Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility – but are they stepping up to it?

by Rachel Andras, Germany

I find it totally ridiculous that the recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald is based on a few men and very few women who are hurt because their partner left them or they participated in a workshop with Universal Medicine. In a world where women’s rights and integrity is constantly violated and domestic violence is through the roof it is hard to understand how a supposedly serious newspaper is giving this minority a voice without checking their facts and thus, disqualifying what the Universal Medicine women students by free will chose they want in their lives – namely love and a loving relationship. It seems that these women, for the first time in their life, had claimed themselves independently from being identified through being with a man and they have chosen to no longer be in a probably convenient but not loving relationship. What is so bad about that?

In today’s society it is normal that women are brought up with the ideal that they are only complete when they find their ‘perfect man’, get married and have kids, and live happily ever after. Which very often means going through an unloving marriage, divorce, more unloving relationships, etc. But when women decide to not follow this pattern and claim a different quality of life for themselves – some men get outraged and look anywhere to put their blame – and Universal Medicine is the perfect scapegoat and a newspaper the perfect platform.

Considering that worldwide 6 million women are killed every three years due to gender based violence it is outrageous to see the disregarding position the Sydney Morning Herald holds towards women. I am not quite sure how it works in Australia, but in European countries there exist a strong code of ethics for journalism and one of them is to NOT picture women as passive victims, vulnerable and without any capacity to step up for themselves, but as active citizens who have an equal position and are respected members of society, very qualified in what they say and valued contributors to the well being of humanity.

What you write is highly unprofessional. You base your article on this disgruntled group of people (mainly men) who make themselves the victims of being left by their wives, by putting them in a superior position and discarding the ability of those women to decide over their own lives. This is exactly what is contributing to the increasing violence against women worldwide.

Gender based violence is a structural problem of our societies based exactly on behaviours, patterns, ideals and practices as you express at your newspaper: Disrespect, second class citizens, worthless, lack of autonomy, dependent, blind followers, stupid, etc.

A structural problem means that we are all part of a whole – that is not only about the individual actions but about the general position or consciousness towards it. Some disrespect women in their capacities, others treat them as less, and some (actually a lot) consider them worthless – and as such treat them with horrendous violence.

But it does not matter from which level you function you are nonetheless responsible. It is all feeding the same ideal of men’s superiority and contributes to the ongoing violations of women’s human rights.

Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility on this subject. But are they stepping up to it?

120 thoughts on “Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility – but are they stepping up to it?

  1. You are correct Rachel, there is un underlying disrespect for women in society and the media are making this worse not better. Everyone has the right to stand up against abuse be it physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. Many relationships have violence, as Rachel has made clear. Many are full of constant put downs, undermining authority, treating the other person as lesser or as property. This horrible attitude comes from society and plays out in people’s homes. There is only so much of this behavior that can be tolerated, after much trying if the ingrained behavior does not cease, the relationship cannot continue. This is a difficult time for those involved and the last thing they need is a one-sided media story denigrating the other person’s choices, solely from the point of view of their hurt ex-partner. How about some balance, and truth SMH.

  2. It is very true that the media today contributes greatly to the objectification of women, which fosters violence against women. On one hand they thrive on the horror stories about domestic violence, sex slavery and other atrocities committed towards women and on the other hand they feed this very behaviour by denigrating women through pictures and articles like the one mentioned above. This is so hypocritical.

  3. Awesome article Rachel, and powerful question, are newspapers truly stepping up to their responsibility, if recent continued violence against women is any indication I think not. I feel what you share is something all such newspapers should read and print for themselves as it lays the responsibility firmly at all our doors. It is time we call out these types of articles and expose this behaviour for what it is and that is abuse and a misrepresentation of the truth.

    1. Well said Jade. It does lay the responsibility firmly at all of our doors to call out when we see it happening and to continually ask our media to report the truth.

