Suffer little children

People in most walks of life suffer moments when they wish they were doing something else. Sometimes it is because they’re bored or they want more money, they are not achieving or their job no longer excites them. And sometimes it is because they are utterly ashamed of the behaviour of others in their particular field of work.… Read More

Man overboard!

The much anticipated shake-up of Australia’s multicultural broadcaster SBS may have started, with the departure of one of former managing director Shaun Brown’s closest underlings. Less than a week after Brown officially left the corporation’s Artarmon headquarters, the head of SBS television and online content, Matt Campbell, announced he is quitting to join Shine, the TV production company… Read More

Media generals leading from the rear

If the price of freedom really is eternal vigilance, then many in the media are not paying their dues. Admittedly, the arrest of journalist Ben Grubb by Queensland police and the confiscation of his iPad sent momentary frissons of outrage through parts the Australian media establishment, but almost all of them just as quickly doused their fury in… Read More

White-anting starts early for new SBS boss

SBS’s managing director-designate Michael Ebeid is still two months away from getting his feet under his new desk but already the white-anting has started. Nothing surprising in that; it’s an important job in Australia’s media and cultural landscape, so anyone taking it on is bound to come under scrutiny, especially someone as relatively unknown as Ebeid. And inevitably… Read More

Can this man reignite passion for SBS?

Will SBS’s next managing director, Michael Ebeid, provide the spark to reignite a passion for Australia’s multicultural broadcaster? Many people hope so but at present hope is all they have. So little is known about the man himself. Egyptian-born, Australian-raised Michael Ebeid is such a cleanskin he’s almost translucent. Of course, many people rise to senior public jobs… Read More

Maybe it’s time to shoot the messenger

Ask scientists, economists, sociologists, futurologists and most other expert-ists what is the greatest single threat facing the human race and the overwhelming response is likely to be “climate change”. There are plenty of other contenders; financial crises, international terror, religious fundamentalism/atheism, poverty, pandemics, overpopulation, nuclear disaster, moral decline, the list is long. But when push comes to shove,… Read More

When news hounds should back off

One story has cropped up more than any other since the beginning of journalism – the behaviour of journalists. Even when reporters try to stay in the background and not become part of the story, eventually the spotlight is turned back on them and in its glare they are often accused of being rude, insensitive, aggressive, self-centred, arrogant,… Read More

Goodbye Mr Grass Roots

An era of sorts came to an end this week with the death of cartoonist Bob Browne in Port Moresby General Hospital. He was the creator of Mr Grass Roots, perhaps Papua New Guinea’s most loved comic character, which the magazine Islands Business once called “the social conscience of PNG”. Browne’s life and work could almost be read… Read More

Look-at-me journalism all the rage

You can tell journalists have lost the plot when they start reporting on themselves. A rash of “look what happened to me” reports has broken out amongst journalists covering the unrest in Egypt and the ham-fisted attempts by the Egyptian authorities to intimidate them and impede their work Of course, one doesn’t actually need to look so far… Read More

One man’s meat …

It’s all very well – and probably necessary – to expect the peddlers of hate to bear some responsibility for Saturday’s multiple murders in Pima, Arizona, if only because of the atmosphere of hatred their rantings helped to create. It is too early yet to say what drove 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner to kill or wound 20 people,… Read More