Last Ones Standing

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Advertising, Business Models, Fairfax, Media Business, Profession, Staffing and Resources, Technology

The slow-motion death of newspapers as a vehicle for quality journalism rolls on, with periodic announcements of new waves of redundancies prompting anger, soul-searching and recrimination. For those of us who escaped the industry years ago, there are feelings of both relief that we got out when we did and sympathy for journalists laid off by companies who still appear clueless about how to make the business work in […]

Typecast

Posted on 17 CommentsPosted in Digital Media, Education, Experimental Formats, Media Business, Staffing and Resources, Technology, Television, Wires

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. […]

Burying the Lead

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, New Media, Newspapers, Technology

Much of the discussion around the future of mainstream media journalism is about money. Who’s going to pay the journos’ salaries? What’s a viable business model? Will the revenue generated by the erection of paywalls be sufficient to make up for the loss of audiences? ABC Radio’s Saturday Extra took that angle recently, in an item entitled ‘Newspapers and the Media of the Future’. Norman Swan, standing in for […]

Convergence or Submergence?

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Digital Media, Government Policy and Regulation, Newspapers, Political News, Technology

The history of media regulation in Australia is one of the communications bureaucracy playing a no-win game of catch-up with technology. Just as a regulatory regime is nailed down, another revolutionary distribution mechanism appears out of nowhere and rips up the floorboards again. The final report of the government’s Convergence Review is an attempt to future-proof the rules for a digital age in which standalone notions of print vs […]

Nowhere Man

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Craft Standards, Media Business, New Media, News Corp, Technology

One of the shorthand criticisms of the internet by the mainstream media is that it is almost wholly populated by paranoiacs, single-issue fanatics, stalkers and sundry geeks. Thank God, they say, for the reasoned professionals in the nation’s newsrooms. Given what the internet (and bad management) has done to the legacy media business, it’s understandable that some journalists are defensive about ventures outside the mainstream.

Blogalism

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Craft Standards, Entrepreneurial Journalism, Technology

A US court’s $2.5 million ruling against a blogger for defaming a businessman has sparked a flurry of new attempts to define journalism in relation to blogging. My view on what constitutes journalism is similar to what someone once said about por**graphy – I know it when I see it. While this won’t help the judges, you can be certain that earnest attempts to define a journalist in legal […]

I’ve Seen That Movie Too

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in ABC, Entrepreneurial Journalism, Experimental Formats, Technology, Television

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.

Fast and Fatuous

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Political News, Staffing and Resources, Technology

The first the Australian public heard of the now infamous Say Yes television advertisement on climate change action was when The Sunday Telegraph told its readers that “Carbon Cate” Blanchett had “sparked outrage in the community” by fronting a campaign that no-one had actually seen at that point.

Noise Vs Signal

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial News, Political News, Staffing and Resources, Technology

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.

Enclosing the Digital Commons

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Business Models, Media Business, News Corp, Technology

The great showdown between Rupert Murdoch’sĀ global media interestsĀ and public broadcasters looks set to intensify as the News empire joins forces with Apple in launching the world’s first iPad newspaper. The $30 million tablet-only publication The Daily, whose launch has been postponed a few days from the scheduled date of January 19 while subscription software details are sorted, is being sold as the possible saviour of mainstream media journalism after […]