Going Analog

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in ABC, Craft Standards, Public Broadcasting, Public Interest, Staffing and Resources

It is less than 20 years ago that the US financial news organisation I then worked for started asking journalists to put an email address at the bottom of every story. I remember snorting at the presumption that our readers were as nerdish as our tech-head editor in Washington. Move on two decades and we find journalists doing the bulk of their work over the internet – through research, […]

Freedom from the Press

Posted 13 CommentsPosted in Government Policy and Regulation, New Media, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News, Public Interest

“There is common ground among all those who think seriously about the role of the news media and about journalistic ethics that a free press plays an essential role in a democratic society, and no regulation should endanger that role”: Opening words of the 468-page report of the independent inquiry into the media by former Federal Court Judge Ray Finkelstein.   Labor Plan to Control the Media: Headline on Australian […]

Groundhog Days

Posted 12 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, Political News, Public Interest, Staffing and Resources

Just back from the US, where alongside the endless Republican primary circus and The Madonna of the Superbowl Festival, the media was preoccupied by Groundhog Day, in which the likely length of winter is prognosticated by a rodent.It seemed strangely familiar.

Market Farces

Posted 16 CommentsPosted in ABC, Business Models, Government Policy and Regulation, Political News, Public Broadcasting, Public Interest

As with everything in Australian politics these days, debate over the federal government’s media inquiry has become just another coat-hanger on which ideologues of every stripe can drape their off-the-rack worldviews. It’s why we’re hearing market forces are the fix for dodgy journalism.

Waiting for the Feature

Posted 12 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Government Policy and Regulation, Public Interest

 It’s 11pm at a Coffs Harbour sports club. The lone gambler is $400 down and still waiting for the feature. This particular poker machine, The King of the Nile (pictured), is his favourite. When the coveted 15-free-games feature appears – all too infrequently – any winnings are trebled. Even better, this machine gives him a second chance if the original prize is a meager one. Problem is he is […]

If the Crap Fits…

Posted 25 CommentsPosted in Ethical Standards, News Corp, Public Interest

What recourse have the public when the nation’s major media company wilfully misrepresents a public policy reform? What safeguards are there against blatantly dishonest journalism that presents opinion as fact and a partisan agenda as straight news? Take a look at the two front covers above – from the nation’s two biggest selling newspapers and ask yourself, as the ABC’s Annabel Crabb has contended, whether this is merely “aggressive” […]

Journos in Jarmies

Posted 13 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Business Models, Craft Standards, Newspapers, Public Interest

Over at Club Troppo, Don Arthur has run a  post titled ‘The Blogosphere’s Delusions of Grandeur’,  regurgitating the now ritual meme that pits the apocryphal self-aggrandising blogger in pyjamas (usually venting about the meeja) against the hard-working professional investigative journalist risking everything for his readers.

Journalism as a Public Good

Posted 16 CommentsPosted in Media Business, News Corp, Public Interest

The Australian media is one of the least diverse in the world. At what point does the dominance of a single player become so great that our democracy is at risk? How, at a time of accelerating convergence in media and the slow death of traditional business models, can we encourage a multiplicity of voices while preserving and encouraging press freedom?  And why is no-one asking these questions in […]

This is Australia?

Posted 18 CommentsPosted in Government Policy and Regulation, Political News, Public Interest

I don’t recognise this Australia. From where did it hail? The Australia I have come to admire is one of the world’s wealthiest nations; rich in spirit and resources; a country that takes almost childish pride in its generosity of spirit, its good humour, its open-heartedness and its willingness to look after the underdog. It is the Australia that is always willing to extend a hand to the desperate and the needy. As the […]