Ethical Standards

Deep Throaties

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!" (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Business Models

Excess Baggage

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? (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Craft Standards

Head Bangers

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 it through a Marshall stack turned up to 11, stomp on the adjectival overdrive and invite jaded readers to stick their heads inside the PA. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago
Editorial Judgement

Itchy Triggers

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 little evidence that asking 'why' before the traditional questions of 'what', 'where', 'who', 'when' and 'how' are answered is a recipe for good journalism. But commercial pressures, such as they are, encourage reporters to explain before they describe. And there are  plenty of voices out there feeding them lines to help them meet those pressures, while generating more heat than light. (more…)

By Mr Denmore, ago