Thursday, November 29, 2012

Safety in Numbers

The self-mythology of journalism is that its practitioners are dissidents, contrarians, professional sceptics and iconoclasts. But the behaviour of our media through the so-called AWU affair reveals an easily manipulated, compliant and cowardly press pack.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oh, THOSE ethics!

With the report of the Leveson inquiry into UK press ethics due within days and decisions from the Australian government on its own twin media inquiries now well overdue, get set for a coordinated rendering of garments and gnashing of teeth against the coming assault on our sacred freedoms.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Man Behind the Curtain

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 to play footsie under the table with the poohbahs who told us what to think about economics, politics and everything else. Each needed the other.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dawn of the Dead

Breaking news: The news business isn't dead. But that's not because the news business was ever alive on its own terms. It's because news was never a business. In fact, the idea that you can make a living out of news is a dream that many people have yet to wake up from.

Journalists leaving the industry - and there are hordes right now walking the streets like extras in a George Romero movie - talk up the prospect of setting up collectives that "sell" breaking news directly. The truth is, however, the audience isn't buying. People won't pay for general news. They never have....directly anyway.