Dog Bites Man News

Posted 15 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Media Business, Opinion, Political News, PR and Communications, Profession

Life is tough in the news business. Journalists are being asked to do more with less. Print reporters, once required to file once a day, must now produce in real time for multiple platforms. Speed and volume has primacy over care and quality. The noise-to-signal ratio has arguably never been greater. What to do? The ideal solution is to hire more staff. But we know that’s not going to […]

Society of the Spectacles

Posted 20 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Ethical Standards, Gender, News Corp, Opinion, Political News

“When social significance is attributed only to what is immediate, and to what will be immediate immediately afterwards –  always replacing another identical immediacy – it can be seen that the uses of the media guarantee a kind of eternity of noisy insignificance.” – Guy Debord, Comments on Society of the Spectacle, 1987 When Julia Gillard delivered what was her best and most substantial policy speech as prime minister […]

Send in the Clowns

Posted 23 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Opinion, Political News, Profession

“What we will witness over the next 18 months or more is a Great Unhinging, an orgy of hysterics. The goalposts of what constitutes government legitimacy will be moved from the constitutional to the convenient, from the reality of the parliamentary majority to  concocted nostrums about mandates to govern. It will not just be a campaign against the government, but one rolling, frenzied campaign after another, where each new […]

Contesting the News

Posted 24 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Gender, New Media, Newspapers, Opinion, Political News

The fierce debate over perceptions of Julia Gillard’s parliamentary speech on sexism – the press gallery take versus the public one – has touched a nerve among journalists for a simple reason. It has created doubt about the craft value journalists hold most dear – their nose for news.

Ordinary People?

Posted 33 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Editorial Judgement, Gender, New Media, Newspapers, Opinion, Political News, Social Media

  “Grandma, tell me about the Great Cyber War. What was it like?”   “Well, dear, on top of hill were the well-armed, but rapidly depleting mainstream media corps defending their turf to the death, or at least until deadline. “Assaulting the outskirts of parliament were we brave bloggers, dressed only in our pyjamas, fuelled on skim lattes and clicking on petitions until our index fingers blistered. It was […]

News Judgement Fail

Posted 67 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Editorial Judgement, Opinion, Political News

Global media: Local media: One principle in journalism is that the closer you are to a story, the less likely you are to see it. It’s why wire services rotate people around the world. Journalists who work for Reuters, Bloomberg and AP have a frame of reference wider than the average local reporter.

Talking Back to the Wireless

Posted 23 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Opinion, Talkback

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, people would sit in their lounge-rooms listening to the news on the wireless. The rounded and reassuring tones of a voice-of-god announcer would interpret for eager audiences the messy events of the world in neat packages. The yearning for that distant-yet-familiar authority figure/’expert’ lives on today in the aging audience for shockjocks like Alan Jones. This is a […]

Old Angry Men

Posted 28 CommentsPosted in Opinion, Talkback

Call it the Grumpy Old Man business model. At a time when our busted mainstream media are axing the jobs of hundreds of hard-working journalists, the market for menopausal male misogynists in print and broadcasting remains stronger than ever. Why? With a nod to our new ideological overlords of the IPA, it seems the market has spoken. What Australia wants from its media is not The Truth, but something […]

Estate of the Nation

Posted 11 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Books, New Media, News Corp, Newspapers, Opinion, Social Media

  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 […]