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Analysis and Comment (29)

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese worries that a depleted press gallery is affecting the quality of political reporting. Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese worries that a depleted press gallery is affecting the quality of political reporting. AAP/Lukas Coch

Quality of politics and political reporting is a two-way street

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese recently bemoaned the decline in the quality of political reporting in Australia. Albanese is not the first current or ex-politician to question the standard of reporting…
While Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews faces demands for answers from The Age, the newspaper hasn’t addressed the ethics of recording off-the-record conversations. While Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews faces demands for answers from The Age, the newspaper hasn’t addressed the ethics of recording off-the-record conversations. AAP/Julian Smith

Andrews' media accusers have some explaining of their own to do

It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor Party conference. But it is an…
Are political cartoons a blunt instrument? The Australian newspaper played an important role in honing cartooning culture. Are political cartoons a blunt instrument? The Australian newspaper played an important role in honing cartooning culture. Martin Cathrae

The Australian helped political cartoonists sharpen their edge

As late as 1976, in what must have been one of the last things he wrote, the poet and controversialist James McAuley asserted, in a foreword to a volume of cartoons by George Molnar entitled Moral Tales…
If Kiama residents want to know what’s happening in their town, the local newspaper is generally the only place they’ll be able to read about it. If Kiama residents want to know what’s happening in their town, the local newspaper is generally the only place they’ll be able to read about it. Gavin Anderson/Flickr

Without local papers, regional voices would struggle to be heard

After residents in the NSW coastal town of Kiama woke to the sound of emergency sirens earlier this week, chances are they grabbed a copy of the local newspaper, the Independent, to find out about the…
How did the media cover treasurer Joe Hockey’s first federal budget? How did the media cover treasurer Joe Hockey’s first federal budget? AAP/Lukas Coch

The federal budget in headlines: a week in review

In the lead-up to the Abbott government’s first federal budget, there was one standout headline that stole attention from “exclusive” pre-budget leaks: WHY I’VE GOT A PACKER UP MY CLACKER In terms of tabloid…
Unless things have changed greatly in the last eight years, it would seem that the ABC has little to fear from a review of its efficiency. Unless things have changed greatly in the last eight years, it would seem that the ABC has little to fear from a review of its efficiency. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

ABC efficiency review must not be a stealth attack on effectiveness

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey are among the federal politicians to have softened up the ground for funding cuts to the ABC. Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey are among the federal politicians to have softened up the ground for funding cuts to the ABC. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Crude tone of attacks is new, but softening up the ABC for cuts isn’t

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch may still bestride the world like a colossus, but the world is shifting under his feet. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch may still bestride the world like a colossus, but the world is shifting under his feet. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Book review: Rupert Murdoch – A Reassessment

In the late 1980s, shortly after Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd had swallowed the Herald and Weekly Times to become the print media behemoth that it is today, I found myself working on the subeditors’ table…
The challenge for the ABC as it faces political opposition is to remind taxpayers of the good value it represents and of the public service journalism it creates. The challenge for the ABC as it faces political opposition is to remind taxpayers of the good value it represents and of the public service journalism it creates. AAP/Dave Hunt

What would the Australian media look like without the ABC?

The Abbott government is preparing to cut funding to the ABC. The end of the Australia Network in its present form is one saving already flagged by communications minister Malcolm Turnbull. And while the…
DIdn’t see that coming: within a decade of opening, Fairfax’s $220 million Tullamarine printing plant was on the market, driven by falling print newspaper sales. DIdn’t see that coming: within a decade of opening, Fairfax’s $220 million Tullamarine printing plant was on the market, driven by falling print newspaper sales. AAP/Julian Smith

Hard times in the news game, but don’t write off the old players

After more than a century of a “life of plenty” with its lion’s share of a seemingly ever-growing advertising market, newspapers have fallen on hard times. The turmoil in the news media is not confined…
Philanthropist Graeme Wood has pulled funding from longform journalism venture The Global Mail, but is this really another nail in the Australian media’s coffin? Philanthropist Graeme Wood has pulled funding from longform journalism venture The Global Mail, but is this really another nail in the Australian media’s coffin? AAP

