forward to be Krakouer

Jack. We will check in with

you soon but let's start with

a short, sharp report card on

the genuine quality of

education around Australia.

Dr Kevin Donnelly, how would

you rate right around the

country the schooling our

children are getting? There

are a number of indicators I

look at in terms of measuring

standards around Australia.

One is the trends in

international maths and

science study or TIMS which

looks at 40 or 50 countries

around the world and how they

perform. Over the last 10, 15

years Australian students

have always been in the

Second XI. We do a lot well

in Australia. We love sport

and competition. My argument

is we need to do better in

education in terms of that

international testing. Many

of our universities now have

remedial classes in Bassic

essay writing and abgerbra

and if students have gone

through schools for 12 years

that is not good enough we

should have undergraduates.

In terms of literacy over

Christmas the recent results

for upper primary going into

secondary school, about 20

per cent of those kids which

literate and that just puts too many demands on teachers. Associate Professor

Robyn Ewing? I would find

it very hard to give an

overall report card rating

because I think that there

are excellent teachers,

fantastic schools. There are

those that are not so good,

but - and so it is really

quite difficult to give a

general vine one sense. I

think we do know that we are

not doing as well as we

should be for some of our

indigenous students and I

think we can always do

better. Overall I would say

we have world class education

and our teachers are sought

all over the world. Stephen

O'Dougherty, a short report

card? I think our system is

diverse, we have a large

country but we do very well

punching above our weight in

terms of the OECD averages

but not for all. Overall

good, but we could do better

particularly for

disadvantaged students. Judy

King? Nationally the public

education system offers an

excellent education for all

students in a very inclusive

way. The other panelists have

mentioned we do extremely

well in the international benchmarks where Australian

students aged 15 are second

in literacy, fourth in maths,

fifth in science and problem

solving in recent benchmarks

but we need to raise the bar

for the lowest qua tile. The

bottom 25 per cent of our

students across the board

both in public and publicly

funded private schools and we

must raise the benchmark for

those students. Very

respected focused the whole

nation on this, Tony Vincent,

an assessment says we are neglecting preschool

education and that if most

disadvantaged Australian

children are slipping further

behind. Would you agree,

Kevin? That could be a

problem. I know when I looked

at the international research

compared to other countries

we have a longer tail of

under-performing kids who

really are at risk

educationly. But at the other

end of the spectrum we also

have many bright kids who are

not really up to it in terms

of being internationally

competitive so if you look at

the Czech Republic t

Netherlands, Singapore, they

get more students performing at the top of the league

table whereas in Australia we

have that under per forming

long tail plus our better

student often are not as good

as they think they are. It is

very confusing for parents.

They have heard the Federal

opposition leader Kevin Rudd

say we slumped to 29th in

maths and science yet we have

the OECD assessment which

says in literacy and so forth

we are in the top cluster of

nations. So really when it

comes to most Australian children, how well are they

doing? Well, I did note

that Kevin Rudd had cited

that statistic but it is not

based on test results but on

the opinions of business

leaders and if they want to

rank us 29th for maths and

science they have no doubt

been consuming Kevin's

articles and books because he

make as living out of

constructing crises. Kevin

Rudd was of course using that

statutory to free kick

against the John Howard

Government but the problem is

for parents because not all

of the benchmark are testing

the same thing, but at least

the 29th ranking was

certainly not based on test

results but on the opinions

of business leaders. If I put

on that point, it is

difficult for parent and lay

people to get a handle on

this but if you look at the

OECD test, it was about

literacy but in fact nobody

was corrected or penalised

for faulty spelling, grammar

or punctuation and the

research at ACER showed that

if students in Australia had

been corrected many would

have faithed. Now as a

parent, an employer, and

there are many out there I'm

sure, who would find it

strange we have a literacies

the that we do so well in

when in fact if students had

been corrected many would

have failed. We know we have

thousands of Aboriginal

children around the country

who are failing in literacy,

that we are seeing them leave

school with the reading age

of a 6-year-old. Most of

those children are in the

public education system. Associate Professor Robyn

Ewing, what are we doing

wrong? Why aren't we getting education to those Australian