Influence of Media in Bringing the Australian Cattle Industry to its Knees

You may consider some media issues to be a lot of “bull” fertilizer but this is really a cow of a story and the bull here relates to real bulls in an important media issue which brought the cattle industry in Australia to its knees. What are Media issues? Media issues are important issues of interest which are created mainly by news reports. However media issues presented within a biased opinion and direct statements to a targeted audience can be very damaging and even destroy industries and relationships between countries.

Imagine if you were governing another country like Indonesia and had to meet the demands of food, like meat to feed your civilians. Without any warning or notification the nearest country like Australia, which ships the best quality cattle in the world, suddenly stopped trading with your country. What a disaster for your country and by the way if you were Prime Minister of Indonesia what would you do? This media issue was caused by a horrifying program presented by the ABC about animal cruelty in Indonesia which resulted in bringing the Australian cattle industry to its knees and near destruction.

The program targeted audience in Australia showing vicious films of slaughter of cattle in Indonesian slaughter houses. In fact the program directly stated that this type of killing was common in Indonesia which shocked Australians and as a result the Australian Government immediately halted the live cattle trade to Indonesia. Another problem was that damaging language techniques were used against Indonesia and these included bias opinions, the direct statement and targeted audience which can lead to many follow up media issues about the devastation of the Australian cattle industry.

The media issue in 2011 which later proved to be exaggerated was caused initially by the ABC and Animals Australia, an animal activist group who succeeded in convincing the Australian Government to introduce the ban on the entire live cattle trade. Through this graphic media presentation which was issued on the 31st of May 2011 on the ABC by Four Corners, the program presenter made damaging diverse statements and explicitly and dramatically on location of live filming by showing animals dying in agony.

Therefore the Four Corners media created the issue with the use of dramatic monologue and prolonged live footage. The activist’s claims were biased opinions and not overall facts. Other media too proved later on that only a small group of Indonesian slaughter houses were committing acts of inappropriate slaughter; however it was too late for Australia to apologize. Consequently as a result of this biased program which inferred that most Indonesian slaughterhouses’ used cruelty to kill cattle, forced the Australian government to instantly ban live cattle exports.

This left Indonesia short of meat and very offended with Australia. Therefore this ban is clearly seen to have impacted the Australian cattle industry very negatively as the income and revenue from the Australian cattle industry ground to a halt after the ban. Ultimately it is my opinion and I hope yours agree that it is very dangerous if media programs like the ABC portray biased opinions and direct statements of “bull” to a targeted audience.