Business Models

The Business of Anger

IMGP2769_crop (1) A perennial tension in journalism arises from balancing the professional requirement to accurately inform the public and the commercial one to actively engage them. The destruction of media business models, where classified advertising subsidised across a Chinese wall the quality journalism that attracted the eyeballs, has gradually swung that balance from the professional to the commercial imperatives. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Broadcasting

Who Protects Us From Stupid?

It was a bit of fun that flouted the rules, says Jonathon Holmes. The outrage is another example of nanny statism by meddling lefties, says Tim Blair. Yes, yes.  But has anyone considered that the now infamous hoax call to Kate Middleton merely confirmed (yet again)  the utter stupidity of our media and the people who mindlessly consume it? Clearly, there has always been a substantial commercial market for juvenile stunts at the expense of others. And when those stunts are directed at the high-flown and privileged, it's hard to argue they are any more than harmless fun. What green-blooded republican Australian doesn't get a kick from poking fun at an anachronistic class structure built on the notion that some flesh and blood individuals walk on a different planet to the rest of us? (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Talking Back to the Wireless

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, people would sit in their lounge-rooms listening to the news on the wireless. The rounded and reassuring tones of a voice-of-god announcer would interpret for eager audiences the messy events of the world in neat packages. The yearning for that distant-yet-familiar authority figure/'expert' lives on today in the aging audience for shockjocks like Alan Jones. This is a market that appears to want strong opinions - preferably ones that reinforce their own fears and prejudices. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Opinion

Old Angry Men

Call it the Grumpy Old Man business model. At a time when our busted mainstream media are axing the jobs of hundreds of hard-working journalists, the market for menopausal male misogynists in print and broadcasting remains stronger than ever. Why? With a nod to our new ideological overlords of the IPA, it seems the market has spoken. What Australia wants from its media is not The Truth, but something that the archetypal 50-something Dad - full of three James Boags and two Pinot Noirs at the family barbecue - declares to be the reality. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Ethical Standards

The Elephant Men

 "The world is a business, Mr. Beale; it has been since man crawled out of the slime. Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality - one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock - all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel." That pivotal scene from Paddy Chayefsky's prescient 1976 media satire Network sprung to mind when lowbrow radio clown Kyle Sandilands revved up the outrage machine again this week and was rewarded with buckets worth of free publicity for his troubles. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

The Outrage Business

As in drama, conflict drives the news business. The more black and white the conflict is portrayed as, the greater the passion the issue raises, the greater its confected 'news' value. Once a savvy media organisation works out what gets people worked up, it's a fair bet it will go out of its way to construct narratives around those very issues. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Radio Ga Ga

As people marvel at the immediacy of news via the internet, it is easy to overlook the fact that old fashioned steam radio has been doing this for 70 years or more. The words come out of the announcer's mouth and they are worming into listeners' ears in real time. And therein lie the potential problems. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
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