Free Press Too Free?
Citizens, politicians, and businessmen have been campaigning for the government to keep a tighter rein on the media after several well-respected newspapers printed false articles with contents ranging from claims that the capital city had been stolen by a UFO to erroneous share prices which led to job-losses and a stock market decline.
1. "Over a thousand jobs lost!" clamours Alexei Steele, angry protester and ex-employee of Dreddmax Incorporated. "And why? Because the press isn't concerned about the truth anymore; all it wants is higher sales! We must forbid these rags from lying to the people and dish out heavy fines to those who try! This so-called 'free press' has a dark side, you know. We learnt that ever since we discovered it wasn't cottage cheese they were mining up north!"
2. "This is censorship!" says Naki Wall, editor-in-chief of The Hebdomadal Gabfest while carefully noting everything you say in a notepad. "We speak for the people! Admittedly some newspapers didn't check all of their facts before they published, but that doesn't merit such draconian measures at all! If we're only allowed to print the absolute truth then how soon before we're getting constantly sued by politicians for libel? What about our rumour columns? It'll totally destroy the business! The government must have no part in repression of the media!"
3. "You know that no matter what we decide we're going to make people mad," points out Stephanie McGuffin, your Minister of Public Relations. "But the best way to control public opinion is to tell the public what their opinions are. I suggest nationalising all the newspapers and putting them under government control. Then we can tell them whatever we like! After all, we're much more trustworthy than some profit-driven media moguls, right? At least we won't have to issue ANOTHER public statement to tell everyone you're not a hyper-intelligent aubergine."
Wipe Out Graffiti?
Citizens all over Erisianna have been petitioning for firmer action on public graffiti.
1. "It's a disgrace!" declares Jack McGuffin, middle class and proud of it. "I can't even go downtown without seeing these hideous eyesores debasing the streets! We need to arrest the scumbags at the root of this, lock them up, and teach them a jolly good lesson! More policemen on the beat should do the ticket, even if it does require a slight augmentation in taxes!"
2. "I don't see what's so bad," comments Freddy Broadside, a famous art critic. "This is urban art at it's finest. It's vibrant, colourful, and simply reeks of culture! Just look at the form displayed in this string of racist expletives! Wonderful. Simply wonderful. I think we should really be encouraging these budding Rembrandts, not putting them down! I say we legalise it, in the name of culture!"