Did You Vote For This Man?

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News, Public Interest

There are two upcoming power battles in Australia. One pits Kevin Rudd against Tony Abbott. The second positions Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers against our democracy. The outcome of the first battle may depend on the second, yet we only get to vote in one of them. That Murdoch wants a change of government in Australia is evident. He has said so himself, tweeting that the Australian public are […]

Moving Forward

Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in Books, Craft Standards, Gender, Political News

This is either the most well timed book on politics of recent times or the worst. In her meticulously detailed volume of the caustic three years of Julia Gillard’s prime ministership,  Kerry-Anne Walsh ends the narrative tantalisingly short of the final scene – the long-canvassed ‘Ruddstoration’. It seems churlish to fail the book on events overtaking it, but this is always the danger with seeking to tell history on […]

That’s the Way It Wasn’t

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in Books, Profession

At a Reuters editorial management course in Singapore around 1997, the attendees were being reminded about the principle of objectivity in journalism. To play his or her stated role in a global news organisation, the journalist had to be a perennial outsider with no affiliation. At that point, the trainer theatrically looked over his shoulder as if to see that no-one else was listening and leaned in toward the […]

Of Human Bondage

Posted on 23 CommentsPosted in ABC, Craft Standards, Financial News

An increasingly unhinged Australian mainstream media, with a few honourable exceptions, has been revving up the scary-o-meter in recent days about this country facing a future of debt, deficits and public penury for as far as the eye can see.   “A decade of deficits spells a bleak future for Australians,” was the headline on the increasingly tabloid ABC television news, warning of a crisis bigger than the one […]

Send in the Clowns

Posted on 23 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Opinion, Political News, Profession

“What we will witness over the next 18 months or more is a Great Unhinging, an orgy of hysterics. The goalposts of what constitutes government legitimacy will be moved from the constitutional to the convenient, from the reality of the parliamentary majority to  concocted nostrums about mandates to govern. It will not just be a campaign against the government, but one rolling, frenzied campaign after another, where each new […]

Scraping the Barrel

Posted on 25 CommentsPosted in Ethical Standards, News Corp, Newspapers, Political News

  The more irrelevant newspapers become, the greater their resort to spin, deceit and wilful manipulation in the service of pandering to their readers’ deepest fears and prejudices. Come on down The Daily Telegraph. Splashed across the front page of the Monday edition of the Murdoch Sydney tabloid was a confection of such jaw-dropping dishonesty that one wonders how the hacks employed by that rag can look at themselves […]

The Man Behind the Curtain

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in ABC, Blogging, Newspapers, Political News, Social Media

Being a successful media pundit depends on a couple of core skills – one is a capacity for sounding absolutely confident about your predictions; the other is your ability to seamlessly and plausibly change gear after the fact without denting your public credibility at all. Traditionally, pundits have gotten away with these 180-degree reversals because of the mainstream media’s monopoly on analysis. Being the sole mediator allowed established outlets […]

News Judgement Fail

Posted on 67 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Editorial Judgement, Opinion, Political News

Global media: Local media: One principle in journalism is that the closer you are to a story, the less likely you are to see it. It’s why wire services rotate people around the world. Journalists who work for Reuters, Bloomberg and AP have a frame of reference wider than the average local reporter.

A Day in the Life

Posted on 21 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Financial journalism, Newspapers, Political News

I read the news today. Oh boy. Apparently, Australia is now a socialist dictatorship run by red rag shop stewards stealing the legitimate rewards of those with enterprise and throwing it away on the undeserving poor. “Once again, nothing in it for me,” said  ‘Single Dad’ in the comments section of a Sydney Morning Herald analysis from Adele Ferguson describing Wayne Swan’s fifth budget as ‘Class Warfare’. Over at […]

‘Freedom’ Versus Truth

Posted on 8 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Ethical Standards, Government Policy and Regulation, Media Business, News Corp

  Judged by the hysterical reaction of the media and its think tank boosters to the modest ideas of the Finkelstein inquiry, journalism’s ultimate arbiter is the market. If the press’ output is no good, the public will not buy it. Or so the story goes. It’s a neat trick that equates freedom of the press with the notion of an unfettered capitalist free market. Anything that stands between […]