The Civic Vacuum

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Entertainment News, News Corp, Public Interest, Sales and Circulation

A major theme accompanying the destruction of the mainstream media’s business model is what happens to our democracy when we lose public accountability journalism. We’re finding out. Whether liberal or traditionally conservative, no champion of a vigorous democracy can be happy with the emaciation of the Fourth Estate to the point where it is reduced to being a passive cheerleader or booster for the well-heeled, the powerful and the […]

Under the Dome

Posted on 19 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News, Public Interest

News Corp didn’t win the 2013 election for the Coalition. The Labor Party’s dysfunctional internal politics had more to do with that. But that doesn’t mean the calculated propaganda which Murdoch’s papers call news is not an issue for anyone concerned about the health of this democracy. The influence of the Murdoch papers on the public debate is more long-term and diffuse than can be read from a single […]

Reinventing Journalism

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Entrepreneurial Journalism, Media Business, New Media, Staffing and Resources

It is a painful time for many journalists. Cast aside from the failing industry that used to provide them with a secure living, they are confused, frustrated and in some cases downright angry that society no longer seems to put a dollar value on the skills they worked so hard to perfect. That the wounds of mass redundancies are still raw was rammed home to me last week when […]

Media Stockholm Syndrome

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial journalism, Public Interest, Staffing and Resources

‘Twenty Ways to Bulk Up Your Cash’. That was the breathless headline in The Australian Financial Review on September, 27, 2005 “It’s shop till you drop for ordinary people with money to park,” the article gushed. “And the range of investment options is so vast, it’s very nearly an embarrassment of riches.”

Freedom for Whom?

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Government Policy and Regulation, News Corp, Profession

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 […]

Free Media VS Free Market

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Ethical Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, News Corp, Opinion, Public Interest

Much of the opposition to the federal government’s tame media reforms stems from a now ritual assumption among journalists and others that “free markets” are synonymous with “free media”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Following the now infamous photoshopped front pages in the Murdoch tabloids, comparing Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to mass murdering dictators like Stalin, came this screeching meltdown by News Ltd columnist Piers Akerman on […]

FEIJOA Awards, 2012

Posted on 32 CommentsPosted in Profession, Public Interest

Good journalists are troublemakers. They ask questions that others feel too uncomfortable to ask. They ignore the spin and seek inspiration from something other than the prefabricated fodder that forms the foundation of 90% of the PR masquerading as news that you see in the media most days. With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to announce the second annual F.E.I.J.O.A  awards (The Failed Estate International Journalism Awards), […]

Ordinary People?

Posted on 33 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Editorial Judgement, Gender, New Media, Newspapers, Opinion, Political News, Social Media

  “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 […]

Chest Beaters

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Government Policy and Regulation, Opinion, Political News, Public Interest

Noticed how everyone is a passionate champion for “freedom” nowadays? In fact, among Australia’s pinstriped and share optioned media executives, there is more chest beating on this subject than in a Tarzan movie – but without the pecs.

News Values

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Media Business, New Media, Newspapers, Sales and Circulation

The gnashing of teeth in print journalism about how to save the industry is understandable. But like a shipwrecked crew on a melting iceberg, the victims might spend less time wishing for a change in the weather and more time building a boat out of there.