Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fairfax and G20 visits – What do we need? What do we trust?

Yesterday came the big announcement that Fairfax was going to sack around 1,900 workers of whom it was reported around 20% will be editorial staff. The news was greeted with much sadness especially from most journalists. This is not surprising, many of those who work for Fairfax would be worried about their own job, many would have friends who work there. As with any factory/business closure, it is a horrible position for those involved.

The discussion, as with all such announcements, turned to the future of media and why people won’t pay for news.

Well here’s a tip – I am finding less and less I have any need of what is written, and secondly less and less I trust that which I read.

The announcement of the Fairfax “restructure” was a case in point. It was reported quickly and widely by many on Twitter and many on Twitter provided a link to the ASX announcement. It detailed the cutbacks, the changes to the format of the papers; it even had a few quotes at the end from the CEO Greg Hywood explaining why they needed to be done.

I felt zero need to read any media reports on the issue, knowing that they would merely regurgitate what was in the announcement. I knew by that afternoon/evening there’d be a few quotes from the unions and maybe some media talking head, but they’d all just be speculating on what they think will happen. In terms of actual “news” and “facts” I had received all I needed from the primary source. All other information such as how journalists were reacting, how many of the positions to be cut were editorial etc I received via Twitter. In fact if I wanted to I could actually converse with those journalists personally.

The 7:30 Report coverage of the issue was good, giving a bit of background some quotes from the unions, the Minister, and a few more talking heads with some analysis of what they think might happen, but if I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t really have missed anything because I had viewed the primary source material that morning the same as every journalist writing on it.

The issue with the internet is that people (like me) who are pretty heavily engaged in news find less need to wait for a media report of a document because we can read the document. In the past the only way we would have found that report is through the media. Now, I often don’t need the media; I may however at times prefer to get such news via the media – because it’s easier, because I can’t be bothered reading the whole report etc or because (on those rare occasions) someone on Twitter hasn’t provided a link. On ABC 24 of Sky or APAC (both of which I pay for) I often see unedited speeches and new conferences, and they do me fine – in fact much better than any report of what was said in that press conference.

I do read some journalist’s coverage of issues/reports/announcements because I value their views and analysis – they often provide interesting points of view I likely would not have considered – in effect they provide me with a need – they increase my understanding.  Most importantly I value their knowledge, and I trust their reportage. (On this point, I will say that this is what I try to do with my weekly Drum pieces. I use data and primary sources available to all, but my aim is to increase the readers’ understanding, and to do so in a manner that readers can trust I am not leaving out certain data etc just because it doesn’t fit with my argument.)

Often I am unable to view the primary material/source and in that case I really need to trust the journalist.

But often when I read news now, I find I don’t trust what many journalists report.

Today was a prime example.

This morning The Australian’s Dennis Shanahan ran this story on Julia Gillard’s attendance at the G20:

Europe won't be 'lectured' by Julia Gillard, EC chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said

    • BY:DENNIS SHANAHAN, LOS CABOS
    • From:The Australian
    • June 19, 2012 7:26AM

EUROPE has struck back at Julia Gillard's written demands for stimulus and political courage to solve the eurozone debt crisis.

European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, has told the G20 summit in Mexico on its opening day that the EU is not the cause of the current crisis and won't be "lectured" by anyone.

Speaking at the isolated luxury resort area in Mexico, Mr Barroso said: “Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy.”

Mr Barroso said he expected all G20 leaders "speak clearly in favour of the approach the EU is following".

Before the conference, the Prime Minister wrote to all G20 leaders urging them to adopt a spending as well as austerity policy and later urged them to follow “the Australian way” to economic success.

Note how Shanahan infers Mr Barroso’s comments are linked to the Prime Minister’s letter. Note how the headline uses direct quotes and specifically has Barroso’s statement directed to Gillard?

Shanahan then went on to get this comment from a “spokesperson” for Mr Barroso:

Mr Barroso said through a spokesperson he was sure Ms Gillard "will acknowledge that Europe is doing a lot to boost growth and consolidate public finances. No effort will be spared to get our economies back on track, including through a banking union and deeper fiscal integration, completing ongoing structural reform and targeted investment for growth and jobs."

