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Media: its failure « Previous | |Next »
August 20, 2004

There is a good article by Max Suich,The Independent Monthly, on the Australian media in The Age. he argues that there is a large

"....problem in the Australian media and, in particular, in the serious press. Political news reporting has become little more than the official account of the interminable singles tennis match between John Howard and Mark Latham. This dull fare is sexed up with opinion articles from the tribe of staff commentators, opinion-page columnists, talk jockeys and current affairs interviewers and analysts."

A lot of reporting is a recycling of media releases. Media releases are designed so that journalists dump them in. Hence the idea of the drip feed. There is very little thinking going on. Many journalists have no understanding of the issues they are reporting on, nor are they encouraged to do so.

Suich then goes on to connect this to parliamentary politics. he says:

"Where newspaper specialist reporters find out something, beyond the official line, they often place it in their personal columns or commentaries. Here it often fails to meet the arbitrary rules for setting the news agenda of TV news, radio and rival papers, and so, despite its importance or interest, is ignored. The result is that the simplicities of the parties' sloganeering dominates the news agenda.

As the politicians move into a formal election campaign, it will be the objective of both the Howard Government and Latham Opposition to maintain this straitjacket on the media. The whole of their strategy is concentrated on achieving that end."

Most of the news reporting is boring. That is why people turn to commentary and the conflict about the meanings and interepretations of the news.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:13 AM | | Comments (0)