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 […]

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 […]

His Master’s Voice

Posted on 32 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, News Corp, Profession, Social Media

A common defence of Rupert Murdoch’s overwhelming dominance of the Australian media is that it reflects market forces. His papers account for 60%-70% of newspaper sales because they are popular, goes this line. A second defence is that the multiplicity of new platforms for news and information and the proliferation of blogs make Murdoch’s stranglehold over traditional media, particularly newspapers, less of an issue for democracy.

Doing a Number

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Financial journalism, Financial News, Political News

Journalists, as a rule, don’t do numbers. They’re words people – topped the class in creative writing; struggled in maths. And in most areas of reporting, that’s not a huge disadvantage. But when it comes to economics, it can leave them open to being conned. Take the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. That News Corp would run this set-piece through its lazy and deliberately misleading partisan filter (‘Labor’s Debt […]

Analysts Say

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Financial journalism, Financial News, Public Interest

‘Analysts say’: It’s the no-more-gaps of journalese. The dignifying of rent-a-quotes with the title of ‘analyst’ is all-purpose cover-up for the passing off of idle conjecture and sheer guesswork as the carefully though out prognostications of the prescient. Financial media is full of it. Up against deadline and desperate to find facts to fit the premise snatched from the ether by an editor in search of an easy splash, […]

Under the Dome

Posted on 19 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News, Public Interest

News Corp didn’t win the 2013 election for the Coalition. The Labor Party’s dysfunctional internal politics had more to do with that. But that doesn’t mean the calculated propaganda which Murdoch’s papers call news is not an issue for anyone concerned about the health of this democracy. The influence of the Murdoch papers on the public debate is more long-term and diffuse than can be read from a single […]

Did You Vote For This Man?

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News, Public Interest

There are two upcoming power battles in Australia. One pits Kevin Rudd against Tony Abbott. The second positions Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers against our democracy. The outcome of the first battle may depend on the second, yet we only get to vote in one of them. That Murdoch wants a change of government in Australia is evident. He has said so himself, tweeting that the Australian public are […]

The Australian Asylum

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Media Business, News Corp, Political News, World News

The Rudd government’s new PNG solution to the asylum seekers problem is aimed at shutting down a filthy trade run by cynical and low-rent opportunists who exploit the hopes and fears of the most marginalised for commercial gain. Yes, we’re talking about tabloid editors. There are two dimensions to the refugees issue. One is managing the problem itself – a relatively marginal one for a rich economy that leads the […]

Moving Forward

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in Books, Craft Standards, Gender, Political News

This is either the most well timed book on politics of recent times or the worst. In her meticulously detailed volume of the caustic three years of Julia Gillard’s prime ministership,  Kerry-Anne Walsh ends the narrative tantalisingly short of the final scene – the long-canvassed ‘Ruddstoration’. It seems churlish to fail the book on events overtaking it, but this is always the danger with seeking to tell history on […]