Gee, can’t you just feel Europe striking back!

The G20 meeting was also covered on the ABC’s AM program in much the same way:

EU responds coolly to Julia Gillard's G20 sermon

JANE COWAN: Well, Tony what's happened is that the leadership at the European Union has held a news conference here in Los Cabos, and really launched a rather fierce defence of their handling of the crisis.

This is in response to some of the finger wagging and the criticisms they've already received. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that the solution for instance lies in courageous leadership and that everyone should look at Australia's example.

The president of the European Commission - which is the union's executive agency - Jose Manuel Barroso, has said that frankly we didn't come to the G20 to receive lessons in how to run a democracy or how to handle an economy. And instead of criticism, he's saying that he wants to hear approval from other G20 leaders and support for the efforts that are being made in Europe, especially, he says, in light of the public opposition to austerity measures in countries like Greece.

Note Jane Cowan also links the comments at the news conference to things said by the Prime Minister.

Then there was Simon Benson on The Daily Telegraph:

PM Julia Gillard 'slapped down' at G20 summit by the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso

THE PM has been publicly slapped down at the G20 summit by the President of the European Commission for lecturing Europe on how to solve its economic crisis.

In an embarrassing swipe at the PM, on the first day of the official meeting of leaders gathered at the Mexican luxury resort region of Los Cabos, EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said he would not be lectured by anyone.

“Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy,” he said.

Embarrassing!! It’s a “swipe at the PM”. And given ‘slapped down’ is in quotes I guess someone has actually said that. Yes someone has – Simon Benson has. Wow what great journalism!

The ABC online took up the story as well:

Europe fires back over Gillard's G20 criticism

By chief political correspondent Simon Cullen

Updated June 19, 2012 11:22:52

European leaders have fired back at criticism from Australia and other G20 countries about their handling of the economic crisis.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan wrote to world leaders ahead of this week's G20 summit in Mexico, urging them to adopt policies designed to stimulate the economy while also implementing austerity measures.

But European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has hit back at those critical of Europe's approach, telling reporters: "We are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy".

"By the way, this crisis was not originated in Europe," he said.

"This crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market."

I always worry about a report that starts “Europe leaders” and then only quotes one such leader. I guess singular is the new plural. And note again how the letter from the Prime Minister is linked to the comments from Mr Barroso.

The SMH took a different tack:

Gillard delivers good news, but few are there to hear it


Gillard had a good story to tell. But was anyone listening?

Certainly not the world's media. If the Factiva news database is a guide, a letter she wrote on the weekend to G20 leaders was not reported outside Australia.

Oh well dear, if the media doesn’t report something I guess it is a total failure then…

So all this is nice and of course Tony Abbott bought into the whole thing as well, which creates another angle via Malcolm Farr:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard slammed for 'hypocrisy' over Europe advice

TONY Abbott today scoffed at Prime Minister Julia Gillard's advice to European leaders at a summit in Mexico to follow the "Australian way".

The Opposition Leader said the G20 summit, a meeting of the world's top economic powers, should know Ms Gillard had yet to deliver a surplus.

This comes as the PM was been publicly slapped down by the President of the European Commission for lecturing Europe on how to solve its economic crisis.

Yes again, the PM has been “publicly slapped down by the President of the European Commission”.

So there you go. Here is the coverage of the “news” that people think we should pay for (and which we all do via taxes when it comes to the ABC).

Clearly Julia Gillard has been slapped down by the European Commission President. That is A FACT PEOPLE. IT IS IN THE NEWS.

And then on Twitter at around 11:30 Annabel Crabb tweeted:

Just listened to the entire Barroso press conference. His rant about criticism of Europe was in response to Canada. Not Julia Gillard.

She then provided a link to the video of the press conference (ie the primary source).

The relevant bit start at the 36 min mark. It begins with a question from a Canadian journalist, David Akin.

