/ News / Media Releases / JOY 94.9 misrepresented in The Sunday Age

 

Dear JOY 94.9 members and supporters

You may have read the article in The Sunday Age headed “Funding threat to Kennett’s mental health charity” I am writing to you to make the position of JOY 94.9 very clear and to counter what is a significant misrepresentation by The Sunday Age.

THE BOARD OF JOY 94.9 IS NOT RUNNING A CAMPAIGN TO ‘UNSEAT’ JEFF KENNETT FROM BEYOND BLUE. WE DO NOT SUPPORT A STAND ALONE FUND RAISER (HOMOVEMBER) TO ADDRESS CONCERNS OR GAPS IN THE MANNER IN WHICH DEPRESSION IS ADDRESSED IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE BROADLY SUPPORT THE ANTI DEPRESSION INITIATIVES OF MOVEMBER AND WE WILL MEET WITH THEM TO INVESTIGATE WAYS THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO ENHANCE AND ENSURE THAT OUR COMMUNITY’S SUPPORT FOR MOVEMBER IS REFLECTED IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH BEYOND BLUE.

The proposal for HOMOVEMBER was put to me by Doug Pollard for JOY 94.9 to consider and discussions were at a very early stage. We needed to scope out the proposal and both myself and our GM were and are both of the view that we first had to have a discussion with MOVEMBER so as to ensure that the significant and successful work that they had undertaken around depression was not adversely impacted by a parallel campaign. I was asked by Doug if he could pass my contact details on to Jill Stark from The Sunday Age for her to seek comment from me on behalf of JOY 94.9 to which I agreed.

I know that Doug Pollard has had a number of discussions with the journalist and he also made it quite clear that HOMOVEMBER was only a proposal at the very early stages and that we (JOY 94.9) had not made a decision about it and it was in no way a ‘live’ campaign.

In fact to quote from Doug this morning regarding his discussions with the journalist…” I made it clear we were merely thinking about it and that any definitive decisions had to be made by the board. I told her matters were at a very early stage and nothing had been decided.She asked for a launch date and I told her there wasn’t one.”

Despite me having a long and quite specific and very detailed discussion with the Sunday Age journalist Jill Stark about the position of JOY 94.9 and HOMOVEMBER there is in the article many significant misrepresentations.

QUOTE “Homosexual rights activists are urging a boycott of beyondblue’s key sponsor, Movember, with gay and lesbian radio station Joy FM launching a rival “Homovember” fund-raising campaign.”

JOY 94.9 has not “launched ” a rival campaign. At no time did I state we had, I made it absolutely clear that JOY only had a proposal for HOMOVEMBER and that the appropriate way to move the proposal forward was to first have the discussion with MOVEMBER as we had a high regard for MOVEMBER and had no desire to impact on the very significant work and success that they have had, QUOTE ” David McCarthy, president of the Joy FM board, said it was running its ”Homovember” fund-raising campaign to draw attention to ”serious misgivings” about Mr Kennett’s role.”

At no point did I say JOY was running HOMOVEMBER” and I went to great lengths to point out to the journalist that at this stage it was only a proposal and we first wanted to have discussions with MOVEMBER before we proceeded any further. I repeated this on at least three occasions and the quote attributed to me is nothing other than a clear misrepresentation for the purpose of “beating up” the story.

QUOTE “They [Movember] have to understand there are a lot of people saying why should I give money when it ends up with beyondblue” and “Did we believe that MOVEMBER should reconsider its support for Beyond Blue in light of Jeff Kennetts comments”

I said that “That is correctly a matter for MOVEMBER and we would absolutely encourage MOVEMBER to have the discussion with Beyond Blue as to what actually is that organisations position on how they respond to depression in the GLBTI community. We would ask them to note and take into account the significant level of support the GLBTI community gives to MOVEMBER not just in its campaigns around prostate cancer but that they also needed to ensure that all communities that suffer from depression (including of course the GLBTI community) are appropriately respected and supported by the work of Beyond Blue. Comments by Jeff Kennett as to which gender mix makes good parents are ill informed,destructive and would only contribute to depression and I couldn’t imagine that MOVEMBER would support them.”

The journalist conveniently left this out statement or any reference to it in her article QUOTE “Does Jeff Kennett think that depression only resides in the heterosexual community?” is a correct quote.

Having previously been a journalist I know the absolute importance of quoting people correctly as I do in my current employment. I fully recognise and implement the practice of being quite specific and accurate when making public comment. It would seem that the journalist has chosen the course of deliberately changing my quotes to fit the tone of thestory. The article is nothing more than a comprehensive misrepresentation of JOY 94.9’s position. I question the intent behind the article as it does from my perspective have a tenuous relationship with the truth. The very real and present issues our community face with dealing with depression have not been advanced by this “beat up” The Sunday Age and the journalist have totally ignored basic journalistic integrity and practices.

I have written to the Editor of The Sunday Age to express my very strong disappointment that my comments have been in effect manufactured and in no way represent anything close to what I said.

I apologise for this long communication, but I wanted to correct positions put in The Sunday Age article that are patently incorrect and misrepresent what i said on behalf of JOY 94.9

David McCarthy

President JOY 94.9

 

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