Be Afraid, Please

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, News Corp, Political News

“ The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”– H.L. Mencken In a world in which everyone is constantly distracted, arguably the most valued currency is your attention. Politicians know it. Journalists know it. As Big Idea professions trying to survive in […]

Future Shockers

Posted 35 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Digital Media, Financial News, Media Business, Staffing and Resources

“Prediction is very difficult, particularly about the future.” Journalists would do well to keep in mind that aphorism from influential Danish physicist Nils Bohr when quoting “experts” about the outlook for financial markets, the economy and politics.

The ‘Certainty’ Myth

Posted 25 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Financial journalism, Financial News, Government Policy and Regulation, Political News

A sub-narrative amid the media thumbsucking about the future of the Australian Labor Party after the leadership spill has been the ritual calls from business leaders for the removal of “uncertainty” – the idea being that the economy has ground to a standstill as the egos exchange handbags in Canberra.

That’s Entertainment (Revisited)

Posted 11 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Fairfax

At what point does journalists’ dedication to ‘neutrality’ obscure their obligation to reveal┬áthe truth? My post about a public form about ‘false balance’ in reporting on climate science, run late last year, has sparked feedback from one of the quoted forum participants – the Sydney Morning Herald’s environment’s editor Ben Cubby. Ben’s complaint, and I quote him in full below, is that I had taken him out of context. […]

Easy Meat

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, PR and Communications, Staffing and Resources

The concept of “churnalism” – the idea that newspapers and broadcast media are increasingly dominated by PR-originated content – has gained a high profile in the UK in recent years. Given the same practices are evident in the Australian media, why aren’t we seeing a similar debate here?