  4. Good point Rachel, they do not step up to it. What I feel from your blog is that it is ridiculous that real business like Universal Medicine that are absolute integrity are being accused and abused, while business that are actually abusing are not being even exposed. To me this is the proof that we have not stepped up in our news, journalism and or social media. It is time to get some real media out there, we deserve to show and hear the truth.

    1. Totally agree with you, a great example is the HSBC bank that has helped it’s wealthier customers evade tax duty… Fact. And the bank employees have got off scot free for assisting in this scam except the whistle blower who has been given a jail sentence in his absence. Where is the justice in this and where is the justice in the false complaints against Universal Medicine, this company is based on the principal of absolute integrity in all it’s dealings, the world seems up side down.

      1. Yes – the world is upside down when it comes down to the truth. Everything that is truth is mostly hidden (to a certain point) and everything that is a lie is on spotlights and absolute adequate attention. Interesting, but revealing that we in life (as a society) have not chosen to commit to truth. And instead have used comforts over truth. Now it is by Universal Medicine that the truth gets awakened, but now it is the reaction of our society that wants to bring it down, again because it exposed the lack of commitment to truth and equality (our responsibility).

  5. Wow, what a fabulous article! Thank you Rachel. You make many great points about the structural problems in society of levels of inequality towards women. Although this newspaper has not delivered a physical blow of domestic violence to a woman, they have delivered a blow of another kind by publishing an article in the same disrespectful, disempowering consciousness that feeds and therefore promotes domestic violence. Women are not chattel.

  6. The disregarding position held by the Sydney Morning Herald is indeed appalling and only aims to preserve if not champion the ill-belief that women are too stupid to know better… whilst also highlighting their unprofessionalism in the lack of research not only into that which they denigrate but of the disgruntled sources who sold them their tainted version of events.

  7. Spot on Rachel. Many journalists in Australia aren’t stepping up to their responsibilities to present well researched articles which also encompass a high degree of social responsibility. It’s not just that an incorrect story gains time and attention; it is also the systemic and often covert implied messages that does lasting widespread global damage. The stories about Serge Benhayon, his family, various students and practitioners and Universal Medicine itself are all depictions of exactly what you have spoken about in your blog. Thank you – what you have written about should be compulsory, in depth study in any media and journalism course.

  8. So very true Rachel. You say “Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility on this subject. But are they stepping up to it?” – I would say Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility in relation to EVERYTHING they publish. But are they stepping up to it?

    1. … and I would answer NO. We all know that most newspapers are agenda ridden and full of lies so what is our responsibility in that and do we have the press we have accepted and therefore asked for?

  9. An industry called to account Rachel. Thank-you. Experiencing so directly the irresponsibility of sensationalist tales and the carte-blanche painting of women as ‘mindless followers’ at the media’s hand, I couldn’t agree more.

  10. To demean the standing of any woman, to attempt to silence her voice by labelling her a ‘follower’ with no mind of her own, is the most insidious disrespect to every woman, and man for that matter – fuelling a culture of division, a culture of harm and violence, and basically saying it’s ok to abuse any and every woman.
    Such insinuations and depictions in the media are abuses in their own right, and nothing less.

  11. It would be interesting to know how many of these men who point the finger at others for their relationships failings have ever even considered their part in it all. It is very possible, that a man who is unwilling to consider such a thing responsibly, might be impossible to have a true relationship with.

  12. I have heard television and radio reporters pose the question ‘who do you blame for this?’ once too often recently. It is as if they see it as their role to incite reaction and stimulate emotional responses – as if this makes good broadcasting. But is what makes a good news broadcast or radio interview, what makes a loving and harmonious world for us to live in? Surely encouraging people to point the finger at others does not do so without first taking a good long look at ourselves and our part in things – including the reporters themselves.

    1. Yes Richard, I agree there is a lot of this blame culture being proliferated in the media, and it is not at all healthy, it runs right through every aspect of our culture these days, who to blame for everything and so little responsibility being taken by anyone themselves. It take two to marry and two to divorce, when people pretend that a marriage was true for one person and not the other, then they are not being honest with themselves as that is just not how it works, its about what they formed between them.

