I would bet that for probably 95 per cent of regular visitors to The Punch, media policy is quite a way down the list of topics of interest. Like, near the very bottom. Even below Tanya Zaetta. For the punters, it just isn’t the stuff of sexy reading.
But, for the egg heads out there, yesterday’s release of the final report from the Federal Government’s Convergence Review is the latest chapter in what can only be described as one big, hot, steamy, media policy orgy.
For some people (which does not include me… I am far too lazy, ahem, busy doing my job) wading through the various chunky reports is like taking Viagra.
“As the number of available outlets for political news grows, so does the tendency of citizens to self-select which news to consume and which to ignore.” So says Georgetown University’s Rebecca Chalif, in her 2011 study Political Media Fragmentation: Echo Chambers in Cable News.
This statement seems obvious and fairly innocuous on the surface. Thirty years ago, people were vastly more confined in how they consumed their news - it was perhaps three TV channels and one or two newspapers.
According to the Australian Market and Social Research Society, the media has become far more fragmented over the last 15 years. Free-to-air TV has gone from five to 17 channels with over 120 subscription channels available, and we have over 600 newspapers and 1,500 magazines available to us.
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It’s instructive to go back to the Kevin07 campaign advertisements, not least because the man himself seemed so confident and so damned chirpy.
The ads underline the fact it wasn’t long ago that many voters were prepared to place their trust in the abilities of the Labor Party.
Nielsen polling released Monday found Kevin Rudd was preferred leader of the Labor Party, 55 per cent to incumbent Julia Gillard’s 38 per cent. It was more a comment on Ms Gillard than a sign the mob wanted Kevin back, but the comparison was stark.
Even as Foreign Minister - even though he seems rarely in the country - Rudd retains the ability to connect that he mobilised so devastatingly against John Howard in 2007.
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Dope, ignoramus, racist, communist, queen-kisser, Nazi, apologist, shill. Dunderhead, knucklebrain, fantasist, doofus, conspirator, idiot, and twit.
If you recognise these as terms applied to you before you’ve had breakfast on any given working day, then I hope your blog is going well.
The internet has turned insulting journalists into an art form. Now, why waste time on amateur, blunderbuss-style sprays of death threats and comparing a writer to animal genitalia, when you could make a cutting remark every time? In order to help make your sledging as effective as possible, The Punch asked some of Australia’s most widely-read online writers to share the one thing readers say in comments or feedback that makes them want to quit blogging. Their answers may surprise.
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I was interested to see that the Australian Electoral Commission has received complaints about political parties buying Google adwords in each other’s names: thus, when someone was searching on Google for “Julia Gillard” they would be served an ad for Tony Abbott. And vice versa, someone searching “Tony Abbott” was served a Julia Gillard ad.
Of course, under these “sponsored links” the usual “relevant” search results would appear.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Google’s response: “Both the Liberal and Labor parties have been savvy in adapting their search advertising tactics throughout the campaign including bidding on other politicians’ names.”
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THE internet has broken my heart in the past fortnight.
We had such a great relationship. She was funny, knowledgeable, sexually adventurous. She let me hang out with my friends whenever I wanted and bought me DVDs.
It took time, but it turns out she’s one of those crazy chicks and two of her most exciting attributes - WikiLeaks and Twitter - have gone south. Honeymoon over.
Read all about it
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