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  1. 1

    Ben Harris-Roxas

    There was a lot of criticism of journalists during the campaign, urging them to figuratively (and literally) “get off the bus”. I think John’s challenging those of us who care about health to do the same.

  2. 2
    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    I agree with that observation Ben. I hope others are also listening. I hope to write more about these issues soon at Croakey – how concerned individuals and organisations might be able to help contribute to a more informed and useful public debate around health. We are all ‘content makers’ now….

  3. 3

    Andrew Elder

    Why does all reporting about government and public policy issues have to take place through the prism of parliament?

    Going back to my first year Politics studies about How A Bill Goes Through Parliament, an issue will be long debated and developed before it gets to the First Reading Speech. The media should be part of that debate with a focus on policy issues.

    There is a lobbyist register which explains who is working for what corporate interest. When lobbyist A representing corporate interest B wants to speak to minister/shadow minister/independent C about legislation/ regulation/ ministerial decision D, is that not a potential story (or series of stories, maybe one suffixed “-gate”)? True, the lobbyist and the minister might not want to talk about this on the record – but it is journalistic failure just to accept that and leave it there, or to treat long-simmering and substantial issues in the community as trace elements in the froth and bubble of Australia’s best-subsidised theatre.

    By the time it comes to Parliament, there is a place for Annabel Crabb-style colour reporting – the PM’s earlobes, what tie Chris Pyne is wearing, major issues like that – but this need not be as big a place as it is currently. Just because someone puts out a press release, or is going to make a speech, or has made one, this does not mean that it’s news.

    Oh, and no more startling discoveries about the benefits of low-level consumption of red wine.

  4. 4

    Somehow we have to encourage the people who experience the results of government policy every day, whether they are in hospital wards or other so-called “coalfaces, to contribute to online media that is edited and driven by journalists trained in the ethics and legal pitfalls of reporting. So the content comes in, as a result of appeals to readers, but is presented in a balanced way thanks to the oversight of trained journalists. Interest groups might try to swamp the outlet with propaganda, but close reading by a sub editor of any orchestrated campaign should pick the tell tale phrases that keep re-appearing in any attempt to marshall the faithful to parrot a party line. Of course there would be advertisements, but their credentials could be challenged by readers.

  5. 5

    Mr Squid

    hoobloodyray! But the subject matter is much much broader than health issues or the advertising-driven rubbish in newscrap (remember the Oz’s appalling protect-newscrap-revenue-at-all-costs coverage of the the alcopops debate) and the demise of the abc as a reputable, ethical, accurate national-interest broadcaster. Maybe now Crikey will ban once and for all any content from the msm and its compromised f…wits such as we had to endure on the election night blog. and much as I admire bernard keane’s political items, his value clearly lies in extensive daily coverage of the media. get him out of the press gallery – that’s a conflict of interest for someone who covers the media. use him as a daily attack dog. it’s high time the fourth estate copped precisely the same intense scrutiny that politicians get.

  6. 6

    Ben Harris-Roxas

    @Melissa You’ll want to be careful about bandying about the term “content maker”. Margaret Simons will be onto you for copyright infringement 🙂

  7. 7

    Ben Harris-Roxas

    And wordwork2010 – I like your idea. I think there may be scope to do that, building on the great work Croakey’s already doing.


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