AKIN: As you know President Barroso, Prime Minister Stephen Harper [ie the Canadian PM] has indicated that Europe should not seek money outside of Europe. He believes that Europe has enough financial fire power, the Euro area is a tremendously wealthy area, that funds with the IMF are better used in developing countries that do not have the resources that Europe has. You’re in North America right now – and I think President Obama feels the same way – you’re in North America right now, please make the pitch why North Americans should risk their assets for Europe that many North Americans believe is wealthy enough to sort out its own problems?

Did you notice any mention of Australia or of Julia Gillard’s remarks or letter? No neither did I – but then I am not a journalist, so what the hell do I know. It is clear Akin is asking about North America, and especially Stephen Harper’s comments.

OK here’s the answer, which you can watch above, but I have transcribed in full:

BARROSO: Regarding the IMF, the IMF is an international financial institution and it should work for the common good. And if there is an issue that is recognized as important for the common good like financial stability, including in some European countries I don’t see any reason why that institution should not contribute. Let me tell you by the way that European states are by far the biggest contributors to the IMF. Even Euro member area states alone are the biggest contributor – bigger than the United States, certainly much, much bigger than Canada. [now that is a swipe!]

So the biggest contribution for the IMF all these years has been European Union member states. And it is quite interesting to know that even in times of crisis – now when we have decided to increase the funding for the IMF once again it is the Europe member states that have given the biggest part, the biggest share.

And by the way we are on time to do it. Others unfortunately are not on time

So let’s put things in the right perspective. The European Union is the biggest economy in the world, yes we know that. Taken together the 27 member states, the biggest economy and the biggest trade partner (By the way we are trying to conclude an important on trade with Canada – why? Because all parts of the world look at Europe as a source of possible growth for them.) [another mention of Canada]

And in fact they also have an interest. The sooner the situation is stabilized in Europe, the better for them.

Sop that’s why my position and the position of the European Union has been to say , “Let’s work cooperatively for this. Let’s work together”.

By the way this crisis was not originated in Europe – since you mention North America – this crisis was originated in North America! And many of our financial sector were contaminated by… how can I put is… ‘unorthodoxed’ practice from some sections of the financial market. But we are not putting the blame on our partners. What we are saying is “Let’s work together, when we have a proble… little problem like the one we have today”.

And so that’s why I am expecting today the G20 leaders today and tomorrow to speak very clearly in favour of the approach that the European Union is following – understanding one thing that is very important is that in Europe we are open democracies. Not all the members of the G20 are democracies.[China of course is the biggest non-democracy in the G20] But we are democracies and we take decisions democratically, sometimes this means taking more time. Yes because we are a union of 27 democracies and we have to find necessary consensus. But frankly we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy. Because European Union is a model that we may be very proud of. We are not complacent about the difficulties. We are extremely open. I wish that all our partners we so open about their own difficulties. We are extremely open and we are engaging with our partners, but we certainly are not coming here to receive lessons from nobody.

Barroso’s answer is mostly about IMF payments with a slap at the non-democratic members of the G20 (and last time I checked, Australia remains a democracy, despite all protestations to the contrary). And then he ends with a sentence that is directed at no one in particular, but given it comes off the back of statements about non-democratic states, could be more linked to them than any other country – although Barros is looking at the journalist the whole time, so the Canadian/ North Americans aspect is also close to his mind.

A slap at Julia Gillard? Only if you are a journalist looking for an angle that has no connection to the truth, you are lazy and have just read other’s reports, or you are out of your depth and struggle at listening-comprehension.

Nowhere in his answer did Barroso mention, even by inference, Julia Gillard’s comments or her letter addressed to the G20. Nor would he slap her down given the banking reforms she is advocating the G20 help implement are essentially the same ones the EU is trying to implement. (I know, the gall of her!)

So how did David Akin (you know the bloke who actually asked the question) write of the answer?

At G20, top euro leader blows up at Harper

Whether you think Akin’s report is more or less accurate doesn’t actually matter – we can all now view the primary source and make up our own minds.

