Estate of the Nation

 

If it hadn’t been Grog’s Gamut, it would have been someone else. The unmasking of the popular political blogger by The Australian newspaper in 2010 served in retrospect as the moment when blogging in Australia gained something of a critical mass.

Until then, the nation’s mainstream media had treated blogs as background noise, at best, unrelated to the real business of journalism and political commentary. But when News Ltd’s James Massola revealed “Grog’s” true identity as a Canberra public servant Greg Jericho, it was clear something had changed.

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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?
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Punch and Judy Journalism

The Twitterverse, fingers poised on keyboards and 140 characters at the ready, has been excitedly awaiting the resumption of the ABC’s hit current affairs panel show, Q and A. The usual suspects are being primed to play their customary roles on either side of compere Tony Jones, the constable in this televisual Punch and Judy. Continue reading

Itchy Triggers

The possibility of instant global publication, the growth of social media and the commodification of facts are accelerating the media’s drive to offer ‘analysis’ around news events. More ominously, and knowing reporters are looking for a point of differentiation, agents of power now routinely use social media to manipulate the official record in their favour before the facts are clear.

Of course, the problem with this is there is little evidence that asking ‘why’ before the traditional questions of ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ are answered is a recipe for good journalism. But commercial pressures, such as they are, encourage reporters to explain before they describe. And there areĀ  plenty of voices out there feeding them lines to help them meet those pressures, while generating more heat than light. Continue reading