Craft Standards

Be Afraid, Please

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The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed - and hence clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."-- H.L. Mencken

In a world in which everyone is constantly distracted, arguably the most valued currency is your attention. Politicians know it. Journalists know it. As Big Idea professions trying to survive in a post-modernist age, they're drowning in indifference. Terrorists know it, too. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
New Media

West Side Tories

West-Side-Story-jets-vs-sharks "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way. From your first cigarette, to your last dyin' day." The mainstream media is deep into its 'Me' phase. Despite the world going through enormous change and upheaval, a large chunk of our media is talking more about itself and its competition than it is about anything that might remotely impact on its audience. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Blurred Lines

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, Read more…

By Mr Denmore, ago
Business Models

Approved Targets List

471421135 One consequence of the death of the mainstream media's business model and the commodification of news is a corresponding increased reliance on provocative commentary that generates page impressions. News Corp's Andrew Bolt is the poster child for the success of professional trollery as a revenue generator and brand differentiator. He has clear targets, strong opinions  and he succinctly expresses them. He has a fiercely loyal audience and equally fierce enemies who despise him with similar force. Bolt is now parlaying this approach of calculated outrage on commercial television. And good luck to him. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Business Models

The Counter Reformation

163821058"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 of Newspaper editors in Washington a decade ago, he was seen by some as a Martin Luther figure, challenging centralised authority and nailing his 95 theses to the digital wall. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Advertising

Stuck Inside of Mobile

[caption id="attachment_525" align="alignleft" width="300"]crowd-of-mobile-users-res Photo Courtesy The Guardian[/caption]

The digital revolution will not be televised. And it’s not in the newspapers either. In fact, media companies don’t seem to get the revolution at all.

A decade and half since newspapers started distractedly plastering their content all over the internet (mistaking the web as just another publishing platform), the media owners are getting whacked anew. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

The Other Side of the Rope

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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 the Vietnam war, before the fog of 80s consumerism snuffed out any principle other than the shallowest acquisitive materialism. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

His Master’s Voice

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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. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Financial journalism

Lego Journalism

Lego
It's not widely understood by the reading and viewing public, but a big chunk of what are purported to be 'news events' really are stage-managed set-pieces, minutely choreographed by the public relations industry. The supinely lame local coverage of the recent triumphant "free trade" deal announcement between the Australian and Japanese governments provides a perfect case study in how "news" is engineered, with national leaders positioned as virtual lego figurines in a carefully constructed tableaux. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Uncategorized

Unleashing the Reptile

"The freedom had two sides to it. Sometimes a heavy, reptile hostility came off the sombre land, something gruesome & infinitely repulsive." - DH Lawrence, 'Kangaroo' At what point did Australia's light on the hill become a rising stink from the basement? Of course, there's always been a whiff of bigotry and intolerance here. No country is immune from that. And few of us can claim to have never prejudged another on the basis of race. But recent events are genuinely disquieting for many people, particularly those from minority ethnic groups. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago