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.

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Fairfax goes tabloid 1

Australia’s leading quality press, Fairfax newspapers,  have taken a big step towards becoming a virtual news group.

Fairfax Media, which published  the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review, today announced the closure of its major printing presses and dumping the traditional broadsheet format, while foreshadowing more than 1900 redundancies.

The impact of today’s announcement reflects the narrow ownership of Australia’s news media. Fairfax may be centred in only Sydney and Melbourne, but it represents a liberal alternative to the dominant Murdoch press and the government funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation. More…

Regulating Press Freedoms : Oakes 2

Governments should keep their mitts off the media, according to Laurie Oakes.  Oakes, arguably Australian’s most eminent political correspondent, told the annual Press Freedom Day dinner in Sydney the Australian government had not produced compelling reasons for legislating new media controls.

Laurie Oakes

Laurie Oakes

He was commenting on the recommendations of two recent media inquiries: the Finkelstein press inquiry and the Convergence Review Committee which examined how new media might be regulated. More…

The Social Media Counter-Revolution Reply

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Its wrong to think of free speech as an absolute which underpins democracy. Its really a contested event which ebbs and flows, even in stable western countries.

For the last decade, the internet and in particular social media, were seen as advancing free speech and in doing so, threatening authoritarian regimes. But Evgeny Morozov  argues that authoritarian governments have quickly adapted to dash what he calls naive democratic hopes. More…