Australia – John Flanagan – The Australian Press Council accepts complaint for processing

Up on Equal Parenting @ Ration Shed BLOG and Egroup; with thanks to; John Flanagan – Australia – NSW – Thirroul – NCPP – Signed Equal Pet. Jan09 and Jack Herman of the Australian Press Council.

 

I wish you well John and hope you achieve a good outcome for better reporting as you have exposed below – Onward – Jim (Full Sig below)

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Onward – Jim

“““““““““

Hi to Everyone.

I have made a complaint to the Australian Press Council. This is with regards to a Fairfax Media journalist, Ms Adele Horin. The complaint is due to be heard in Sydney on 10 September 2009 (Australian Press Council, Level 10, York Street, Sydney at 9.30AM).

Details of my complaint and the response from the Executive Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald (a Fairfax newspaper) are provided below.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Regards

John
_______________________________

Mr John Flanagan

The Council has received your complaint form of July 8 in which you raise concerns with similar articles published in the SMH and The Age.

For your information, a copy of the Council’s principles and practices can be found on the Council’s website, www.presscouncil.org.au. Therein are set out the standards of journalistic ethics that the Council upholds and the procedures it uses to deal with complaints alleging breaches of those standards.

I will accept the matter for processing and take up your complaint by writing to the newspapers, seeking their responses to the matters you have raised. On receipt of the newspaper’s comments on the complaint, I will pass them along to you and you can decide what, if any, further action you want to take.

I will be in touch again when I have heard from the newspapers.

Jack Herman
The Australian Press Council
Suite 10.02,
117 York Street,
Sydney. 2000.
p: 02 9261 1930
f: 02 9267 6826
e: info@presscouncil.org.au
w: www.presscouncil.org.au

ABN: 13 383 369 929

On 08/07/2009, at 1:33 PM, jef00002@yahoo.com.au wrote:

Complaint received from:

Name: John Flanagan
Address: PO Box 57,
THIRROUL. NSW. 2515
Phone: 0415 899 574
Fax:
Email: jef00002@yahoo.com.au

Publication Details

Publication: 1.

www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/lifematters/divorced-men-better-off-but-not-happier-20090707-dbvr.html

Date: 08/07/09
Headline 1: Divorced men better off but not happier

Publication: 2.

www.theage.com.au/national/divorced-men-cry-poor-but-better-off-than-women-20090707-dbuv.html

Date: 08/07/09
Headline: 2. Divorced men cry poor but better off than women

Specific Reasons

Reason for association:

Ms Horin misinterprets published information. This is in such a way to achieve an outcome that wrongly suits a feminist agenda.

Complaint details:

Adele Horin gets it half-right again. She then typically wrongly goes off on a tangent to justify her agenda.

Horin leads the reader to believe that divorce is a contributing factor. Is it a contributing factor for both men and women?

In a small notation to her table (which most people would miss) Horin refers to just “the poor” and “very poor” categories in the HILDA tables. There are six categories – prosperous, very comfortable, reasonably comfortable, just getting along, poor and very poor. Horin does not include the other four categories.

http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/hilda/Biblio/ophd/Hamilton_Barbato_Australians%20will%20never%20be%20prosperous.pdf

Horin also does not provide any criteria for the figures that she has provided – “divorced but not remarried”, “divorced but remarried” “single never married”, etc. The outcomes are different in each case.

Horin also fails to add that the authors have previously stated that divorce had no effect on the financial outcome for women.

Horin also fails to add that her authors state that men are far worse off after divorce.

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/rp38/rp38.html

In an article by David de Vaus, Matthew Gray, Lixia Qu and David Stanton “Divorce and personal wellbeing of older Australians“, it states that:-

“For men, the divorced and remarried are more likely to report having experienced financial hardship than the married never-divorced, but less likely than the divorced and single. For women, no difference in the rates of experiencing financial hardship were found between the divorced and remarried and the married never-divorced”.

The outcomes are again very different to that inferred by Horin.

In her article below, Horin then merely says,

“Yet many divorced women say they are no worse off than before the break-up, or are even a bit better off, possibly because they can now
have more control over the finances, the study shows.”

A very devious journalist!

Regards

John Flanagan
___________________________________

www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/lifematters/divorced-men-better-off-but-not-happier-20090707-dbvr.html

The Sydney Morning Herald

8 July 2009

Divorced men better off but not happier

By Adele Horin

Four years after a marriage break-up divorced men are significantly better off than divorced women – and better off than before the separation. But the men are much more likely than the women to cry poor, a study has found.

