Election 2013 media panel

Abbott does Adelaide

One of the most interesting issues in these first few days of the campaign is how News Corp reports the lack of detail and depth in Coalition policy. You know they want to back Tony to the hilt, but they don’t have that much to work with.

In Adelaide, this morning, Joe Hockey promised policies and costings, but not right now, and shame on the assembled press pack for asking. Given that they’ve had three years to work on it, some might view that as surprising, although there was space for an announcement of a hefty tax cut for business. Gina will be pleased.

Tony said ‘Stop the boats’ at least once in his comments, again without indicating how these boats would in fact be stopped.

You can see, watching Sky News efforts to present this stuff, that their hearts aren’t in it. Folker Hanusch’s recent research on the political affiliations of Australia’s journalists, reported not long ago in the Conversation, indicates that many News Corp employees are on the left of the political spectrum. Not that that should make a difference to their coverage, but you do wonder how they feel about the lack of policy substance coming from the Coalition camp, at least thus far.

I sympathise with the challenge News Corp journos face in this campaign, and wish them well in negotiating the conflicting demands of their proprietor versus the requirements of a reasonably objective journalism. All I’d say is, with a nod to the current legal problems of News Corp in the UK (where ordinary journalists are being prosecuted for crimes the senior managers deny all responsibility for) - do what you think is best for Australia.