Tag Archives: Sydney Morning Herald

Welcome to journalism-free journalism

Encouraged to embrace social media, are real journalists now paying too high a price for the convenience of “information everywhere all the time”? Serious journalists – i.e. those who think news should be fair, accurate and based on facts – have long been urged to integrate social media into their work. It’s a great tool for digging into… Read More

Clouds of war gather over the Internet

The Internet is approaching a crisis. Authoritarian regimes censor and manipulate it to suppress dissent, western governments pursue online whistleblowers and Wikileakers, big business wants to track consumers’ every move. Supposedly liberal governments from the United States to Australia have proved as eager as their conservative predecessors to constrain it. And the media? They have largely been silent,… Read More

Others in the schoolyard created this radio bully

Sydney radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands shows all the signs of being a classic bully, but it is hard to argue he is an entirely self-made one. For although he’s bright enough to be a successful bully – just bright enough to be dangerous, as the saying goes – he has had considerable help along the road to… Read More

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

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

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

That was the year that wasn’t

Had it not been for WikiLeaks, 2010 might have gone down as another forgettable year for the media in Australia and around the world. There were few outstanding examples of great journalism,[i] no breathtaking, game-changing technical innovations, not even any great “end-of-an-era” events at which we could pause and take stock. Admittedly, the human inclination to see the… Read More

Don’t try this at home, children

The release by WikiLeaks of tens of thousands of confidential US government emails has turned the spotlight on some serious and long-submerged issues about honesty in public life. The US Government and many others mentioned in these supposedly secret emails are genuinely embarrassed and understandably angry that they have been made public. They and their supporters outside government… Read More

Too little too late for SBS?

After years of neglecting the multicultural demands of its charter in a bid for ratings and revenues, there are signs SBS is trying to repair the rift with the movers and shakers in multicultural Australia. But is it all hot air and spin? And does the expertise still exist inside their Artarmon headquarters to achieve anything meaningful? Time will tell, but to-date it’s not looking good. … Read More