My Authors
Read all threads
I want to talk about the reason why media find it really difficult to hold the private sector to account using the example of security firms who ‘bungled’ Victorian hotel quarantine. Instead, anyone else is blamed and they avoid any true consequences of bad behaviour. A thread👇🏻
When you research media bias, the most common definition of watchdog journalism depicts journalists as holding democratically elected leaders to account. Power is narrowly defined as belonging to government, so that’s the group journos think they exist to scrutinise.
But power of course exists in other places. Private sector employers are powerful. Media institution is powerful. The media don’t usually see it as their job to hold this power to account so they focus on government, such as blaming Andrews for hotel quarantine failures.
The thing about private sector power is that it is not just structurally powerful, but also culturally. The idea that someone has ‘created jobs’ tends to put them above reproach. They get away with anything because they’re so high on the cultural pedestal. They are in hero frame.
Even when we have clear evidence that private security firms who were hired - contracted - by government to guard hotel quarantine did not deliver that service and indeed made dangerous mistakes with training and compliance of their low paid workforce, they are not the villain.
Even when those organisations are named and the contracts they signed are shown to include responsibility for training and PPE compliance, as discovered by ABC’s 730, the media pack do not go after them baying for blood. Instead they go after Andrews who hired them.
Another way to frame the private security debacle in Victoria is to say those companies let the government and in turn the public down. They shouldn’t have signed contracts to deliver services if they weren’t equipped to carry out those services. Andrews has right to be furious.
The private sector are so taken for granted (because automatic hero frame) you see them getting away with all manner of atrocious behaviour, much of which has been influential of the spread of the pandemic. Private aged care is a great example.
Even after a Royal Commission showing the private aged care sector is reaping huge profits, much of it fueled by public funds, but aren’t delivering a quality standard of care, there was little analysis or scrutiny of the sector by the media. They are just taken for granted.
I found with my research of media framing of industrial disputes, the employer’s position in dispute is taken for granted as default, and the unions are automatically suspect and considered the illegitimate player in the conflict. The cultural hero frame for employers is strong.
Interestingly, even when employer has acted so illegitimately that their actions are cause for community anger, I still find government is more likely to be scrutinised as the villain ahead of the private sector employer. This was apparent in media framing of waterfront dispute.
In this case, the employer Patrick Stevedors had conspired with Howard govt to secretly train a wharf workforce in Dubai and then kicked their unionised workforce off the docks using security guards and dogs, locking them out. Even then, Howard govt more often blamed than boss.
You see the same taken for granted status in many other situations. A comparison of the media coverage of the Royal Commission into unions and the RC into banks shows a clear difference in how employers and unions are judged by different rules, and framed differently.
I believe this cultural frame which assumes employers are job creating heroes, taken for granted as such, is responsible for the assumed framing of Liberals as the more natural party of government. Power is self reinforcing- you have it, and assumed to deserve it. Rinse repeat.
So this is why Andrews is being absolutely pummeled by media over mistakes in hotel quarantine which were responsibility of private security firms. These companies are apparently assumed to be legitimate enough to be given govt funds, but then not expected to be responsible. End.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with 💧😷Queen Victoria

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!