Digital Media

Typecast

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. Yes, that 'multimedia' journalist was me, which is why I'm surprised to read that "everything has changed" in the last 10 years and an entire new skillset is now required of journalists. Writing quick updates for the web is a huge imposition, it seems, and a radical departure from what came before. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Future Shockers

"Prediction is very difficult, particularly about the future." Journalists would do well to keep in mind that aphorism from influential Danish physicist Nils Bohr when quoting "experts" about the outlook for financial markets, the economy and politics. (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
Business Models

Excess Baggage

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? (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

If the world of politics is now so dominated by spin and media management that 'reality' is whatever you choose it to be, what's the proper role of journalism? It's to find the truth and report it, right? Journalists are employed to serve their readers and viewers by cutting through hype, digging out red herrings, challenging misleading statements and exposing what's really going on. You would think so, wouldn't you? (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

The Media in Words

 
What do we think of the political media in Australia? Obviously there are some great individuals out there working as journalists, but the overwhelming impression of political journalists and editors - as expressed by an admittedly narrow section of the Twitterverse in a very non-scientific poll - is interesting. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Noise Vs Signal

First it was the nightly weather, then the finance report and now it's politics. There is a creeping conspiracy in television news of people standing in front of charts, taking the daily temperature - of meteorology, of markets and of members of parliament - and trying to persuade us that it all means something. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago