BETTER OFF WITHOUT IT
Given how toxic the commentary generally has been on the Ballarat Courier's Facebook page, I think The Courier staff and it's readers are better off without it. It is far more pleasant to be a subscribed reader and/or physical paper buyer.
I started off my working life in newspapers in the eighties. When climate change was first recognised as a consequence of their activities by the fossil fuel companies.
Times change. Why hasn't traditional media? Like coal mining and burning companies, has it tried to hold on to the old ways too long? Like political parties to their donors, has some media felt beholden to the suspected views of their advertisers?
Sandra Hawkins, Canadian.
Facebook should pay for news from those who provide it. But don't be shocked that Facebook is withdrawing some of its services. Facebook is a commercial operation with the primary objective of making money; it is not a public service. It's naive to imagine that Facebook, or the banks, or energy providers or any privatised essential service exists just to do the best for the community or for individual customers. Private enterprises can, and will, do whatever it takes to maximise profits, including refusing to pay others for services that they use, or inconveniencing the public to achieve their objectives.
Personally I pay for my news. I don't use Facebook. Sure it's great to share an interesting story but what is more important is that we are able to get news. I feel we have as much socialising we need. Facebook is a bully call their bluff.
Diane Grant, Lake Wendouree.
Alongside the number of dollars lost by business and workers over the 5 day lockdown, please put the number of potential lives saved. We all know that although we have zero cases now, that regional Victoria is not exempt from outbreaks such as occurred in Colac. Ballarat is so close to Melbourne that, considering the importance of supporting the health authorities in their efforts to control outbreaks on our behalf, we should not undermine their decision to include us in the lockdown.
Robert Loveband, Mount Clear.
Conspiracy theories can usually be unpacked and shown to be absurd by their inviolability - no insider ever comes forward and discloses the inner workings of the conspirators' plot. The ludicrous claims of the coronavirus conspiracy, that the whole thing is a plot to line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies, takes the genre to a whole new level of nonsense. How could such a bizarre plot be orchestrated and for what purpose: the billions that might be generated by vaccine sales is dwarfed by the trillions the virus has cost the global economy. Moreover, the number of conspirators on the payroll sworn to secrecy would have to number in the thousands. Having paid them off nothing would remain. These conspiracy theories don't withstand even the most casual scrutiny of their claimed logic. That they should arise at this time in history is testament only to the distress folk feel in an increasingly complex world.
Patrick Hockey, Clunes.