Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.
Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics 2013.
Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy said all that needs to be said about the media and politics.
April 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy in an address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors:
"The President of a great democracy such as ours, and the editors of great newspapers such as yours, owe a common obligation to the people: an obligation to present the facts, to present them with candour, and to present them in perspective."
Placing this quote into the current Australian context, it would read:
The Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and all politicians of a great democracy such as ours, and the editors, news directors, news producers, and other members of the print, radio, television and on-line media of great media outlets such as yours, owe a common obligation to the people: an obligation to present the facts, to present them with candour, and to present them in perspective.
December 17, 1962, President John F. Kennedy in response to this question from Sandor Vanocur, White House Correspondent, NBC News, as part of the TV and radio interview "After Two Years - A Conversation with the President":
Mr. Vanocur: "You once said that you were reading more and enjoying it less. Are you still as avid a newspaper reader, magazine--I remember those of us who travelled with you on the campaign, a magazine wasn't safe around you."
President Kennedy: "Oh, it is. No, no, I think it is invaluable, even though it may cause you--it is never pleasant to be reading things that are not agreeable news, but I would say that it is an invaluable arm of the Presidency, as a check really on what is going on in the administration, and more things come to my attention that cause me concern or give me information. So I would think that Mr. Khrushchev [The Soviet Premier] operating a totalitarian system which has many advantages as far as being able to move in secret, and all the rest--there is a terrific disadvantage not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily, to an administration, even though we never like it, and even though we wish they didn't write it, and even though we disapprove, there isn't any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press."
"Now, on the other hand, the press has the responsibility not to distort things for political purposes, not to just take some news in order to prove a political point. It seems to me their obligation is to be as tough as they can on the administration but do it in a way which is directed towards getting as close to the truth as they can get and not merely because of some political motivation."
Veritas omnia vincit