From the desk of Roland Rocchiccioli – 17 December

December 17, 2023 BY

Give if you can! The poverty and inequality about which Charles Dickens wrote 190-years past, is equally relevant today. Image: SUPPLIED

There is a glaring dichotomy: on the one hand we condemn anti-social, neo-Nazi conduct; yet, on the other, we willingly allocate newspaper column inches and television and radio broadcasting time, highlighting their activities.


PARADOXICALLY, the aggregate of the engendered publicity slew is decidedly imbalanced in favour of the perpetrators.

Blanket coverage only serves to embolden and encourage their implacability. It is what they crave! It is incomprehensible any news reporting organisation would publish a picture of the odious group, and its leader.

Nothing is gained from publicising a gathering which threatens our democratic system. It gifts credence; infers success. Personal celebrity and mass media exposure is their objective. We need be judicious in the depiction of such events – if at all – across the various media. That does not of itself imply, by any extrapolation, we should be careless in identifying the threats these misguided individuals represent.

To posit public rallies are news therefore they should, ipso facto, be accorded full media coverage, regardless of merit, is nonsense. Arguing a deliberated media-coverage disqualification constitutes censorship is platitudinous political correctness – gone mad!

News dissemination has altered, radically. We need, as a community, to demand a new, appropriate, set of news-reporting guidelines. To evaluate news worthiness by the number of clicks it generates is preposterous; profoundly stupid. The existing system does not reflect automatically media obligations, or necessarily best serve the public need. Too often it comforts those espousing threatening ideologies.

Many a true word is spoken in jest. Irish playwright Oscar Wilde quipped, “there’s only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

While police surveillance does follow and record the troubling activity, we, as a community, would do well to ignore the attention-seeking shenanigans. Self-evidently, the odious nature of the rally will generate disapproving publicity; however, drawing attention by responding with a clamorous display of concerned outrage might well serve to promote the cause. Certainly, media coverage represents public success for the organisers; it advances their narrative in the public space, and may help dissipate the efficacy of imperative police stratagems.

Ignoring is not a sign of burying one’s head in the sand; rather, it is a strategy calculated to starve them of the life-giving oxygen which allows them to pollute the public discourse; to distort the zeitgeist; and to attract likeminded devotees. They are an enemy of the people. They harbour dark and menacing aspirations intended to erode the fabric of society for their own misguided ideology.

It is our patriotic duty to thwart their evil efforts; to stop making stupid people famous; and to deny them the public awareness they so ardently crave.

Christmas is the season of giving… the season of hope, and good-will.

Across the state, social welfare agencies are working to help those who are battling-the-odds. Various charitable appeals are accepting cash donations, toys, and non-perishable foods.

If you in a position to help, please give generously. Many families will benefit from your generosity of spirit. The thought of a child going without at Christmas is too sad to contemplate.

We live in a nuanced and tricky world; some have a tougher row to hoe, and life can prove problematic. It is surprising how little it takes to drastically change the colour of someone’s day – especially at Christmas.

A child’s joy at an unexpected visit from Santa is a powerful image!

Roland can be contacted via [email protected].