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Former PM Bob Hawke slams 'terrible bias' of News Corp election coverage

Former PM Bob Hawke slams 'terrible bias' of News Corp election coverage

Former prime minister Bob Hawke has slammed the "absolutely terrible bias of the Murdoch press" during the election campaign, saying it is "unique" in his long experience in politics.

At a Labor fundraiser in Sydney last night, Mr Hawke said he had a lot of respect for coverage of Indigenous affairs by the News Corp-owned The Australian.

But he condemned the "absolutely terrible bias of the Murdoch press" in its election coverage.

"I do want to register in the strongest terms my regret at the absolutely loaded prejudice with which they have approached this election," Mr Hawke said.

"It does no justice to them and it does no justice to the democratic process."

Senior Labor frontbenchers have this week blamed negative coverage in News Corp Australia papers for the Government's slide in the polls.

Education Minister Bill Shorten said on Monday that The Courier-Mail and Daily Telegraph had been editorialising against Labor on their front pages since the start of the campaign, marking a shift in political coverage in Australia.

"We're seeing the Americanisation and indeed the Englisisation (sic) of our newspapers, where you're seeing a very strong political editorial flavour taken from day one," he said.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr blamed in part what he called the "media bias" from News Corp for Labor's position in the polls.

Senator Carr said he thought Labor's polling could recover, but News Corp is not giving the Government a "fair go".

"The corrosive effect of having derisory front page treatment of the Government every second day and flattering treatment of the Opposition every other day is very real," he told Lateline on Monday.


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