Editorial Judgement

The ‘Certainty’ Myth

A sub-narrative amid the media thumbsucking about the future of the Australian Labor Party after the leadership spill has been the ritual calls from business leaders for the removal of "uncertainty" - the idea being that the economy has ground to a standstill as the egos exchange handbags in Canberra. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

A Fistful of Donuts

Which party is best at cutting the red tape that stifles Aussie entrepreneurship, promotes small business initiative, checks lazy government waste and puts downward pressure on interest rates for working people? Me sir! Me sir! Just bend me over the desk for a moment and flash me your fiscal rectitude. Isn't the state of economic journalism clear by now? After the earnest and profound economic policy debates of the 1980s, we seem have devolved into  a pale imitation of that in our modern political discourse - one in which one side and then the other stage a predictable pantomime that bears little resemblance to our lived reality. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

A Show About Nothing

Where else but Australia would the media work itself  into a frenzy over a 'MYEFO'? Perhaps if you told the Brits it stood for My Youthful Exotic French Odyssey, they might bite. But Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Outlook? Hold the front page. In Australia, journos scribble millions of words every year about data that has little or no bearing on the lives of most of us - like monthly forecasts of volatile unemployment data (a throw of the dice by the statistical gods) or, worst of all, whether the federal budget ends the financial year in a small surplus or a tiny deficit. (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

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
Government Policy and Regulation

The Gag Reflex

Journalists are a curious bunch. Priding themselves as professional sceptics and reflexively cynical about those who pursue grubby advantage under the borrowed banner of universal morality, they nevertheless are incurably romantic about their own craft. Indeed, for those of us who have sat through the debate over the recent Bolt judgement, in which Australia's most popular and most powerful tabloid columnist was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act, it has been impossible to follow proceedings for all the people in the front rows suddenly standing on principle. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Government Policy and Regulation

The Untouchables

They squibbed it. Given the chance to tackle News Ltd's stifling  dominance of the metropolitan newspaper market in Australia, the federal government has left ownership issues out of the remit of its independent inquiry into the media. That was really the only reason for holding an inquiry in the first place. Instead, the inquiry - to be led by former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein - will focus on print media regulation, including online publications, and the operation of the Press Council - a body generally considered to be next to useless. This is akin is calling an inquiry into the liquor licensing board in Capone-era Chicago. Until you tackle the gangsters running the show, the Keystone cops appointed to police the precinct are going to prove plod-like in their pursuit of wrong-doing. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Financial News

The Money Go Round

Hi, I'm Ricky Retire-Safe and welcome to Your Money or Your Life - the program where we reveal what today's market movements mean for you, your children and your children's children. And if we scare the shit out of you in the process even better. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago