ABC

Of Human Bondage

An increasingly unhinged Australian mainstream media, with a few honourable exceptions, has been revving up the scary-o-meter in recent days about this country facing a future of debt, deficits and public penury for as far as the eye can see.  
“A decade of deficits spells a bleak future for Australians,” was the headline on the increasingly tabloid ABC television news, warning of a crisis bigger than the one where Bates went to jail in Downton Abbey.  I spluttered over my warmed up risotto (my lovely wife was out at the movies) and quickly checked my Bloomberg terminal.
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By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Talk is Cheap

Our public broadcaster is our most trusted source of news. So why does it spend so much time and money chasing cheap and predictable opinions from a small group of people who have plenty of other places to bang their tin drums?
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By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

The Man Behind the Curtain

Being a successful media pundit depends on a couple of core skills - one is a capacity for sounding absolutely confident about your predictions; the other is your ability to seamlessly and plausibly change gear after the fact without denting your public credibility at all. Traditionally, pundits have gotten away with these 180-degree reversals because of the mainstream media's monopoly on analysis. Being the sole mediator allowed established outlets to play footsie under the table with the poohbahs who told us what to think about economics, politics and everything else. Each needed the other. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Groundhog News

News is what's new. At least that's the traditional definition. But in the case of a heavily concentrated Australian mainstream media, news is defined by the same half-dozen issues constantly rehashed as vehicles for faked-up conflict and partisan opinion mongering. So at the start of every week, it is a fair bet that The Australian Financial Review (formerly a pro-market paper, now a pro-business lobby rag) will spin as "exclusives" a handful of front page beat-ups on productivity and the Fair Work Act, along with a couple of hatchet jobs on the NBN. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Spinning Wheel

A health warning to mainstream media consumers: When a news story starts with the words "is expected to", activate the BS detector. When that story involves forecasts about economic statistics, shift detector to warp speed. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Going Analog

It is less than 20 years ago that the US financial news organisation I then worked for started asking journalists to put an email address at the bottom of every story. I remember snorting at the presumption that our readers were as nerdish as our tech-head editor in Washington. Move on two decades and we find journalists doing the bulk of their work over the internet - through research, finding contacts, sourcing background, remote editing and doing interviews. Technology has transformed the craft from one-to-many publishing to many-to-many. But for all the ease that digital newsgathering has provided, there is still something to be said for getting out from behind the screen and into the analog world. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Mounting Precious

Just in: Pressure is increasing on Julia Gillard to call a leadership spill amid unrelenting pressure from backbenchers pressuring for a release of the pressure valve holding back potentially explosive leadership pressures. Sources close to the ABC say talk is growing about an imminent shift of three non-aligned backbenchers to the camp considering a vote for Kevin Rudd in order to silence ongoing media speculation about the release of the imminent pressures. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Market Farces

As with everything in Australian politics these days, debate over the federal government's media inquiry has become just another coat-hanger on which ideologues of every stripe can drape their off-the-rack worldviews. It's why we're hearing market forces are the fix for dodgy journalism. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Mr Jones Goes to Canberra

Photo: SMH The media is a sucker for stories about plain-talkin’, grass-roots folk confronting cynical politicians with homespun morality.  Think ‘Mr Smith Goes to Washington’. Brought up on these sentimental tabloid templates and jaded with Read more…

By Mr Denmore, ago