Click Go the Fears

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Digital Media, Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, Political News

Journalism isn’t really a profession, much as some of its practitioners proclaim it to be. It’s much closer to being a trade or a craft. And like all crafts, success in journalism is usually achieved by getting not just one thing, but a number of small but critical things right. These small things include spelling people’s names correctly, accurately reporting what people said, answering all the key questions like […]

Recycling the News

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Craft Standards, Media Business, News, Newspapers

Why does the media routinely “commemorate” the anniversary of major news events like the Lindt Cafe siege with blanket over-the-top coverage? Is it out of respect for the victims? Or is it about money and ratings? The news presenters put on their grave faces for these anniversaries and roll out the boilerplate emoting. “It changed our lives forever….a day imprinted in our memories”, Producers with lots of time on […]

Approved Targets List

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Fairfax, News Corp, Newspapers, Opinion

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 […]

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.

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 […]

Noise Vs Signal

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Political News, Profession, Staffing and Resources

One of the curses of being a news journalist is that the ‘news’ (a hazy concept at the best of times)  must always fit the available space. The space for news has been expanding exponentially in recent years as new digital, real-time platforms emerge. At the same time, the resource to fill that space has been dwindling. What do you think happens?

Old Angry Men

Posted on 28 CommentsPosted in Opinion, Talkback

Call it the Grumpy Old Man business model. At a time when our busted mainstream media are axing the jobs of hundreds of hard-working journalists, the market for menopausal male misogynists in print and broadcasting remains stronger than ever. Why? With a nod to our new ideological overlords of the IPA, it seems the market has spoken. What Australia wants from its media is not The Truth, but something […]

Deep Throaties

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Ethical Standards, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News

It’s 9pm in the Daily Telegraph bunker and Gemma Jonestown is screaming herself hoarse.Her nationwide scoop about fatcat asylm seekers scoring free taxpayer-funded microwaves to heat up their 2-minute noodles is held up in production. “For chrissake, Woodward and Bernstein would KILL for this story,” she screams, between hurried sips of her Hungry Jacks large chocolate shake, “It’s only a photo illustration, mate!”

Class Consciousness

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, News Corp

The debate over media regulation has reached an impasse: In the one corner, the unrepresentative left-liberal academic elitist swill seeking to silence free media with their jackbooted authoritarianism; in the other, the free spirited and unshackled mavericks of the Murdoch media bravely speaking the people’s truth to power. It’s a debate made for the professional underdogs of News Ltd – the nominally working class warriors who find their capitalist […]

Mounting Precious

Posted on 33 CommentsPosted in ABC, Editorial Judgement, Political News

Just in: Pressure is increasing on Julia Gillard to call a leadership spill amid unrelenting pressure from backbenchers pressuring for a release of the pressure valve holding back potentially explosive leadership pressures. Sources close to the ABC say talk is growing about an imminent shift of three non-aligned backbenchers to the camp considering a vote for Kevin Rudd in order to silence ongoing media speculation about the release of […]