And note, that this didn’t come via any media organisation’s report but from a Tweet by a journalist – a journalist who herself seemed surprised by the coverage. Does any think the future will be one where the ability to get primary data/reports etc outside of standard media will decline?

I am loath to pretend to know how to solve the business model of the media’s, but here’s one thing – I’ll pay for things I need, or that media companies can convince me are things I should need. But most importantly, I’ll only pay for news from people I can trust.

On the matter of Gillard’s trip to the G20, thus far, all have failed the trust standard.

42 comments:

kymbos said...

"Grog's Gamut 'Slaps Down' media for being lazy, corrupt, out of touch".

Grog's Gamut today eviscerated a lazy and compliant media , arguing it only had itself to blame for its current woes.

Grog also provided a solution to print media's problems somewhere towards the bottom of his piece, or maybe not, but to be honest I didn't read that far.

(In all seriousness, great dissection of lazy media as a perfect case in point. I'm going to have to join this twitter thang.)

Daryl said...

We'll now wait (in vain) for the prominent corrections.

Anonymous said...

Yeah all well and good to bag the MSM but there is half a chnace that Fairfax might just have a sub in the Pagemasters outsourcing bureau who knows the difference between LOATHE and LOATH ... or because you are a blogger you don't have to know how to spell

Andrew Elder said...

Do you realise that you've just proved Grog's point?

Steve Szetey said...

I'll assume that "Anonymous" checks his/her own typing with care.

People in glass houses ...

Anonymous said...

Typing errors are one thing, using the WRONG word is another ... I can't type but I can spell

Laurie said...

Good post Greg. I'm finding exactly the same thing. Nowadays I am mostly able to go to original sources, and then I choose only those journalists/reporters/commentators I trust to read or listen to because they can provide elucidation or a different perspective or argument. Today's across the board lemming-like groupthink efforts make for a sobering lesson - but one that won't be heeded. (Until late in the afternoon ABCNews24 was still scrolling a misleading banner re Gillard being slapped down). The damage is already done - the lie has had play all day. For those whose agenda is purely and simply to get rid of the government by whatever means, today's job is well and truly done. What a combination of wilful ignorance, partisanship and laziness.

Anonymous said...

Well today the Herald has a story by Daniel Flitton pointing out that there are more refugees world wide than any time in the past decade, it is straight from the UNHCR website media release.

It mentions trifles like wars and so on but then in the AGE he has a piece claiming it is all the smugglers faults as if the transport providers who help people get across borders are the same people waging the wars on their citizens.

brad said...

Copy paste media doing what it does best..So we can expect an apology to the ALP from all concerned??

Greg Jericho said...

Thanks Anon. Fixed. I should say I only loathe those who read a whole post and the only issue they think is worthy of discussion is a spelling error.

But nice work including a typo in your own comment - that was very witty of you.

Fiz said...

It is shameful that the ABC jumped on this bandwagon. Simply shameful.

mollymalone said...

It might be shameful that the ABC jumped on the bandwagon but it's par for the course these days. They take their lead from other news outlets without doing basic fact checking too often. Truly excellent post Greg.

Coldsnacks said...

But nice work including a typo in your own comment - that was very witty of you

That would be a textbook example of Muphry's Law.


Good post Mr Jericho, as per usual. Have to say, I second your notion near the end - when the media comes up with a product I see the value in buying, then I'll buy it. Until then, they can suck eggs.

Anonymous said...

I'm a former print journo and am angry at the standard of the media I'm now consuming.
On the weekend the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) reported the new state government was cancelling a sports project pitched by the former government. Fair enough, insert criticism of waste, wrong priorities, no problem.
But the article made the original decision out to be a cover up, it was 'quietly announced' despite a former MP on Twitter pointing out there was a presser, with Fed Sports Minister and Olympic athlete which was reported in the Courier-Mail, the M-F sister paper.
No alternative viewpoint, no comments on the original article, just a p1 smashing at the hands of a pliant media. They want me to pay for this?
My former paper proudly asserts its commitment to accuracy, they'll correct typos, but the premise of a story is wrong? No chance.
I don't know the answer, but I do know the actions of those involved are not making me leap to their defence and argue for the importance of a future for the commercial press.

- peeved

Melbournehammer said...

Dear grog

One difficulty with your position appears to be this - you watch speeches and press conferences. Are bloggers etc going to ask the questions ? What is the mechanism to conduct an interview without the hacks wandering around to ask questions ?

It seems to me that dragonista may have the point here (albeit I am not sure I agree with her conclusion) that the issue is where does opinion take over rom analysis. The approach of a shanahan etc is pre written - labor bad, gillard inept or overreaching and under delivering and then put the policy into the story. But perhaps we still need something there to have questions asked.

I think your position also misses one of the critical things - it too readily accepts the position on the documents. Speeches are written to convince as are media releases etc. it is easy enough to debunk if we are dealing with something like abs stats but when it is a more contested space you cannot simply rely on the primary source - the primary source itself may be inaccurate.

Other than that thanks for the thought provoking piece.

filius gulielmus said...

For years my father quoted the old proverb to believe nothing you hear and only half you see. He was an optimist! Thankfully, fifteen minutes of Media Watch each week keeps me up to date on misinformation that I was fortunate enough not to have watched or read elsewhere - and the continuing search for content over quantity continues.

Greg Jericho said...

Melbournehammer - you're right I don't get to ask questions - mostly because I am not allowed access to those press conferences etc. But did Shanahan et all ask the question at this press conference? Nope. They just took what they saw and twisted it into crud.

I feel no need to pay for that.

This post is not about "we don't need journalists", nor "we don't need to pay for journalism". You are right we do need people who question documents and speeches etc. And I'll pay for that - but you gotta make me believe I can trust what you have written.

We do, need good journalists, we don't need churnalism or party hacks masquerading as journalists.

I am just pointing out that if you want me to pay for it - make sure it is something of value, and that it is something I can trust.

If that bar is too high, then don't blame the customer for not wanting to buy it.

Think of any other business - how important is trust in getting people to part with their money? Hell I buy a $3.70 loaf of bread from Bakers Delight every other day only because I trust that it will be of the quality I expect. That works out at around the daily price of a copy of The Oz.

In the past you bought a whole newspaper and you had to pay for the crap as well as the good stuff you wanted. But think about music - I rarely buy a whole album nowadays, I buy only the songs I like (yeah I actually do buy them), and ignore the filler - unless it is by a band/artist I trust enough to know I'll probably like the songs after a while.

I have no desire to have to buy crap that I don't trust written by Shanahan just so I can also read George Megalogenis, Pat Karvelas, Sue Denlevey etc.

Garry said...

Isn't the diversity in the media wonderful. Doing a great job, that diversity. We should preserve it whole-heartedly.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting Grog.

I had only heard a few snippets of this story so this was an illumination to me. But the thing is that most people don't go to the original source. Most people are not intelligent and curious like yourself. They will have accepted this as another 'Labor hopeless' story and moved on. Shanahan's work is done. You have shown him to be nothing more than an incompetent or a liar but he's still there.

Increasingly these days I fear for what is to come.

I see democracy corrupted by money, partisanship and plain old bastardry and I don't see it improving. I am frightened as to what sort of country Australia is becoming. I see a media where the screeching of Piers, Andrew, and that bald bloke from the London toilet and whose name I can't remember becomes our national conversation.

I despair as to what is to be done.

Marc said...

I just learned that loath and loathe are two different words. Cool!

Greg Jericho said...

cheers peeved. Yep good example.

Bossy said...

I would pay to read this. I would not pay to read Shanahan.

Sara Foley said...

Thank you for your great article. I have been watching with great interest the debate on old vs new media and the Fairfax changes, especially since I am a media and communications student! I think you have hot the nail on the head. trust, or lack of it, is such a big issue. I don't trust the Murdoch press (Sheridan) to deliver an unbiased report on anything the PM says and I think that's sad. If Fairfax becomes an editorial tool for Rinehart, all trust will go there too. People will go to the news that they can trust, and as you have so convincingly pointed out, the news today was reported by lazy, biased or corrupted journalists. Which is more than a pity.

Doug said...

One of the interesting points from conversations with 'knowledge management' professionals is that the new currency is not information, but trust.

Mac Yourselfathome said...

Nice piece Greg. You've reminded me again why I despise Australia's media and the glaring need for diversity.

Anonymous said...

Incredible article, thank you Greg.

Interesting thing was that I busy today - but had caught flashes of this story on-line, in a quick flick through a newspaper over a cup of tea, and in the background on TV. Somehow the authenticity of the reports and Abbott's response just didn't seem to ring true - a case was being made in the media. My bullshit detector was on alert.

Once upon a time, a trusted media otlet would give me the low-down on the constructs. This has been long missing and bloggers (thankfully) are filling in the pieces.

Trouble is most bloggers can only manage an article every few days, and then only on their limited range of subjects - naturally enough.

Another story that had hit my bullshit detector and now has been better explained is the Peter Wicks series on Jacksonville on Indepnedent Australia website.

How do we aggregate these stories more efficiently? Reading blogs is great, but it takes a lot of time....

Anonymous said...

Increasingly the audience is reciprocating the contempt with which it's treated by the media.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad someone wrote this. I follow the news closely but am usually too time-poor to read the source of the story, even when I see it tweeted.

So I do tend to believe what Australian journalists tell me.

Then when I discover they've basically made something up, it really annoys me. And it does discourage me from that publication, certainly from every paying for it.

Thanks again, Greg.

kazann said...

A quick scan of the news today and there is no correction of their craptastic attempts at reporting/churning yesterday. In fact many are still running with the same misleading rubbish.
I really must send The Australian a thank you letter. Without them trying to discredit you I wouldn't have even known you exsisted.

megpie71 said...

My own position on the mainstream media is that I'm not interested in them because they've long since shown they're not interested in me. I'm not just a set of demographic information - address, gender identity, disposable income, education level, past purchases, brand preferences etc - I'm a human being who is a lot more complex than that. I'm interested in more than just "he said, she said" and "contentious issues" which boil down to some journalist wanting to create a tempest in a teacup by virtue of careful misquoting. I'm tired of being expected to accept "stories" which can be rebutted quite successfully by the famous Mandy Rice-Davies quote ("Well, he would [say that], wouldn't he?").

I got sick of paying for that years ago. If I want crap journalism, I can find it online too - and I don't have to worry about filling up the recycling bin with tons of useless newsprint as a result.

Anonymous said...

This should be compulsory reading

Greg Jericho said...

Hi Kazann.

Yes I saw Shanahan followed up his piece by saying Gillard was wrong to try and suggest Borroso was talking about others. He supported this assertion with not one piece of actual evidence.

(But, then what use would the senior political journalist at the Oz have of evidence?)

live sports said...

nice work

HaveAchat said...

I will pay for the media when it is not lies, I can buy fiction in the bookshop or online book depositories. When I pay for the news I expect it to be true, this was not an opinion which one could argue may lead to different views of facts, this was an outright lie, it was completely untrue. All subsequent onfeeds or copies or articles that sited or used the origina Shanna crap were onfeeding a deliberate lie.
When the media stops deliberately fabricating stories then they have value that seperates them from novelists, until then they are just liars and I will not give them money for facts and accept falsehoods instead.

Bill said...

Much food for thought here, Greg. At the risk of using a cliche, I think what we're looking at is a two-speed economy when it comes to news and journalism. Sure, the politically engaged have the ability to go directly to the primary source and make of the story what they will, but there are still many more who haven't the time or inclination to do that, and just want Brian to tell them. These people still vote.

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but perhaps political reporting needs to become more like sports reporting. A sports reporter can precis the event and result, but s/he can't embellish the result too much because thousands of people saw the game and will quickly call bullshit if the report tries to spin the result.