  13. Well said, we equally have a responsibility to speak up when we read or see something that perpetuates that image. Women have a right to walk away from a relationship that is not about love. Just as men do. We should all stand for more love in our lives.

  14. “But it does not matter from which level you function you are nonetheless responsible.” – Indeed we all are.. Corporations have great responsibility for what they promote and in turn they are made up of employees with equally important personal responsibility to stand for what they know is true as do we as consumers of this media.

  15. I like how you say Rachel, “Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility on this subject. But are they stepping up to it?” and I asking myself, are we all stepping up to it? We all carry this responsibility, to live a life of equality – be it ‘between’ women and men or people with ‘other differences’. So, do we? And I have to ask myself: do I?
    There is a lot to learn and to start to live ahead of us – when will we start?
    To call everyone to accountability is one thing – and the other is to live it on our own first. That people who start to do so and find out ‘how it goes’ to live in integrity, are attacked, is not ‘just’ a men/women-thing but a question of taking responsibility in general.

  16. I agree Rachel, this way of disrespecting women in society and hyped up in the media is a real poison in society that fuels the abuse of women on many levels. The media do have a responsibility and they need to take it much more seriously.

  17. We are supposed to be living in a society that is founded on free will and freedom to choose our own cultural, religious and social beliefs. With the way Universal Medicine has been portrayed by the media it does not feel like that to me.

  18. I’m forever baffled by journalists who end up selling out so completely to the demands of their job. Surely no one studies journalism to intentionally attempt to destroy people, to allow blatant lies to be printed or to create drama and tension amongst people. So what happens at these print houses? Where does the fear of not being able to sell papers with real/true stories come from?

  19. I really hadn’t thought about the damage this newspaper has done by publishing this article. What you write Rachel is revelatory in the sense that it brings attention to the fact of this particular journalism adding to the violence against women and condoning this behaviour. It’s actually quite mind blowing!

  20. It is our collective awareness that can clear any bias, the more we are each able to bring responsibility to any situation and speak openly and honestly the more we support another to do the same. This will strengthen the foundation of group and community awareness and the fabric of what is within our societies can realign to what is true, loving and caring of all.

  21. I do not listen to or watch any media because I feel there is no more integrity in what they are presenting. This trend has been getting worse as we are not asking for the truth. We control the media because they will present only what we will watch.

    The beginning of true change starts with knowing what the facts are. If we can start conversations with our neighbors about what is going on in our lives, that is a truer representation of what is really going on in our world. And it is much more fun then staring at a computer screen.

  22. It is not for a newspaper or any media organisation to discuss the personal relationships of any person. Other than gossip, there is no purpose to this. What is broadly going on in the quality of our relationships is something else as is someone learning and growing and choosing to tell they story for the benefit of others. Our media have much to learn as do we in the choices we make in consuming media and why we make those choices.

  23. The newspapers do hold a great responsibility and many people consider as fact what is written in them. Whilst it has been a while since this responsibility was shirked, many people have not caught up and realised that newspapers have lost their integrity. Much of what they write is eloquent gossip or regurgitated “news” that has had no fact checking or investigative journalism behind it. That is their responsibility but it is our own to discern what we read.

    1. Yes Nikki, as ‘consumers’ of what is printed, published, posted in the media, we are the ones creating the demand that is being supplied. We are all responsible for the gutter journalism and outright lies that we see being reported every day and yet there are very few who are saying this is unacceptable. If we stop ‘consuming’ they will stop ‘feeding’ and just maybe we will find ourselves returning to true journalism.

