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.
In Canberra, press gallery members can stick around for years covering the same patch. It’s no surprise, then, so many of them – like Peter Hartcher above – have such lousy news judgement.
In this case, a passionate and thrilling speech by a prime minister about sexism and the low-level tactics of a political opposition leader beyond cynicism attracted world attention. But our gallery are too clever to see that.
They instead took the bait fed to them by the spin doctors on the other side of politics, that there was some moral equivalence between the private text messages sent by the speaker (when he was still a member of the opposition BTW) and the overwhelming climate of personal denigration and misogyny created by the Opposition leader and the tabloid flying monkeys that cheer him on.
The public can see this, obviously the global media can see it. But a press gallery that spends more time getting “briefed” by spinners and reading each other’s copy completely misses the story. Again.
All the more reason they have become an irrelevance, a bunch of scribbling note-takers and thumb-sucking drones with the attention spans of cordial-fuelled toddlers and the horizons of lab rats.