Do Keep Up

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Financial News, Political News, Public Interest

For millions of Australians forced to save for their own retirement, ‘finance’ is Alan Kohler on the news every night telling them what happened to the Baltic Dry index that day or explaining why Stock A’s share price went up when their earnings went down. The truth is that what happened in the global and domestic financial markets on any one day is hardly relevant to the vast majority […]

Fenced In

Posted on 24 CommentsPosted in ABC, Editorial Judgement, Political News, Public Interest

“Our job is not to step in, our job is just to reflect, it’s just to report on what happens.” That’s a quote from the ABC’s head of current affairs, Bruce Belsham, in the transcript published by New Matilda of his conversation in 2013 with the public broadcaster’s then technology editor Nick Ross about the National Broadband Network.

The God Complex

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in New Media, Profession

Once upon a time in politics – not that long ago, at least in human years – the mainstream media audience sat respectfully in the grandstands watching the game. Journalists, on the  other hand, were on first name terms with players and coaches and had a cosy, inside view of the action. Now, as is increasingly evident, the audience is invading the pitch. The old insiders’ game is breaking […]

Dog Bites Man News

Posted on 15 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Media Business, Opinion, Political News, PR and Communications, Profession

Life is tough in the news business. Journalists are being asked to do more with less. Print reporters, once required to file once a day, must now produce in real time for multiple platforms. Speed and volume has primacy over care and quality. The noise-to-signal ratio has arguably never been greater. What to do? The ideal solution is to hire more staff. But we know that’s not going to […]

Ordinary People?

Posted on 33 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Editorial Judgement, Gender, New Media, Newspapers, Opinion, Political News, Social Media

  “Grandma, tell me about the Great Cyber War. What was it like?”   “Well, dear, on top of hill were the well-armed, but rapidly depleting mainstream media corps defending their turf to the death, or at least until deadline. “Assaulting the outskirts of parliament were we brave bloggers, dressed only in our pyjamas, fuelled on skim lattes and clicking on petitions until our index fingers blistered. It was […]

Nowhere Man

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in Blogging, Craft Standards, Media Business, New Media, News Corp, Technology

One of the shorthand criticisms of the internet by the mainstream media is that it is almost wholly populated by paranoiacs, single-issue fanatics, stalkers and sundry geeks. Thank God, they say, for the reasoned professionals in the nation’s newsrooms. Given what the internet (and bad management) has done to the legacy media business, it’s understandable that some journalists are defensive about ventures outside the mainstream.

The Play’s the Thing

Posted on 24 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Political News, PR and Communications

What do you think the pokies story is about?  According to the Australian press gallery, it’s a story about individual politicians and party politics. The prime minister they have dubbed ‘Jul-iar’ Gillard, incapable of keeping promises, has done it again – ripped up a deal, walked away from an agreement and put pure politics ahead of principle. It’s the story her opponent wants run. And , of course, the […]

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Posted on 16 CommentsPosted in Craft Standards, Editorial Judgement, Newspapers, Opinion, Sales and Circulation, Staffing and Resources

If the world of politics is now so dominated by spin and media management that ‘reality’ is whatever you choose it to be, what’s the proper role of journalism? It’s to find the truth and report it, right? Journalists are employed to serve their readers and viewers by cutting through hype, digging out red herrings, challenging misleading statements and exposing what’s really going on. You would think so, wouldn’t […]

The Secret Sauce

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in Editorial Judgement, Newspapers, Political News, Sales and Circulation

What did the International Monetary Fund say about the Australian economy? We’re heading for a severe slowdown. No, wait! We’re better placed than anyone. Hold on, that’s not right! Julia Gillard is putting a brave face on a grim outlook. In an age when the source material for most news events is freely available on the web, it is surprising that media organisations continue to spin multiple versions of […]