Free Speech Reply

spigelBeing offensive should not be illegal, according to Jim Spigelman, the Chair of the ABC.

Mr Spigelman was giving the 2012 Human Rights Day Oration at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 25th Human Rights Award Ceremony.

Laws restricting hate speech should aim to protect people’s dignity against assault, he said. But “declaring conduct, relevantly speech, to be unlawful, because it causes offence, goes too far.” More…

New media and the US elections 3

New media revolutionised US Presidential elections through fund raising, fact checking and crowd sourcing, according to Tom Shaller ( @schaller67 ).

Social media offered fast, if not always accurate, coverage.

Schaller , Professor of political science at the University of Maryland, was speaking at a master class on media and US politics at the UTS Graduate School of Journalism. Tom Schaller is a regular political columnist for the Baltimore Sun and is the author of a number of books on politics. His visit to Australia was sponsored by the US government. More…

New Media Log Reply

dinosThe Online Journalism blog contains more than fifteen reports on online journalism, new media and the professional use of Twitter and Facebook. They include:

A very short history of journalists and computers

Computers were introduced into Australian journalism in the early seventies by Australian Associated Press (AAP), a news wholesaler owned by the major newspaper groups.

Editing before computers

International news came in on tele-printers, typed in capitals. Sub-editors cut  sentences into strips and glued them onto paper backing.

Outsourced editing

Networks of outsourced sub-editors, linked by computers, could  edit most newspapers.

How to tweet the News

Combined with good journalism fact checking, Twitter can help create an unprecedented network of sources providing global reach, diversity and credibility. More…

The Twittering Classes 2

The Internet abolished journalists’ dominance of international news. Twitter eclipsed political reporters’ control of the political debate.

Politicians’ news conferences, broadcast live, are dissected by running commentaries and analysis by a galaxy of often anonymous microbloggers. MSM (mainstream media)  journalists have been running to catch up. More…

The decline of the House of Fairfax Reply

A generation of journalists took their redundancy cheques from Fairfax Media this month. The group is downsizing, abandoning its broadsheet formats and selling off its printing plants, as a result of falls in advertising revenue.

Fairfax was once Australia’s most influential media empire. From the wood paneled fourteenth floor of 235 Jones St, John Fairfax and Sons directed the nation’s highest quality newspapers, a commercial television network and a string of AM radio stations. The Fairfax building brought the commanding mastheads of Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun Herald, the Australian Financial Review and the afternoon newspaper, the Sun under the one roof for the first time. Press historian and journalist, Gavin Souter said news was being produced there even as the building was completed in 1956. More…

Etiquette for Journalists Reply

Never throw up on the Chief of Staff’s trousers.

That’s the advice of veteran journalist and historian, Gavin Souter.

Souter joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 1947 after seeking a cadetship for more than a year. He began work in the old Herald HQ in Hunter Street ; an ornate Victorian building where “Rags” Henderson, the General Manager had his own executive lift, to carry him one floor to his wood  and marble paneled offices. More…

Quality journalism and the demise of newspapers. Reply

We took newspapers for granted. They were cheap, mostly informative, often entertaining and available just about everywhere. But they could also be an addictive cultural ritual which gauged the complexity and intellectual vigour of the city where they were based.

They were a mixed bag of delights. More…

Reporting on a “closed”community : the Block Reply

How do you report on the heart and soul of what was said to be one of Sydney’s toughest suburbs?

Gina McKeon won the Walkley young journalist of the year for her story on the St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Redfern which was part of a 50-minute documentary on the Block, broadcast on FBi Radio’s All The Best. More…

Dial M for Murdoch Reply

Politicians may need to be crazy brave to oppose the interests of the Murdoch press.

Rupert Murdoch, an American by choice since 1985, is the most powerful man in Australian media.  His local company, News Limited, while dominating the Australian press, is but a fraction of a globalised News consortium selling cable and satellite TV, films, music and newspapers.

Dial M for Murdoch is a blistering account of  News International‘s, excesses in Britain, written by Independent newspaper journalist, Martin Hickman, and Tom Watson, a Labour MP. More…

News downsizes Reply

News Limited has ditched its traditional newspaper structure to meet the demands of 24/7 multiplatform journalism.

The legacy of a series of takeovers and expansions, News Limited had 19 Divisions, including The Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne, Queensland Newspapers and Nationwide News in Sydney.
Under the new organisation, management will be reduced to five divisions with multiplatform responsibilities.

News Limited, owned by the US based News Corporation, publishes most of Australia’s major newspapers, including the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail, the Sunday Mail, the Adelaide Advertiser and the Sydney Telegraph. While Rupert Murdoch was one of the first newspaper publishers to warn against the impact of the internet, News Corporation’s attempts to diversify into new media such as My Space, have floundered. Newspapers are now a relatively minor part of international News Corporation operations which are dominated by cable television, satellite services, movies,  and other entertainment.