Tick Tick Tick

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, Television

Watching the scandal over 60 Minutes’ apparent complicity in a violent child abduction in Lebanon, I’m struck by two things – the cynicism of Channel Nine in using a child custody dispute for ratings and the complete ignorance of journalistic ethics among its defenders. It’s depressing that professionals need to be reminded of this, but journalists are supposed to be witnesses to the news, not creators of it. They […]

The Business of Anger

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Opinion, Talkback

A perennial tension in journalism arises from balancing the professional requirement to accurately inform the public and the commercial one to actively engage them. The destruction of media business models, where classified advertising subsidised across a Chinese wall the quality journalism that attracted the eyeballs, has gradually swung that balance from the professional to the commercial imperatives.

His Master’s Voice

Posted on 32 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, News Corp, Profession, Social Media

A common defence of Rupert Murdoch’s overwhelming dominance of the Australian media is that it reflects market forces. His papers account for 60%-70% of newspaper sales because they are popular, goes this line. A second defence is that the multiplicity of new platforms for news and information and the proliferation of blogs make Murdoch’s stranglehold over traditional media, particularly newspapers, less of an issue for democracy.

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 […]

Noise Vs Signal

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Political News, Profession, Staffing and Resources

One of the curses of being a news journalist is that the ‘news’ (a hazy concept at the best of times)  must always fit the available space. The space for news has been expanding exponentially in recent years as new digital, real-time platforms emerge. At the same time, the resource to fill that space has been dwindling. What do you think happens?

Who Protects Us From Stupid?

Posted on 29 CommentsPosted in Broadcasting, Entertainment News, Ethical Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Sales and Circulation, Talkback

It was a bit of fun that flouted the rules, says Jonathon Holmes. The outrage is another example of nanny statism by meddling lefties, says Tim Blair. Yes, yes.  But has anyone considered that the now infamous hoax call to Kate Middleton merely confirmed (yet again)  the utter stupidity of our media and the people who mindlessly consume it? Clearly, there has always been a substantial commercial market for […]

Dawn of the Dead

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in Business Models, Digital Media, Media Business, Newspapers, Public Interest, Staffing and Resources

Breaking news: The news business isn’t dead. But that’s not because the news business was ever alive on its own terms. It’s because news was never a business. In fact, the idea that you can make a living out of news is a dream that many people have yet to wake up from. Journalists leaving the industry – and there are hordes right now walking the streets like extras […]

Talking Back to the Wireless

Posted on 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 […]

Old Angry Men

Posted on 28 CommentsPosted in Opinion, Talkback

Call it the Grumpy Old Man business model. At a time when our busted mainstream media are axing the jobs of hundreds of hard-working journalists, the market for menopausal male misogynists in print and broadcasting remains stronger than ever. Why? With a nod to our new ideological overlords of the IPA, it seems the market has spoken. What Australia wants from its media is not The Truth, but something […]

Anti-Social Media

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, Television

The Nine Network’s recent staged live crosses to a helicopter “in flight” tell you all you need to know about the state of much of our mainstream media  – cynical pretenders that see news as entertainment and their audiences as idiots.