Women suffer a considerable financial penalty for years after they divorce and, on objective measures, such as ability to pay bills on time, almost half would be considered struggling.

Yet many divorced women say they are no worse off than before the break-up, or are even a bit better off, possibly because they can now have more control over the finances, the study shows.

The research, by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, says that over the five years of economic prosperity to 2007 the incomes of divorced fathers with children under 18 rose 24 per cent, adjusted for family size, while divorced mothers’ income rose on average only 1.8 per cent. The divorced men’s income rose even faster than that of fathers who stayed married.

The divorced men’s average incomes were $33,356 after they had paid child support, while the mothers’ incomes averaged $26,512 after they had received child support. Yet while the fathers reported feeling more prosperous than when married, 9.7 per cent regarded themselves as poor or very poor four years after the divorce, compared with 4 per cent of the mothers.

Matthew Gray, the institute’s deputy director, and lead author of the study, said the men’s perceptions in part might reflect the overall quality of their life after divorce.

“They might have more money but many used to have someone doing the cooking and cleaning and organising the social life, and some are alienated and angry because they don’t live with their children. And a lot of men really don’t want to pay child support.”

And it was poorer couples who tended to divorce so both were starting their new lives from a low-income base. As a result, 42 per cent of divorced fathers experienced one incident of extreme financial hardship in a 12-month period compared with 19 per cent of non-divorced men. But an even higher proportion of divorced mothers, 48 per cent, reported such hardship.

The study draws on the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey that since 2001 has followed an initial sample of 14,000 people. It has tracked couples from before divorce through the years after separation, and compared their circumstances with those who did not divorce.

The paper will be presented at the Australian Social Policy conference at the University of NSW today. It found divorce had a substantial impact on women’s incomes, and almost none on men’s, after adjusting for family size. About 88 per cent of the mothers had children living with them most of the time.

Changes to the child support formula have meant fathers on average pay a little less child support and, in the case of wealthy fathers, much less. But Dr Gray said child support was intended to reflect the cost of raising children, not to be a spousal maintenance payment.

The study showed that almost half the divorced women whose income fell by more than $4000 over a year reported feeling as well off as before the separation. Nearly 13 per cent said they were better off.

Dr Gray said the women who fared better had some involvement in managing household finances before the separation, and had probably gained a
realistic insight into the financial struggles ahead, and could manage better.

Table: The research found divorced men’s income rose even faster than the fathers who stayed married.

———————————–

www.theage.com.au/national/divorced-men-cry-poor-but-better-off-than-women-20090707-dbuv.html
The Age (Melbourne)

8 July 2009

Divorced men cry poor but better off than women

By Adele Horin

Four years after a marriage break-up, divorced men are significantly better off than divorced women and better off than before the separation. But the men are much more likely than the women to cry poor.

A path-breaking study reveals that women suffer a considerable financial penalty for years after they divorce, and on objective measures, such as ability to pay bills on time, almost half would be considered struggling.

Yet many divorced women say they are no worse off than before the break-up, or are even a bit better off, possibly because they have more control over finances, the study shows.

The research, by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, reveals that over the five years of economic prosperity to 2007, the incomes of divorced fathers with children under 18 rose 24 per cent, adjusted for family size, while divorced mothers’ income rose on average only 1.8 per cent. The divorced men’s income rose even faster than that of fathers who stayed married over that period.

The divorced men had an average income of $33,356 after they had paid child support, while the mothers had an income of $26,512 after they had received child support. Yet while the divorced fathers reported feeling more prosperous than when married, 9.7 per cent of them regarded themselves as poor or very poor four years after the divorce compared with 4 per cent of the mothers.

The Institute’s deputy director and lead author of the study, Matthew Gray, said the men’s perceptions in part might reflect the overall quality of their life post-divorce.

“They might have more money, but many used to have someone doing the cooking and cleaning and organising the social life, and some are alienated and angry because they don’t live with their children,” Dr Gray said. “And a lot of men really don’t want to pay child support.”

As well, it was poorer couples who tended to divorce, so both men and women were starting their new life from a low income base. As a result, 42 per cent of divorced fathers experienced one incident of extreme financial hardship over a 12-month period compared with 19 per cent of non-divorced men. But an even greater proportion of divorced mothers 48 per cent reported such hardship incidents.

