A Fistful of Donuts

Posted 13 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Education, Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Political News

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 […]

A Show About Nothing

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Newspapers, Political News

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 […]

The Forecast Deficit

Posted 9 CommentsPosted in Financial journalism, Financial News

A few years back an economic forecaster was asked to explain why his predictions of a 10 per cent return on the Australian equity market that year hadn’t come to pass. (The market ended down nearly 40 per cent in 2008). “It’s not my fault,” he complained. “No-one predicted Lehman.” To which the response is well, isn’t that the point? Forecasts are subject to considerable error, due to the […]

The Money Go Round

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Political News

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.

Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair

Posted 17 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial News

As the US and European economies slowly sink into a quicksand of indebtedness, the world is watching with increasing incredulity the doom-laden discourse of lucky Australia . Here is an economy enjoying fundamentals that other developed nations would donate their first born for, yet our parochial media has decided to slavishly sing along with Tony Abbott’s one-note death march of the saints.

Locked Up

Posted 9 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Financial News, Political News

The Federal Budget is ‘The Big Day Out’ for the political and financial media in Australia. Busloads of hacks (only the lucky ones go by plane these days) make the long journey to late autumn Canberra to join their full-time press gallery brethren in what is a media and political ritual – a six-hour lock-up, a frenzy of writing and then off to The Holy Grail (these days the […]

Noise Vs Signal

Posted 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.

Here’s that Rainy Day

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial journalism, Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Political News, Uncategorized

What is it with the Australian parliamentary press gallery and its obsession with budget deficits? It seems every government initiative is met with questions about what it means for the Labor government’s election campaign pledge (extracted under pressure) to restore the budget to surplus within three years – as if this means anything. To be fair, successive governments have brought this on themselves by making a fetish of having […]