Thursday, 16 February 2012

Name & Shame

Hey it's Bazel here. In a hyper-competitive media culture corners are often cut in order for small named journalists to break the news reports first. Journalists often peddle the legal grey areas in order to do their job properly for genuine “public interest”, however, it seems this is more for the sake of selling more papers these days than for the actual benefit to society.
Generally speaking, most people are just too afraid to ask the tough questions, knowing full well they'll be black listed by the media, inevitably followed by a biased backlash. But, the tide is turning. More and more people are using social media platforms such as special interest blogs and Facebook to expose the truth.
This week CocoBongo will expose a prime example of media sensationalism. So, where does it all go so wrong? CocoBongo would like to show our readers two recent stories and how they can be so inaccurate and misleading.
On Sunday 12th of February, at approximately 1.00am, three men were seen by Consortium staff walking in an orderly fashion from across the road headed to the Consortium venue. Staff recounts and video footage recall the men entering the lounge, walking to the bar, each ordering a drink. Within approximately fifteen minutes of being inside the venue, staff noticed one man's character changed suddenly. He appeared to be laying on one of the lounges falling asleep.
Bar staff explained to his two friends that they wouldn’t be able to serve him another drink as part of responsible service of alcohol. There were no issues with this request and the two friends seemed to have accepted the staff’s decision. Security then politely came over to the man lying on the lounge and suggested he leave the premises. The man was given water and security escorted him out. He left without arguing. His two friends were not asked to leave and therefore, remained at the venue.
Within half an hour, a staff member heard a loud noise and security noticed an unknown person shaking the front downstairs doors, trying to exit. These doors were not in use on a Sunday night.
This is when they realized what had just unfolded.….
Damage to lighting equipment
Consortium has excellent surveillance cameras throughout the club and shows one of the men clearly entering the back of Consortium's offices where he pushed open the 'staff only' double locked doors with force,  he walked through the corridor, ripped a fire extinguisher from the wall, then walked back to the closed off offices. At this point he walked to the far office and sprayed everything from top to bottom, covering the whole office including the computers. He walked out backwards spraying each office as he went, including a store room which houses electrical equipment.
He then attempted to hide the extinguisher in another store room.
The man then entered the staff common area, locked the door and entered a toilet cubicle. "Shown in the footage". Upon his exit he then forced a large speaker off its stand in the venues high DJ box which was not being utilised that night, allowing it to crash to the dance floor. It didn’t stop there the expensive Crestron hand held sound lighting monitor was also completely smashed. The footage records his action as calculated and calm not erratic as you might think. Patrons heard a loud crash and security then noticed someone trying to exit through the front fire escape doors, these doors actually push open, however, he proceeded to pull on them.

Computer and office damage
Police were called and security maintained a strict watch over the offender until police finally caught him trying to enter another club close by.
The next day police investigated the damage inside Consortium. The media asked if they were able to take photos and footage of the damage. It was a police crime scene and as a result, no media or individual was allowed in.
By the afternoon stories had started to evolve.  There seemed to be confusion of a previous incident at the Watermark with a man falling from balcony apartments. The media linked that story to a staff employee on a massive rampage through consortium doing over $100,000 of damage? This was incorrect.
Channel seven's news headlines had falsely reported a soldier and Consortium employee were in the lock house after a drunken rampage, this was also false. No staff were involved in the vandalism. Owner of Consortium, Michelle McCracken contacted the network to explain the truth and the story was quickly corrected. Without Michelle initiating the correction and contacting the relevant media parties, the news would have run the incorrect report.
Police had told Michelle that the offender was from the army, but personal information had still not been confirmed and the officer would speak to Michelle later again to further confirm the offenders details.
Further to the already misconstrued reporting, the Townsville Bulletin featured another story on the 13th of February about a man falling from a Watermark 1st floor apartment balcony. According to the report, Watermark restaurant staff found a man lying on the ground bleeding and did not assist him.  This misrepresentation about the Watermark staff was also false.
A man did fall from the balcony, however, the facts surrounding this incident show that one of the residents within the Watermark complex was too frightened to come down to see if the injured man was ok after he had fallen. The resident had startled the man as a trespasser and he jumped from the resident’s balcony. Watermark restaurant was closed at the time of the incident with only two staff members cleaning inside the venue. The Watermark employees were oblivious to the commotion until the ambulance arrived and approached the staff, asking where the man was that fell from the balcony. 
The Watermark resident was very angry that the police and ambulance took 20 minutes to arrive. When they questioned the injured man he was very disorientated and didn’t know why he was on the balcony.
The Townsville Bulletin also reported "We believe he was fairly intoxicated and may have been drinking downstairs." which after interviewing staff and reviewing the CCTV footage from that day, it clearly shows this wasn't the case. Also no one has ever fallen through the glass roof in the restaurant, this statement is also false.
This has been one of many false and grossly inaccurate stories reported by the Townsville media.  Does this not stand to reason that there needs to be a better regulatory system to oversee our media industry? Clearly the editors and producers need to take a look at their actions; it’s not their duty to manipulate public opinion or purposefully provoke fear and anger. If these stories tell us nothing else, it’s that there’s a real consequence when a position of great privilege is abused.

we will be touching further on some very public articles to reaffirm our views.

We would love any of our readers to partake in any media issues that you feel strongly about and would like to share with us

The vandal trying to exit Consortium through the front fire escape doors, these doors actually push open, however, he proceeded to pull on them. Idiot.....

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