Australian Reporter Exposes Corruption and Redefines Journalism
A new era of journalism has developed over recent years with large corporations and brands that have shaped the entirety of journalism itself. With this, news outlets have become less reliable as many are associated with corruption, selective exposure of media, and biased information creating a news industry that does not serve the true purpose of spreading neutral and/or factual information but rather stories made to gather the most attention and therefore the most profit. However, journalists like Jordan Shanks Markovina, also known as Friendlyjordies, uses his platform on Youtube and other social media outlets to expose the corruption of politicians and wealthy business people in Australia.
Most Recent Dangers of ‘True Journalism’
The most recent events in the career of comedian journalist Friendlyjordies’ career is a very shocking and alarming occurrence. During the late hours of the 22nd of November, 2022, the house that Friendlyjordies lived in at the time was destroyed in an arson attack after his neighbor’s house was attacked the same way shortly before, giving a warning to Friendlyjordie and his family. Hence, none of them sustained any severe injury.
In an interview outside his house minutes after the attack, he stated “We’ve done some extremely dangerous reporting over the last year of a bunch of extremely powerful people and corporations, there are many people that would want to do that… I do have a shortlist in my head of who I think could’ve done it. I would hope that the NSW strike force that is supposedly set up for fixated people and terrorists would be looking into this instead of a comedian and his team for six months straight” referencing the NSW Police Fixated Persons Investigation Unit, a specific police division dedicated to preventing terrorism in the country, who had arrested his executive producer and assistant reporter on June 4th of 2021 for “stalking” and “intimidation” while conducting journalistic reports on a controversial and influential politician at the time.
(Photo from the attack, @Daily Mail Australia)
FriendlyJordies’ Journalistic Career
Along with being a comedian, Friendlyjordies has conducted research on politics and corruption within Australia since 2013, gaining hundreds of thousands of subscribers that help spread the information he exposes in his youtube videos such as “Massive Real Estate Scam EXPOSED” and “Corruption at Every Level.”
On this Youtube channel, he creates content ranging from comedic skits to updates and information on the several arrests, court cases, and charges filed against him by the people he does his reporting on. For example, John Barilaro, a former Australian politician, had filed a defamation lawsuit against Friendlyjordies for the videos made about in his investigation done on Barilaro by both him and his producer. The court did rule in favor of Barilaro, and Google awarded him $715,000. This raises the question of whether, in trusting the court and its fairness, that Barilaro is still corrupt, even if he was proven to be defamed by Friendlyjordies.
(@Thumbnail of Youtube Video, “friendlyjordies goes to court”, friendlyjordies)
A Glance at the Bigger Picture
However, the argument could be further applied to the arson attack on the home of Friendlyjordies. It is commonly seen around the world that journalists that are independent or speak out against big corporations and/or influential people are often attacked and even killed in an attempt to silence their discoveries and protect the image of the corrupt, especially in politics. With this information, the idea that a powerful and influential politician would do whatever they could to get such a reporter arrested or even killed to silence them seems more than possible in this circumstance.
(@Youtube, 7News Australia)
What This Means for Journalism
Overall, the arson attack, arrests, and pursuit of criminal persecution against the anti-corruption comedian and journalist Friendlyjordies have revealed the dangers and risks of exposing corruption, especially against people with lots of influence and power, such as politicians and corporations. The message we’ve seen time and time again by the deaths and attacks on reporters who do similar work to Friendlyjordies is yet again telling us, the public and their audience, how important this line of work is for the world of journalism and keeping the individual and independent nature of journalism by the people alive.