God is Dead

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Opinion, Political News, Public Interest, Social Media, Staffing and Resources

“Did the media get the election wrong?” asks Fairfax journalist Matthew Knott in an attempt to turn the spotlight fleetingly on he and his colleagues in the press gallery. “The consensus, speaking to colleagues in the Canberra press gallery, is a reluctant yes. Some insist they got it spot on. But many admit they expected a more decisive Coalition victory than occurred. And they concede this influenced the way the media […]

Talking to Themselves

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Government Policy and Regulation, Opinion, Political News, Public Interest, Social Media, Staffing and Resources

One of the tropes of media election coverage is when ‘jaded’ seen-it-all ‘insiders’ proclaim to the wet-behind-the-ears public that it’s all over. The ‘people’ have already decided. Call off the election. The conservatives have it in the bag. These stories are invariably based on opinion polls and written by telephone journalists, who having forsaken the campaign bus, spend their lives talking to other insiders who are reading the same […]

Click Go the Fears

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Digital Media, Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, Political News

Journalism isn’t really a profession, much as some of its practitioners proclaim it to be. It’s much closer to being a trade or a craft. And like all crafts, success in journalism is usually achieved by getting not just one thing, but a number of small but critical things right. These small things include spelling people’s names correctly, accurately reporting what people said, answering all the key questions like […]

Graffiti Crimes

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Craft Standards, New Media, Political News

“Graffiti crimes shall be written upon your walls.Well I shall spray them so bold and so tall.Just you wait ’til you read this one.” – Misex, 1979 What distinguishes “electronic graffiti”, as a besieged prime minister characterised social media, from the “real” journalism of the mainstream? That’s easy. One is full of uninformed opinion, unsourced speculation and lazy trolling. The other is to be found on Twitter. Unfair, I […]

Body of the Host

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Profession, Social Media

It often takes a crisis for a society to reflect meaningfully on its institutions – their value, purpose, strengths and weaknesses. Do those institutions serve us or do they primarily serve themselves? The global financial crisis, for instance, exposed how a large swathe of the international banking system had been corrupted by reckless risk-taking and had internalised the view that it could simultaneously privatise its profits and socialise its […]

West Side Tories

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in New Media, News Corp, Opinion, Political News

“When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way. From your first cigarette, to your last dyin’ day.” The mainstream media is deep into its ‘Me’ phase. Despite the world going through enormous change and upheaval, a large chunk of our media is talking more about itself and its competition than it is about anything that might remotely impact on its audience.

Blurred Lines

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Craft Standards, Digital Media, Ethical Standards, Media Business, Social Media

There are some astute observations in this brief video on the increasingly blurry distinction between “old” and “new” media. I especially like the line from one journalist about it all coming down to trust.  Ultimately, trust is the currency of good journalism. And without trust, you really are reduced to being a ‘content producer for an advertising platform’ (to quote former Fairfax CEO Fred Hilmer’s notoriously reductionist definition of […]

The Counter Reformation

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Craft Standards, Digital Media, News Corp, Newspapers, Social Media

“What is happening is…a revolution in the way young people are accessing news. They don’t want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don’t want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what’s important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don’t want news presented as gospel.” When Rupert Murdoch delivered that speech to the American Society […]

Stuck Inside of Mobile

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Advertising, Business Models, Digital Media, Entrepreneurial Journalism, Media Business, Mobile, Staffing and Resources

The digital revolution will not be televised. And it’s not in the newspapers either. In fact, media companies don’t seem to get the revolution at all. A decade and half since newspapers started distractedly plastering their content all over the internet (mistaking the web as just another publishing platform), the media owners are getting whacked anew.

The Other Side of the Rope

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, New Media, Profession

Journalists traditionally pride themselves on being outsiders. They’re not corporate types, they’re not joiners, they’re square pegs. So why are they suddenly dictating the terms in which everyone else can express their displeasure with the government? The most divisive, contentious federal budget in decades – one that even former Liberal Party leader John Hewson says “screams inequity” – has drawn students into the streets in numbers not seen since […]