Online and outraged: the people begin to talk back
The Canberra Times columnist and academic Jenna Price says ordinary people are finally standing up to media bullies.
Price is one of the founders of the Destroy the Joint Facebook page set up after 2GB's Alan Jones said in August that Australian women in power were ''destroying the joint''.
The Facebook page is credited with helping stir the massive online backlash against Jones after he said last month that Julia Gillard's father had died of shame because of the Prime Minister's lies.
Jones attacked ''cyberbullies'' yesterday who he said were using technology to intimidate advertisers, but Price said Destroy the Joint would have won its campaign against Jones's behaviour when he was enrolled in equity and diversity training and going to class everyday.
''The audience is talking back for the first time in its entire life, and how exciting is that?'' Price said yesterday. ''I don't think they ever believed that we ordinary people, men and women who are teachers and nurses and firefighters and builder's labourers and Liberal party members would say, we've had enough of the way you speak to us, stop it now.''
Price was interviewed by Jones's 2GB stablemate Chris Smith yesterday, and responded to criticism of Destroy the Joint.
It was claimed that the Facebook page bullied frontline staff working for the station's sponsors.
Smith said on air that there had been a ''sustained and threatening campaign, some would say a somewhat hateful campaign against sponsors of the radio station,'' which had seen several staff members at 2GB advertiser's going home in tears.
Station management have now pulled all advertising from Alan Jones's show.
Price said she had encouraged only respectful behaviour from people involved in Destroy the Joint, describing rude or thuggish behaviour as revolting. There had been many polite and constructive comments.
She had approached the interview with trepidation, fearful of vitriolic or hateful attacks.
During the heated exchange, Smith defended Jones, saying he had been publicly supportive of many female politicians.
But Price said the campaign was about women in public life being treated fairly.
''This is about feminism, and this is about putting the idea out there that women need to be treated decently,'' she said.