A DEVIOUS ENVIRONMENT
The most dangerous threat to traditional media and governments anywhere in the developed world today is social media (SM). A frightening number of people in the world spend most of their time in this deregulated and devious environment. They rely on it for all the data that influences and creates their attitudes and opinions about many things, including politics and certain governments. In fact, it now has the capability to influence the outcomes of elections: it regularly blocks political views it doesn't want read and strongly supports those it does.
The most damaging impact to private-sector media, Australia-wide (Free-to-air TV, the Press, and radio), has been the loss of advertising revenue, which has been poached in the $Billions by SM organisations like Google and Facebook. The Australian government is the only government in the world that has attempted to hold these SM organisations to account where the media is concerned.
A major element in whether our government wins the fight or not will have a lot to do with local SM users. They can ignore SM's anti-government campaign and support the government's push, or they can succumb to SM's hand-wringing and threats about losses in the utility of their SM accounts. The issue of media regulation in Australia has been a long-standing argument. What the media industry wants is not always seen as the best for our population, however, I am sure history has recorded that Conservative governments have always been more flexible on this issue than Socialist governments.
Richard Burnett, Wollongong
TAKING CARE OF VETERANS
This week (October 24 - November 1) is Veterans' Health Week and the theme this year is Social Connection. Now more than ever we need to keep up with our social connections, check in on our mates and make every effort to support one another through these difficult times. Being socially connected is one of the most important aspects of maintaining overall mental health and wellbeing and it is crucial for our veteran community to stay connected to their friends, family or local communities.
Almost 400 Veterans' Health Week events are being held across Australia this year, both in person and virtually, providing participants with COVID-safe options so everyone can get involved. I encourage veterans, serving members and their families to attend a Veterans' Health Week event over the coming weeks, whether it is from the comfort of their own homes or attending safely in person.
Thank you to all the ex-service organisations and other veteran groups who have organised events this year, and creating an opportunity for veterans and their families to show their support for one another and raise awareness for veteran mental health. For more information on attending a Veterans' Health Week event, visit the DVA website (www.dva.gov.au), call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or email email@example.com.
Finally, to all current and former ADF personnel who may be struggling for any reason, help is available and I encourage you to please reach out. Don't forget that Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling is available 24 hours a day to all current and former ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046.
Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans' Affairs
BREAST BE AWARE
Thank God there is so much more advertising about breast cancer.
Early detection and treatment saved my life.
PLEASE, don't be one of those people who says it will never happen to me - get tested as soon as possible.