  24. It seems like an endless war where everyone loses in the end. When will women and men realise that they are all the same? They might look different on the outside but their innate qualities are the same. Tender, loving beings. As it is right now women are becoming men, they are hardening up in a way I haven’t seen before. I hope dearly that this is not women’s way of finding “liberation” in becoming and doing everything the man is and has been doing for some time in history. This way has destroyed men to be what they are today; quite hard, unable to be really open and vulnerable with others and cry if he feels to. Is this the path women will now venture? If so it will be a path riddled with much unpleasant experiences, both physically, mentally and physiologically. Why do I know this? Because I am a man having felt the pressure of all the ideals and beliefs available of what it’s like to be a man, but I know also that I have a choice to feel who I really am on the inside and I’m letting that be what I listen to when I go about my life.

  25. 2 million women per year being killed as a result of gender based violence is very shocking and no doubt those figures would be higher if we include those who do not die but live with the hand of violence everyday. The question I have is why aren’t media organisations making this their news, and constantly in the news. So much so that we all begin to stop and ask why is this happening? What is going on for men and women that we intentionally harm each other? Things are not right in the world and this needs to be in our awareness so we can reflect on what this means for us as women.

  26. Thank you Rachel for a great article bringing to the forefront the abusive behaviour against women through out society and the medias contribution to this by publishing lies about Unimed women students, making them out as mindless followers incapable of discerning and choosing for themselves. In printing these lies the newspapers show a complete disregard for the truth which has been traded for sensationalism, putting profits before the facts.

  27. Shining a spotlight on the irresponsibility of the journalists and editors who are giving voice to and therefore perpetuating the abuse of women through denigration and stereotyping.

  28. A powerful article Rachel, which sadly is still as relevant today as when it was written. Journalists and the media have a responsibility to tell the truth – the whole truth. Full stop.

  29. I love that journalism in Europe does not allow or perpetuate the denigration of women and thus not add to the disrespect that founds most societies today. Clearly Australia is lagging seriously behind and the cost is far reaching and beyond measure when women are allowed to be silenced in this way.

  30. We hold an image of marriage of what it is and how has to be. We also hold images of marriage break ups in which there usually is one party that is the ‘guilty’ one. What the media is doing is adding to this one by saying that Universal Medicine is the one to be blamed here. Yet, have we ever stopped and pondered whether the word guilty has in truth anything to do with marriage breakups?

  31. It’s a joy to read your authority on this structural problem Rachel. We all can live more of who we are to reduce this long standing issue – exactly like these women are. A newspaper our media should be supporting this leading generation of change not degenerating it.

  32. “Considering that worldwide 6 million women are killed every three years due to gender based violence it is outrageous to see the disregarding position the Sydney Morning Herald holds towards women” – this is a devastating figure and one that is the responsibility of us all.

  33. We all have a daily responsibility to consider the quality of our expression whether that be how we move or speak or write or act, however I agree that if you have access to a large number of the population like the media does or if you are a celebrity who many people are watching, then for me your level of responsibility goes up another notch for your potential to harm or influence the world becomes stronger.

  34. It is easy to blame someone or something else when we don’t take responsibility for our own choices and actions, men particularly take the feeling of abandonment badly to which they often react to, yet is it possible that those issues are not caused by the actual situation but from a past hurt that has been carried through childhood into adulthood, and absolutely nothing to do with Universal Medicine itself.

  35. It is very clear the media today, in general have, willingly chosen to forgo their responsibility in reporting the truth, instead time and time again choosing to step down from representing the truth to unite humanity and exposing where we need to bring light to where the crimes against humanity still exist. As this is not happening the responsibility is also ours. We as women need to continue to rise up and make the stand, showing that our power is in our connection to who we are within, that our sacredness is already alive within us, and live the qualities of our essence through our everyday. We must continue to call out the atrocities that still exist where women experience slavery, abuse, condemnation and oppression on a daily basis. We must not rest until we shift the consciousness that this is ‘OK’ as long as it is not happening in our immediate circle, until we shift the demand of ‘not wanting to know’ through which the media supplies us the rubbish and convenient escape through drama and sensationalism that we are fed today. For when there is no demand the media will then have to respond accordingly.

