ABC

Enclosing the Commons

iStock_000017089639_LargeThe existential attack on the ABC in Australia is just the latest extension of creeping libertarianism, imported wholesale from the US and promulgated by the Murdoch press and the now dominant right-wing fringe of the Liberal Party. For these people, there is no legitimate public space, no community, there is only the market. And anything not given a dollar value by the market must, by definition, have no intrinsic value. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

The Other Side of the Rope

image

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
Books

That’s the Way It Wasn’t

At a Reuters editorial management course in Singapore around 1997, the attendees were being reminded about the principle of objectivity in journalism. To play his or her stated role in a global news organisation, the journalist had to be a perennial outsider with no affiliation. At that point, the trainer theatrically looked over his shoulder as if to see that no-one else was listening and leaned in toward the class, sotto voce: "Actually, that's not really true. We aren't objective at all. Implicit in everything we write is an acceptance of the Washington Consensus." (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
New Media

The God Complex

Once upon a time in politics - not that long ago, at least in human years - the mainstream media audience sat respectfully in the grandstands watching the game. Journalists, on the  other hand, were on first name terms with players and coaches and had a cosy, inside view of the action. Now, as is increasingly evident, the audience is invading the pitch. The old insiders' game is breaking up. And the former participants and stenographers are clearly ruing the loss of clubby exclusivity. On Twitter, they can be seen pompously blowing their whistles and citing rules that no longer apply. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

The Man Behind the Curtain

Being a successful media pundit depends on a couple of core skills - one is a capacity for sounding absolutely confident about your predictions; the other is your ability to seamlessly and plausibly change gear after the fact without denting your public credibility at all. Traditionally, pundits have gotten away with these 180-degree reversals because of the mainstream media's monopoly on analysis. Being the sole mediator allowed established outlets to play footsie under the table with the poohbahs who told us what to think about economics, politics and everything else. Each needed the other. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Editorial Judgement

Contesting the 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. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Blogging

Ordinary People?

 

“Grandma, tell me about the Great Cyber War. What was it like?"
  “Well, dear, on top of hill were the well-armed, but rapidly depleting mainstream media corps defending their turf to the death, or at least until deadline.
"Assaulting the outskirts of parliament were we brave bloggers, dressed only in our pyjamas, fuelled on skim lattes and clicking on petitions until our index fingers blistered. It was ugly, dear.”
(more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Blogging

Blogalism

A US court's $2.5 million ruling against a blogger for defaming a businessman has sparked a flurry of new attempts to define journalism in relation to blogging. My view on what constitutes journalism is similar to what someone once said about por**graphy - I know it when I see it. While this won't help the judges, you can be certain that earnest attempts to define a journalist in legal terms will lead to nothing but confusion. The Americans, with their black letter law pedantry, just love debates of this kind because it keeps much of the legal profession in business. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
ABC

Nowhere Man

Chris Uhlmann wants you to know he’s a non-partisan, straight down the middle journalist. One of the stars of the reinvented post-Kerry O’Brien current affairs show “7.30” (apparently ‘Report’ is superfluous now), Uhlmann represents the Read more…

By Mr Denmore, ago