ABC

Instant Controversy

Anyone notice how the media dubbed the proposed flood levy the "controversial" flood levy almost immediately as it was announced? Given a controversial issue is normally defined as a public matter in which there are strongly entrenched opposing opinions, the instant nature of this controversy raises suspicion. A clue was given in in the AFR this weekend, where Geoff  Kitney quoted a senior government minister as saying the initial "partisan noise" over the levy did not reflect true public opinion. Kitney noted a surprisingly hostile initial reaction, as measured by calls to talkback radio and "conversation on the internet". (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Spoon Fed

In the olden days, journalists used to be taught to always write in the active voice. Oops. Let me say that again. In the olden days, journalism educators told their students to always write in their active voice. Whatever happened to that edict? The problem with writing in active voice is that you have to introduce at the top of the sentence the source of the action being reported upon. And if you write it that way, it can simply ruin a good story. Here are two leads for a news story. Which do you think is sexier? (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Review: ‘Inside Story’

On holiday, I've been reading 'Inside Story' - ABC foreign correspondent Peter Lloyd's honest and compelling tale of his humiliating arrest and imprisonment in Singapore in 2008 for drug possession (a trafficking charge was later dropped). Lloyd was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of his arrest, a personal legacy of his work over the previous six years covering a succession of disasters - including the Bali bombing, the Boxing Day tsunami and the carnage around Bhutto's return to Pakistan and her subsequent assassination. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago