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When did we get so lazy?

When did we get so lazy?

When did Australians get so lazy? I don’t mean doing less demanding jobs, taking more sickies, walking less, being TV couch potatoes or even getting other people to do our thinking for us. I mean, when did we change from being independent, problem solving, effort admiring, go-out-of-our-way-to-help-people people? We still bask in the rosy glow of bush heroes portrayed in movies starring Chips Rafferty and Jack Thompson, Hugh “Australia” Jackman and even Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan; men … Read entire article »

Filed under: General, Society

Welcome to journalism-free journalism

Welcome to journalism-free journalism

Encouraged to embrace social media, are real journalists now paying too high a price for the convenience of “information everywhere all the time”? Serious journalists – i.e. those who think news should be fair, accurate and based on facts – have long been urged to integrate social media into their work. It’s a great tool for digging into events and harvesting opinions that might otherwise be “mediated out” by gatekeepers who don’t want inconvenient truths exposed. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism

Honesty still best policy for international broadcasters

Honesty still best policy for international broadcasters

Two events over the past few weeks have reinforced – if any further proof were needed – that honesty is the best policy in the complex world of international broadcasting. The first was the release of an Association for International Broadcasting analyses of rumoured plans by the recently-elected conservative government of Australia to cut off funding to the nation’s 20-year-old overseas television service, Australia Network, in its May Budget. The threat is widely seen as payback … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media, Society

Clouds of war gather over the Internet

Clouds of war gather over the Internet

The Internet is approaching a crisis. Authoritarian regimes censor and manipulate it to suppress dissent, western governments pursue online whistleblowers and Wikileakers, big business wants to track consumers’ every move. Supposedly liberal governments from the United States to Australia have proved as eager as their conservative predecessors to constrain it. And the media? They have largely been silent, uninterested, distracted or disempowered by the rapid collapse of the “free Internet” dream. Government of any kind has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media, Society

A circus, the Tank Man and a dead pop star

A circus, the Tank Man and a dead pop star

Irony is one of the guilty pleasures of many journalists and never more so than when it reflects badly upon opponents of a free media, especially those who try to limit our ability to expose the kind of doublespeak upon which irony itself feeds. While few governments around the world can escape accusations of hypocrisy – which is irony with boots on – journalists in Western democracies take special delight in exposing it in countries where … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media

Cheers or tears for SBS?

Cheers or tears for SBS?

The champagne corks have been popping at SBS in the wake of Tuesday’s Budget to celebrate what the multicultural broadcaster says is “the most significant funding boost SBS has ever received”. But will there be a hangover once all the bubbles have burst? By any reckoning, SBS receiving $158 million in extra funding has to be great news. Admittedly it is spread over five years and it is tied to some hefty non-discretionary commitments, but in light of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media

Trust me, I’m the Minister

Trust me, I’m the Minister

As SBS makes its final preparations to absorb the National Indigenous TV channel in July, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have to take it on trust they’ll actually get a place on the SBS Board. Expressions of Interest for two Board vacancies close on Friday (11 May) and although the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy have their fingers crossed that good Indigenous candidates will apply, there is no guarantee one will be … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media, Society

Endless war between newsroom and classroom

Endless war between newsroom and classroom

There has long been hostility between media academics and conservative journalists, but the Finkelstein review has opened up a new and bitter war of words between the two camps. Why has it come to this and can they both be wrong? The story so far: Acting on growing complaints and spurred on by the News of the World phone hacking scandal in Britain, an Australian inquiry chaired by former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein recommends, among … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Journalism, Media, Society