The 9pm Edict #19

Years ago, a bloke got frustrated at the end of a long day, and swore a bit. And suddenly the entire fucking media in this country is buzzing around this one pissy little story like blowflies to the corpse of a dead horse.

Yes, less than two days since I posted episode 18, today’s bullshit reportage on a video in which former prime minister Kevin Rudd swears a few times — shock horror! — and a bunch of unsubstantiated rumours from Canberra have triggered this episode.

Just look at this crap, from ninemsn. Even the ABC, which is supposed to be a credible, non-sensationalist news outlet, covers the swearing but then has two “related stories” about the speculation about a leadership challenge, that the cabinet is supposed repeatedly testing support for Julia Gillard and that attorney-general Nicola Roxon had declared her support for her.

The Australian has at least six stories linked from its home page, including some irrelevant commentary from opposition leader Tony Abbott and even Rudd saying he’d do it differently now.

Seven is reporting that independent MP Andrew Wilkie reckons Rudd will launch a challenge, describing the video as “explosive”.

This entire episode is an embarrassment. It’s this sort of Canberra pseudo-insider bullshit that’s precisely the reason I don’t read newspapers or their websites and don’t watch TV news. It’s all a sideshow, the so-called journalists who perpetuate this bullshit know it, and yet they continue to do it.

Why?

Well I think I know why this fucktardery happens, and I have a modest proposal for fixing it.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

Um, except… no… oh fuck no, not this!

News has just come through — well, Dennis Shanahan says — that Rudd’s leadership challenge is on. Really. May God have mercy upon our souls.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733. Not that anyone ever does.

[Credits: Audio grabs from ABC News24 and, of course, the video in question. The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

The 9pm Edict #3

The 9pm Edict

A tsunami devastates Australia’s Twitter tragics. People continue to die in politically inconvenient accidents. And Dennis Shanahan is a disingenuous… you’ll find out the word I use. That’s not news, that’s just an observation.

Despite the lag, here is episode 3 of The 9pm Edict. Finally.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

There will be a special extra episode on Friday 5 March to make up for the one we missed on Monday.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

Sunday Thoughts about Journalism

“Oh no, here we go again!” I can hear you say. “Stilgherrian’s kicking off about ‘the awful journalists’ again.”

No. This is just me pondering five stories about journalism this week. Grab yourself a cuppa and follow the links before tackling my discussion, because this’ll be a long, meandering essay — one in which I’m exploring my thoughts rather than reaching any conclusions. Yet.

  1. Veteran columnist Frank Devine used the pages of The Australian to attack Crikey publisher Eric Beecher in Keep Beecher from the hack lagoon (yes, every newspaper headline must be a pun, or the sub-editors are whipped), and Beecher responded in Beecher v Devine: The threat to public trust journalism.
  2. Another veteran journalist Mark Day (interestingly, also in The Australian) regurgitated a variation of the standard journalism versus blogging debate in Blogs can’t match probing reports. Stephen Collins’ excellent response is The Hamster Wheel.
  3. I was taken to task for my “unbalanced” commentary on Senator Stephen Conroy’s keynote speech at the Digital Economy Forum. Read the comments.
  4. The Rocky Mountain News was taken to task for (mis-)using Twitter to report a child’s funeral.
  5. The MEAA held The Future of Journalism conference in Brisbane yesterday, and from first reports the usual journalists vs bloggers “debate” emerged.

OK, back? Cool. Here we go…

Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts about Journalism”

Weekend reading revisited

Some things I found on the weekend which you might like. The UNIX-HATERS Handbook, which reminded me that for all the religious hype over Unix/Linux it really is just a kludge. (Hat-tip of the geekiest kind to Alastair Rankine.) A NY Times article How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children? Answer: not particularly. A fine Wired story about Titan Salvage, the smart, brave and somewhat scary guys who salvage ships. And Possums Pollytics’ wonderful response to an attack by The Australian‘s Dennis Shanahan.