Do Keep Up

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Financial News, Political News, Public Interest

For millions of Australians forced to save for their own retirement, ‘finance’ is Alan Kohler on the news every night telling them what happened to the Baltic Dry index that day or explaining why Stock A’s share price went up when their earnings went down. The truth is that what happened in the global and domestic financial markets on any one day is hardly relevant to the vast majority […]

Insided Out

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in ABC, Editorial Judgement, News Corp, Political News

It’s now four years since the US journalism academic Jay Rosen decried at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival about the “cult of savvy” in political journalism and the treatment of politics as a game for insiders. What’s changed since? Not much, going by the hysterical coverage of the leadership change in the Australian Greens.  In what may simply have been a case of a party leader deciding to quit politics […]

Graffiti Crimes

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Craft Standards, New Media, Political News

“Graffiti crimes shall be written upon your walls.Well I shall spray them so bold and so tall.Just you wait ’til you read this one.” – Misex, 1979 What distinguishes “electronic graffiti”, as a besieged prime minister characterised social media, from the “real” journalism of the mainstream? That’s easy. One is full of uninformed opinion, unsourced speculation and lazy trolling. The other is to be found on Twitter. Unfair, I […]

West Side Tories

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in New Media, News Corp, Opinion, Political News

“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.

The Other Side of the Rope

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, New Media, Profession

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 […]

Left Right Out

Posted on 47 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Opinion, Political News

When people talk about media bias, they inevitably are referring to the house leanings of particular publishers. What’s often overlooked, though, is the bias generated by the necessity of journalists choosing certain frames and narratives to shape what’s known as “news”. The March-in-March protests around Australia provide an object lesson in how journalists can be captured by those tired frames and by the tired institutions they report on.  While […]

Yada Yada Yada

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Global Media, Media Business, Political News, Sales and Circulation

  Depressed by Australian politics? Take a trip to the US and witness the media conversation there. This is the original recipe for our post-modern show about nothing, featuring professional partisans rattling off practised punchlines like Jerry versus Newman. On a sleepy Sunday at Dallas-Fort Worth, an airport the size of a small Australian city, chino-wearing business travellers hunch over laptops at fast-food joints lit by hundreds of screens […]

Talking Back

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Books, Experimental Formats, New Media, Public Interest, Social Media

In age in which we are flooded with largely depressing books on the death of traditional media and establishment journalism, it’s exciting to read the perspective of someone who has grown up in new media and who celebrates the rise of the audience. Tim Dunlop, a writer, academic and one of Australia’s pioneer political bloggers, has written a refreshing insiders’ account of the rise of the new media insurgency. […]

Anonymice

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, Political News

When this blogger tweeted that Labor caucus members undermining the prime minister using the cover of anonymity be exposed as self-serving manipulators, there was a tsunami of outrage from journalists about the sacred nature of anonymous sources. “Starting point of journalism, simple as that,” said one. “You’re ignoring that we have a sacred duty to respect confidentiality,’ said another. On it went, platitude after platitude from young scribblers clearly […]

Contesting the News

Posted on 24 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Gender, New Media, Newspapers, Opinion, Political News

The fierce debate over perceptions of Julia Gillard’s parliamentary speech on sexism – the press gallery take versus the public one – has touched a nerve among journalists for a simple reason. It has created doubt about the craft value journalists hold most dear – their nose for news.