Society of the Spectacles

Posted 20 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Ethical Standards, Gender, News Corp, Opinion, Political News

“When social significance is attributed only to what is immediate, and to what will be immediate immediately afterwards –  always replacing another identical immediacy – it can be seen that the uses of the media guarantee a kind of eternity of noisy insignificance.” – Guy Debord, Comments on Society of the Spectacle, 1987 When Julia Gillard delivered what was her best and most substantial policy speech as prime minister […]

Talking Back to the Wireless

Posted 23 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Opinion, Talkback

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, people would sit in their lounge-rooms listening to the news on the wireless. The rounded and reassuring tones of a voice-of-god announcer would interpret for eager audiences the messy events of the world in neat packages. The yearning for that distant-yet-familiar authority figure/’expert’ lives on today in the aging audience for shockjocks like Alan Jones. This is a […]

Why Journalists Fear Academics

Posted 58 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, News Corp, Newspapers, Opinion

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 […]

The Elephant Men

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in Ethical Standards, Gender, Government Policy and Regulation, Opinion, Sales and Circulation, Talkback

 “The world is a business, Mr. Beale; it has been since man crawled out of the slime. Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality – one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock – all necessities […]

Turning off the Noise

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Fairfax

It was the great English journalist Walter Bagehot who said that an inability to stay quiet was one of mankind’s most conspicuous failings. The irony is that the only way of appreciating the wisdom of that observation is to turn off the noise for a while and see how it feels in contrast.

Freedom Now!

Posted 17 CommentsPosted in News Corp, Political News

Our freedoms are under attack. And the assailants are wearing drawstring pants. As bad as the heinous actions of the Norwegian gunman were, nothing is as reprehensible as the dire assault by shrieking leftists on the quietly-spoken and moderate Marxist-turned-Libertarian Brendan O’Neill on Monday night’s Q&A. Fired up on mungbeans and soy machiattos, the Ultra-Leftist 10-stone enforcer Stephen Mayne took time out from shareholder meetings and dodging punches thrown […]

Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair

Posted 17 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial News

As the US and European economies slowly sink into a quicksand of indebtedness, the world is watching with increasing incredulity the doom-laden discourse of lucky Australia . Here is an economy enjoying fundamentals that other developed nations would donate their first born for, yet our parochial media has decided to slavishly sing along with Tony Abbott’s one-note death march of the saints.

The Outrage Business

Posted 22 CommentsPosted in ABC, Business Models, Media Business, News Corp, Opinion, Talkback

As in drama, conflict drives the news business. The more black and white the conflict is portrayed as, the greater the passion the issue raises, the greater its confected ‘news’ value. Once a savvy media organisation works out what gets people worked up, it’s a fair bet it will go out of its way to construct narratives around those very issues.

Hitting Them Where it Hurts

Posted 12 CommentsPosted in Advertising, Ethical Standards, Opinion, Radio, Talkback

The previous post Radio Ga Ga looked at the ever deteriorating standards in Australian talkback radio – including inciting racial hate and prejuidice, cash for comment, distortion, lies, breaches of the rules of contempt and a general absence of any respect for the ethics of journalism.