It’s 9pm in the Daily Telegraph bunker and Gemma Jonestown is screaming herself hoarse.Her nationwide scoop about fatcat asylm seekers scoring free taxpayer-funded microwaves to heat up their 2-minute noodles is held up in production. “For chrissake, Woodward and Bernstein would KILL for this story,” she screams, between hurried sips of her Hungry Jacks large chocolate shake, “It’s only a photo illustration, mate!”
Politics is a television medium. It has been for nearly 50 years. But TV has changed in that time. Artifice in the aid of the entertainment was formerly tolerated. Now, thanks to the ‘reality’ TV phenomenon, we seek out representations of ‘authenticity’. Guess what happens to politics?
Old and experienced editors (are there are any left?) will tell you the best stories write themselves. Answer the who, what, where and when in the first paragraph. Tease out the why and how. Then add background and quotes to provide authority and colour. But with so much competing noise out there, that template is rarely sufficient anymore. So journalists take every piece of news, however routine, and stick […]
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.
Like any disaster covered by television news networks, the Queensland floods bring together stories of drama and heartbreak and courage and strange twists of fate. For journalists, there’s not much to do, other than show what is happening and get out of the way. But that’s not enough for our networks. After all, the story isn’t really about the floods. The story is about Kochie at the floods or […]
The possibility of instant global publication, the growth of social media and the commodification of facts are accelerating the media’s drive to offer ‘analysis’ around news events. More ominously, and knowing reporters are looking for a point of differentiation, agents of power now routinely use social media to manipulate the official record in their favour before the facts are clear. Of course, the problem with this is there is […]