Watching the scandal over 60 Minutes’ apparent complicity in a violent child abduction in Lebanon, I’m struck by two things – the cynicism of Channel Nine in using a child custody dispute for ratings and the complete ignorance of journalistic ethics among its defenders. It’s depressing that professionals need to be reminded of this, but journalists are supposed to be witnesses to the news, not creators of it. They […]
Following a nine-month international screening run, the independent UK documentary ‘The Fourth Estate’ is now online for all to view, download, and share for free. During 2015, filmmakers Elizabeth Mizon and Lee Salter hosted numerous sold-out screenings and Q&A sessions throughout the UK. They want their take on the monopolisation of the global mainstream media industry to be seen and heard far and wide, and thus they are now […]
Proponents for the dismantling of media ownership laws rightly make the point that in age where everyone can publish across multiple platforms it is anachronistic to maintain regulations designed for a different age. But if we are going to deregulate, why not go the whole hog? Discussion about Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposals to dismantle specific laws for specific media platforms overlook another consequence of new technology: While consumers […]
Cast your mind back 17 years. A Reuters journalist prepared a report on the jobs data. loaded his script on the autocue, turned on his TV lights, positioned the ISDN camera, loaded his DIY graphics and went live to air on a digital feed to Tokyo. Afterwards, he wrote 800 words for the wire, recorded and cut a radio interview and turned around a 2-minute package for conventional TV. […]
A consequence of the ’24/7′ news cycle is that everyone breaks their necks trying to be the first with news that’s going to break anyway. Witness the overkill coverage of the Rudd-Gillard spill. Perfect for live TV – a set piece in a confined space at a specific time and pitting warring protagonists in a showdown. Like a footy final really. In the case of the spill, the result […]
Politics is a television medium. It has been for nearly 50 years. But TV has changed in that time. Artifice in the aid of the entertainment was formerly tolerated. Now, thanks to the ‘reality’ TV phenomenon, we seek out representations of ‘authenticity’. Guess what happens to politics?
Photo: Lucas Coch, AAP Life as a TV news cameraman in Canberra is not one normally filled with adrenalin. Most of their days are spent trudging from doorstop to doorstop. Once in a blue-moon, there’s a leadership spill and they get to walk backwards down a corridor as the new leadership team promenade for the press. But riots? In their dreams only.
The Nine Network’s recent staged live crosses to a helicopter “in flight” tell you all you need to know about the state of much of our mainstream media – cynical pretenders that see news as entertainment and their audiences as idiots.
As the ABC mulls the falling ratings for its flagship 730 current affairs show, it might want to consider whether the problem isn’t so much the presenter or the physical set or the stories – but the conventional television narratives that have become so hackneyed that no-one can be bothered paying attention anymore.
With television increasingly dominated by the Outrage Business and shamelessly exploitative and cheap ‘reality’ shows, the 1976 Sidney Lumet-directed Oscar-winning movie ‘Network’ looks increasingly prescient. In this bitter satire of the effect that intense commercial competition has on broadcast standards, Australian Peter Finch plays Howard Beale, a TV demagogue so appalled by the profit-driven amorality of the network that employs him that he urges his viewers to turn their […]