  36. It is sad because newspapers could serve mankind but instead what they mostly do is distort and manipulate the truth to the point that it is an outright lie. I cannot support that and so I have not purchased a newspaper for many years and what is more I haven’t missed them in the slightest. In fact my life is more joyful without the poison they peddle.

  37. Words bring joy because of the truth that is shared equally for all or a creation of ” behaviours, patterns, ideals and practices as you express at your newspaper” that have no factual bases, thus leading to lies. Our societies have had enough words that have already been reinterpreted and misused so that truth is buried deeply in a fabric of scholarly dictatorship, and it is time to explain why the truth of being truly loving is attacked so much. Could it be that true love holds too much responsibility, so the integrity of words is bastardised, then we do not find what love and true religion is and this is just two examples?

  38. If words are not printed nor expressed verbally from a source of truth it will always be pure fiction and never fact.

  39. Is that what things like the newspapers are indirectly or directly saying to us? Not to excuse their responsibilities at all as that is another part but to see why are they simply allowed to do what they do? I mean they are a part of our society and don’t live on another planet or anything like that and so wouldn’t they just be able to say what the ‘facts’ are on the ground? If society was different to this wouldn’t there be a groundswell of revolt against the newspapers when things like this happened? Again not to deny the absolute responsibility such a paper has in how or the quality of any report they give which here there is a quality sadly lacking but to say how can they just do that? Why aren’t we actively voting with our wallets or making a change actively here because I see not much has moved since this article. This isn’t a critique of anyone but merely a question that we aren’t yet doing enough and it’s not only about this newspaper but equally about how we are, the quality we are in our interactions in the world.

  40. Just occurred to me – had it not been for Universal Medicine, would I have stopped and taken notice of the corruptive way the media operates, the belief system the society at large buys into and the lack of responsibility in all corners when I read a report like the one you describe? Most likely, no. I might have just gone along with what was reported in an article and, could have even blamed the women in the story for giving other women a bad name for being so ‘stupid’ to be taken on by a cult. What Universal Medicine offers is massive. It constantly asks me to be aware and live from my authority. It helps me learn to see through the lies we have been fed from the word go. I can see how the media would not like that, but it is an amazing opportunity for them to wake up from the deep slumber of irresponsibility and truly serve.

  41. A beautifully well written article highlighting the responsibility that newspapers hold when it comes to such issues as violence against women. The devaluation of women is a systemic issue across our planet and one that requires our attention if we are going to live the equality of the sexes that is our birth right. Newspapers, TV, Movies, internet and computer games, to name a few high level influential entities in our world all have this responsibility. So let’s step it up and offer the world an opportunity to remember again the beauty of the true power that a women is naturally meant to contribute to the world.

  42. What you share Rachel is deeply important, to know and understand that gender based violence is a structural problem … as you rightly point out that means all of us on how we treat women are on the scale and while we might be ‘better’ than the extremes, unless we address our part in it then we’re part of the wider problem. Media has a huge role to play here, and they’re avoiding this, and do not want to look at their part here, so as consumers of media the question for all of us then become what do we support? As this too is also part of the same structural problem you note … denigration of women in the media, again, so how willing are we all to take a stand and say no more.

  43. Newspapers seem to be after the number of copies sold and it looks as though they have forgotten about the word ‘service’ – seemingly, anything goes and who cares about the veracity of a story as long as the headline brings in the punters?

  44. Stories of people hurt sell well. This is just a reflection of how much hurt people carry in their bodies. Otherwise, it would be something strange, something that would stand out as odd. Not only is hurt pretty much part of the landscape, but also there is an industry built around it that helps to keep it going. The irony here is that this industry goes into a full-blown attack to those that are working to heal the hurts and to make sure that we do not hurt each other.

  45. To me this just shows that what we deem as a serious newspaper is often reporting a part of the story and not all of it as soon as you are involved you know but I wonder how much longer this has already been going on for many people where only a part of the story is being told because it ‘sells’. In other words we like to read exciting news without checking or discerning if the facts are right in the story.

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