The study draws on the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey that, since 2001, has followed an initial sample of 14,000 people over time. It was able to track couples from before they divorced through the post-separation years, and also to compare their circumstances with those who did not divorce.

The paper, with David de Vaus, Lixia Qu and David Stanton, will be presented at the Australian Social Policy conference at the University of NSW today.

It found about 88 per cent of the mothers had children living with them for most of the time.

The study showed that almost half the divorced women who suffered a significant fall in income over a year by more than $4000 reported feeling as well off as before the separation and nearly 13 per cent said they were better off.
_______________________________________________________

Dear Mr Flanagan,

Pasted below is a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald’ response to your complaint.

At this stage you may elect to let the matter rest if you have been satisfied by the response.  However, if you remain discontented you may ask that the complaint be examined first by the Complaints Committee and then by the full Council.

Would you please advise this office, by 17 August, whether or not you are prepared to let the matter rest.  If not, I will set down the complaint for the first Complaints Committee meeting (see our complaints procedure on page 12, point 5) at which time is available.

Yours sincerely,

Deb Kirkman, Case Manager, Australian Press Council
______________________________________________

Dear Mr Herman,

Thank you for passing on the complaint by John Flanagan concerning the article by Herald reporter Adele Horin published in the Herald and The Age.

Please find attached a press release from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, and a letter from the institute’s deputy director Dr Matthew Gray, about the quality of Ms Horin’s reporting. Dr Gray was the researcher on the study Ms Horin reported on.

I understand Mr Flanagan has made many complaints to newspapers and government on family issues, especially related to divorce. He is an officer of the Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) which most recently made submissions to the Senate calling for an Office for the Status of Men and Fathers, and he has also been involved with a group called “Fairness in Child Support”.

1. We reject Mr Flanagan’s assertion that Ms Horin misinterpreted information to suit a feminist agenda. Ms Horin is a highly regarded, professional journalist with expertise in social issues and a reputation for careful research, fairness and balance. The attached press release and letter from Dr Gray support our contention that the article complained about was fair, accurate and balanced.

2. Mr Flanagan says “Horin leads the reader to believe that divorce is a contributing factor. Is it a  contributing factor for both men and women?”

The AIFS press release states: “A new, long lens study of the financial impact of divorce on women and men has found that four years later, divorced women are still significantly worse off than both divorced men, and women who never divorced.” As far as the researchers are concerned, divorce is a contributing factor for both sexes.

3. Mr Flanagan sees something suspect in the table which was published. “In a small notation to her table [which most people would miss] Horin refers to just “the poor” and “very poor” categories in the HILDA tables. There are six categories – prosperous, very comfortable, reasonably comfortable, just getting along, poor and very poor. Horin does not include the other four categories.”

The “poor” and “very poor” were highlighted by the researchers, not Ms Horin. The AIFS press release states: “Perceptions of prosperity. The study then went on to ask people how they perceived their own prosperity. ‘What stood out here is that divorced men were more likely than divorced women to say they were poor or very poor. This is despite the fact that divorced men had higher incomes than divorced women and were less likely to experience financial hardships,’ Dr Gray said. Two years after divorce, of the men earning at least $4,000 per year more than they had pre-divorce, 22% said they were worse off (compared to 14.3% for women). For men in this category, 80% had no increase in the number of hardships experienced.”

4. There is no relevance to Mr Flanagan’s assertion that “Horin also fails to add that the authors have previously stated that divorce had no effect on the financial outcome for women”. Mr Flanagan seeks to include research from an Australia Institute Webpaper published in July 2005 by Clive Hamilton and Claire Barbato, and a 2007 AIFS study on the financial effects of divorce. Ms Horin’s article was based on the results of a new longitudinal study, unique in Australia in having followed the same people from when they were still married to several years after their separation.

5. Mr Flanagan is wrong to assert that “Horin also fails to add that her authors state that men are far worse off after divorce”. Ms Horin does present the position of divorced men in the current study, reporting that “42 per cent of divorced fathers experienced one incident of extreme financial hardship in a 12 month period compared with 19 per cent of non divorced men”.

Ms Horin’s report – as backed by the researchers – was accurate, fair and balanced.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Kerr.

____________________________________

Peter Kerr
Executive Editor
The Sydney Morning Herald
T: 02 9282 3524
M: 0413 785 140

``````````````````````````

Onward – Javan and his 24X7 Dad since 16Aug09 – Jim Bailey – Story bottom LINK

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