Graeme Wood’s Global Mail felled by financial reality

There are no great surprises in the announcement by Wotif founder and philanthropist Graeme Wood that he will no longer fund not-for-profit online journalism venture The Global Mail (TGM). According to…
There’s no clear need for a review of the ABC’s operations – and such calls have a long history. There’s no clear need for a review of the ABC’s operations – and such calls have a long history. Sarah Ackerman

What would be the point of yet another ABC inquiry?

Prime minister Tony Abbott may be a fan of institutional inquiries and a critic of supposed ABC bias, but he has nothing to gain by responding to calls for yet another review of the ABC. First, there’s…
New digital media entrant The New Daily injects a hopeful note into the media landscape. New digital media entrant The New Daily injects a hopeful note into the media landscape. A screenshot of The New Daily.

A New Daily, new models and new hope: journalism’s silver lining

November is a month of two tales for the Australian media industry: one of hope, the other of despair. The arrival on Wednesday of the online news site The New Daily, and reports that The Monthly’s publisher…
It is difficult to convey complex and nuanced research findings around immigration and social cohesion when the media’s interest is in polarisation and headlines. It is difficult to convey complex and nuanced research findings around immigration and social cohesion when the media’s interest is in polarisation and headlines. AAP/Dan Peled

Tracking social cohesion and cultural diversity in the media

If you were to believe some reports in the mainstream media earlier this week, Australians are now more racist, alarmed by immigration and much more negative about asylum seekers arriving by boat. However…
The Abbott government has reduced the information flow on asylum seeker arrivals to a weekly briefing. How has the mainstream media responded? The Abbott government has reduced the information flow on asylum seeker arrivals to a weekly briefing. How has the mainstream media responded? AAP/Dan Himbrechts

A deafening silence: the media’s response to asylum secrecy

It is remarkable how complacent Australia’s media has been in response to the federal government’s brazenly cynical suppression of information about asylum seeker boat arrivals. There were a few indignant…
There may not be good news for the future of newspapers, but the future of journalism can be bright. There may not be good news for the future of newspapers, but the future of journalism can be bright. AAP/Alan Porritt

Newspapers are dying, but long live the news

Former editorial director of News Corp in Queensland David Fagan expressed both optimism and realism about the future of journalism in Australia when he addressed an audience of academics at Queensland…
Are Tony Abbott’s early ‘missteps’ on media management - which some have criticised him for - more about co-ordination than control? Are Tony Abbott’s early ‘missteps’ on media management - which some have criticised him for - more about co-ordination than control? AAP/Alan Porritt

Feeding the chooks: Abbott, Howard and media management

Is Tony Abbott really trying to gag his ministers when, under the Howard government, he and his ministerial colleagues enjoyed relative freedom to handle media interviews and issue press releases? This…
Rachel Buchanan’s Stop Press is the latest addition to the growing list of publications about the death of newspapers and the transition to digital journalism. Rachel Buchanan’s Stop Press is the latest addition to the growing list of publications about the death of newspapers and the transition to digital journalism. AAP/Dean Lewins

Stop Press: we need to save journalism, not newspapers

Rachel Buchanan’s new book Stop Press: The Last Days of Newspapers is part of what independent publishing house Scribe calls the “Media Chronicles”: A series of first-person accounts about the dramatic…
Where will Rupert Murdoch’s influential broadsheet The Australian focus its agenda now that there has been a change of government? Where will Rupert Murdoch’s influential broadsheet The Australian focus its agenda now that there has been a change of government? AAP/Dean Lewins

Now Abbott’s in, what will The Australian do?

