Freedom! Is there any word more abused than this in the debate about politics and media standards? From Rupert Murdoch, his editors and commentators and the ubiquitous IPA, the rhetoric of ‘freedom’ is now ritually used to forestall any examination of media power. This American style hand-on-heart eulogising of freedom reached a crescendo recently with the failure of the Gillard government’s media reforms. Having gone as far as sending […]
Journalists, even the good ones, are perhaps one of the last groups one should seek the counsel of in the debate over media regulation. It’s like asking a policeman about who should investigate wrongdoing in the law enforcement community. Indeed, ever since the release in February this year of the independent media inquiry, commissioned by the federal government and headed by former Federal Court Justice Ray Finkelstein, journalists have […]
Ten years ago, online publisher Crikey under then owner Stephen Mayne fought a fruitless battle with the Howard government to win access to the budget lock-up in Canberra. Despite producing what was unequivocally journalism, Mayne’s operation was deemed not to be a media outlet. It’s a snub our newly digitising established media companies might want to consider.
Much of the discussion around the future of mainstream media journalism is about money. Who’s going to pay the journos’ salaries? What’s a viable business model? Will the revenue generated by the erection of paywalls be sufficient to make up for the loss of audiences? ABC Radio’s Saturday Extra took that angle recently, in an item entitled ‘Newspapers and the Media of the Future’. Norman Swan, standing in for […]
What’s most likely to keep journalists awake at night? That they will be ‘scooped’? Please. In 2012 in the age of Twitter? Hardly. After all, they all copy and paste the same PR releases and transcripts. Nope, what really gnaws at journalists is the fear that they will be exposed as flakes, dilettantes, copycats and pretenders. In days gone by, this wasn’t a big risk. After all, academics for […]
One of the shorthand criticisms of the internet by the mainstream media is that it is almost wholly populated by paranoiacs, single-issue fanatics, stalkers and sundry geeks. Thank God, they say, for the reasoned professionals in the nation’s newsrooms. Given what the internet (and bad management) has done to the legacy media business, it’s understandable that some journalists are defensive about ventures outside the mainstream.
“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 […]
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.
They squibbed it. Given the chance to tackle News Ltd’s stifling dominance of the metropolitan newspaper market in Australia, the federal government has left ownership issues out of the remit of its independent inquiry into the media. That was really the only reason for holding an inquiry in the first place. Instead, the inquiry – to be led by former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein – will focus on […]
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” […]