I suspect there's a fair bit of life left in commercial media, but it will be the role of 'bloggers and others passionate enough to track down those primary sources to act as watchdogs instead of toothless tigers like ACMA.

Bill said...

I agree that much of what's now reported in the media is poor. My problem is that I don't have time to follow twitter and watch ABC24, let alone Sky. I need a quality source of information to filter the news for me - one that I can trust. Unfortunately, I'm not getting that. I'm certainly not prepared to pay money for what's put out by the likes of News Ltd nowadays (and I once used to buy the Australian every day - now I won't even accept a free copy).
I will say one thing. There's no excuse for the ABC's coverage in this instance. The ABC has the resources, they should have gone to the original source before reporting. Perhaps if they had they might have had a minor story on the Australian publishing a false story.
The major asset a news organisation has, especially a "serious" one, is the trust of its readers - it's goodwill in accounting terms. Media in Australia, and elsewhere I suspect, are rapidly losing that trust and goodwill at the very time when they can least afford to. The Australian in particular seems to be trashing its brand with some very one sided reporting.
Murdoch subsides the Australian because of the influence it brings. If people start ignoring the Australian because they no longer trust its content then Murdoch might not be a happy man. That might be something those in charge at the Australian should consider.

sue said...

Just wondering did Annabelle follow up her tweet with an article or an opinion on the Drum? I ask because I had lost the trust factor in Annabelle and if she did I may start looking at her stories again.

Greg Jericho said...

Good points Bill - especially about most people not having the time to watch press conferences etc. That's where I think bloggers do play a role. But on this score, the Australian blogosphere is still pretty small - even if there are around 300 or so bloggers on Australian politics that is still small compared to the numbers of journalists. It's why following a good range of people on Twitter can help as well.

Sue as far as I am aware there was no follow up by Annabel, nor by anyone else. At best it got altered to "Gillard defends claims" etc

DaveMcRae said...

Well said.

I used to have a weekend ritual - 3 weekend papers for a what was for me a fun weekend.

They then got rather sad and full of the same misinformation - that often when checked against original sources was misrepresented.

Then it was just the AFR - yeah the back end was crazy opinion - but the policy analysis, often in the middle, was top notch.

Even mid last year, eg policy analysis on proposed ETS - it was CPRS this and CEF that, what the differences where etc etc a 6 page lift out.

Now they cannot/will not even get the terminology right - and the analysis is completely arse plucked.

Why pay for that? Well simply, we don't.

Wendy Bacon and her team found that alot of the press is rehashed press releases, often not even altered. Again, who would pay for that? Or more more importantly, who thinks people will continue to pay for that?

Vic said...

Not to be outdone, yesterdays SM Herald editorial weighed in with an editorial lecturing Julia about the error of her ways. Late and wrong, is it any surprise that Fairfax is in trouble.

Tomás Ó Conghalaigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
metaboleus said...

I saw the initial article in the OZ, and was suss. Not knowing how to access the recording of the press conference, and being on the end of a wireless connection in regional Tasmania making it too frustrating to stream the document, I did the next best thing. I did some research.

It took only a few minutes to have more detailed reporting on the interchange. It was readily apparent that this had nothing to do with JG being slapped down by the Europeans. So once again I was, to call a spade a spade, lied to by the M$M. (Notice the groovy way I added the dollar sign. I am not going to call the mainstream media MM, as to me that is reserved for Marilyn Monroe, while adding the dollar sign encodes more information.)

So again the lesson is go to more sources, get more information and then tell the story.

As to loath v loathe, yes it was used incorrectly. But to pick it up as a 'talking point' is ridiculous. All that this shows is that English is a terrible train wreck of a language, which seems to exist only to trap unwary users into mistakes. As Joyce (James, not Barnaby) had Stephen Dedalus say, "A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery." Maybe the blogger really did mean, I hate intensely the business model etc. And what is there not to hate about a business model which is based on the peddling lies as truth, a business model than fans the flames of racism and irrational thought, a business model that has manifestly failed.

Keep up the good work! And remember "More mentors, fewer pedants!"