Beaten, Not Stirred

Posted 22 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Political News, Television

  It was legendary US newscaster Walter Cronkite who is reported to have said of the media in Australia: “too many reporters, not enough news”. That quote came to mind when an excited Seven News wet its pants over Opposition leader Tony Abbott using the phrase “shit happens” when discussing with a US commander in Afghanistan a firefight in which an Australian soldier died.

Spoon Fed

Posted 17 CommentsPosted in ABC, Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Political News

In the olden days, journalists used to be taught to always write in the active voice. Oops. Let me say that again. In the olden days, journalism educators told their students to always write in their active voice. Whatever happened to that edict? The problem with writing in active voice is that you have to introduce at the top of the sentence the source of the action being reported […]

Squeezing Every Last Drop

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Disaster News, Television

Like any disaster covered by television news networks, the Queensland floods bring together stories of drama and heartbreak and courage and strange twists of fate. For journalists, there’s not much to do, other than show what is happening and get out of the way. But that’s not enough for our networks. After all, the story isn’t really about the floods. The story is about Kochie at the floods or […]

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 […]