How does a newspaper of strong ideological preferences - such as News Corp broadsheet The Australian - respond when there is a government in office that more closely shares its ideology than did the previous…
The ADF wants to fashion its own narratives about what its troops have achieved in Afghanistan. The ADF wants to fashion its own narratives about what its troops have achieved in Afghanistan. Department of Defence

Looking for failure? Why the ADF hates the Australian media

Last week, prime minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott opened the Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition, Afghanistan: the Australian Story. That public attention on the war is now shifting…
We take a closer look at the claim the prime minister has made on the Murdoch press in Australia. We take a closer look at the claim the prime minister has made on the Murdoch press in Australia.

FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia?

“Mr Murdoch is entitled to his own view… he owns 70% of the newspapers in this country.” – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, press conference, 6 August. One of the more spirited discussions of the first week…
How much of a role did the media play in the political demise of Julia Gillard as prime minister? How much of a role did the media play in the political demise of Julia Gillard as prime minister? AAP/Tony McDonough

Ethical lapses by journalists contributed to Gillard’s demise

An integral power of the media is that of portrayal: the act of determining how people, events, ideas and organisations are described to the public, and therefore how they are perceived by the public…
Australia’s media culture gets in the way of asking politicians serious questions about climate change. Australia’s media culture gets in the way of asking politicians serious questions about climate change. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Australian media failures promote climate policy inaction

Four months ago, the big media proprietors were fighting proposed federal government press reforms, arguing that “the press” needs freedom if it is to defend the public interest. But these arguments were…
UK news outlet The Guardian launched in Australia this week to much fanfare, but will its reporting hit the mark with Australian audiences? UK news outlet The Guardian launched in Australia this week to much fanfare, but will its reporting hit the mark with Australian audiences? The Guardian Australia

The Guardian: too local for Australian lefties?

For many of us who have long read The Guardian online or, in my case, had the print edition delivered once a week, the Australian edition - launched earlier this week - is disappointing. But there is also…
Commercial interests intruding on business reporting is not new, but as newsrooms shrink, the pressure on fearless reporting grows. Commercial interests intruding on business reporting is not new, but as newsrooms shrink, the pressure on fearless reporting grows. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Australian business journalism: more noise than signal?

Political forecaster Nate Silver’s excellent book The Signal and Noise explores living in an era of information abundance. Information is not in short supply, but how to interpret it accurately — as he…
The ABC will be left with significant holes in their schedule after the BBC signed a deal to share their content with Foxtel last week - will they fill it with more local content? The ABC will be left with significant holes in their schedule after the BBC signed a deal to share their content with Foxtel last week - will they fill it with more local content? EPA/Andy Rain

The Foxtel-BBC deal: implications for Australian television and content

The ABC’s 50-year TV partnership with the BBC is at breaking point after a landmark deal between the British broadcaster and pay TV provider Foxtel was announced last week. Under the new deal Foxtel will…
Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has made himself the centre of attention after the Hawks' loss to Geelong last weekend. Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has made himself the centre of attention after the Hawks' loss to Geelong last weekend. AAP/David Crosling

Too much of a good thing? Why the AFL’s media overload is damaging the game

Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says Hawks’ coach Alastair Clarkson should leave or be sacked at the end of the year. Angry at the Hawks’ seven-point loss to Geelong at the MCG on Monday – their…
Senator Stephen Conroy did not have a mandate for significant change. Senator Stephen Conroy did not have a mandate for significant change. AAP/Lukas Coch

Low-key Conroy proposals are media reform lite

Yesterday, communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy finally presented the government response to the Convergence Review and Finkelstein review. It is hard to know how many drafts of this long-awaited…
Australia’s newspapers took a very shallow view of the carbon price. Australia’s newspapers took a very shallow view of the carbon price. Beppie K/flickr

Biased newspaper reporting on the carbon pricing mechanism

The Australian print media have been criticised for inaccurately reporting the carbon pricing mechanism (CPM), and in some instances for actively campaigning against the Gillard government. Research from…

Research and News (3)