Talking digital downtime on Sydney radio 2UE

So Radio 2UE must’ve been happy with the spot I did a fortnight ago, because they asked me back again today to talk about cyberbullying and trolling.

Well, that was the plan. But time constraints limited our conversation to just one topic: Rose Smith’s suggestion that children should be made to surrender their mobile phones at night in a bid to stop the “devastating effects” of bullying.

Smith has run a free anti-bullying camp on Sydney’s northern beaches for the past 15 years, and reckons children needed to learn to “disconnect”. She believes that parents should take their children’s phones when they went to bed and return them in the morning in order to give them some time off.

So presenter Tim Webster and regular guest Trevor Long got to hear my well-informed opinion.

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The audio is ©2012 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd, of course, but as usual I’m posting it here in case they don’t post it at their own website.

Corey Delaney, freedom fighter (for the right to party)

Photograph of Corey Worthington from Channel 9

I’m pretty sure I know why my story about “protecting kids on the Internet” was bumped from Crikey today. How can I possibly compete with a newsmaker like Corey Worthington Delaney (pictured)? And how can I possibly compete with Crikey‘s comprehensive coverage of this new Australian success story?

It’s not so much about protecting kids from the Internet, but protecting the Internet (and us!) from Corey.

Any promoter would be pleased with a turnout of 500 for a simple house party with no outlays, just an invite sent out on MySpace. But then a helicopter arrived on the scene, some police cars got damaged, Mr and Mrs Delaney found out, the neighbours were p-ssed off and the Police Commissioner called a press conference.

It looked like Corey was set to be devoured by a salivating news pack. The sixteen-year-old came with shades, a naked friend running down the street, a pink doona doubling as sarong, and the quote “I can’t remember. I was just off my head”.

Crikey lists much of the good media coverage — including a talkback caller who somehow managed to blame John Howard. For me, though, the highlights are The 7.30 Report‘s serious piece (including child psychologist and police youth worker), and A Current Affair‘s Leila McKinnon doing the extended interview (where they get his name wrong).

The irony is, today the Victorian claim their tougher new powers to target rowdy behaviour around Melbourne nightspots have been a great success.

[Update 16 January 2005: I’ve changed Corey’s surname from “Delaney” to “Worthington”. Apparently Delaney is his parents’ surname but not his. Or something.]