The Editorial Line – more candidates for lazy journalism


In today’s The Guardian piece on Harry Redknapp being sacked by Tottenham, the following nugget was included;

Martínez was a candidate to succeed Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, only for the Merseyside club to appoint Brendan Rodgers.

Now it’s possible David Hytner and the Guardian Sport editorial team may know more than we do, but as far as I know Roberto Martinez neither applied for the job nor was interviewed for the position.

So why why do they persist with such misinformation?

It seems the disease is viral in newsrooms around the world.

The Editorial Line – Electricity Prices in NSW

Some great examples of journalism not allowing facts to get in the way of a good story or the editorial line in the past 24 hours, here’s one from ABC News Radio.
A story on this years NSW electricity hikes was led and ended stating categorically that they were being mostly caused by the dreaded Carbon Tax. This despite the interviewee in the piece repeating his organisations previous guidance that the Carbon Tax was contributing to only part of the increase.
The journalist narrowly focused her interest on the impact of the Carbon Tax on electricity prices, but the piece contained not a mention of the tax changes introduced to help offset potential price increases due to the Carbon Price. Perhaps the embarrassment of sticking so rigidly to talking points from the federal opposition was the reason the interview has not been published at the ABC News Radio site.
The representative from Energy Networks Australia went into great detail on infrastructure investment required of them in recent years to simply meet 40 hours per annum peak demand. The surprise the host showed when this was raised seems to indicate that she doesn’t live in NSW and is unaware there have been year on year increases of around 20% here over the past 5 years to fund that investment.
Which makes me speculate there will be a follow up on the reasons for the recent electricity price rises. One where the editorial team at ABC News Radio Drive will do some research into the nonsense of making electricity transmission infrastructure capable of managing 1 in every 150 day peak loads as if they occurred every day. Someone this week compared that effort to building all roads to be 12 lanes wide so that no one would have to drive at 3km for a few minutes in peak hour.
Assuming of course the ABC editorial line, which in June may require every discussion to include a Carbon Tax angle, allows for this before July 1 when the new electricity pricing comes into force. Conveniently in line with the introduction of Carbon Pricing.
It’s one thing, after all for commercial interests to tell half the story in order to attract listeners, viewers and readers. It’s a whole other when a non-commerical entity misinforms their listeners so as to toe the editorial line.


The report from the inquiry into the Australian Media landed yesterday. A summary by Alan Knight told me:

  • Of the existing self-regulation measures, only one or two newspapers have appointed an ombudsman or readers’ representative.
  • Online news publications are not covered.
  • The Australian Press Council has neither the necessary powers nor the required funds to carry out its designated functions.
  • Publishers can withdraw from the Australian Press Council when they wish and alter their funding as they see fit.
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority’s processes are cumbersome and slow.
  • If legal proceedings against the media are called for, they are protracted, expensive and adversarial, and offer redress only for legal wrongs, not for the more frequent complaints about inaccuracy or unfairness.

One of the proposals in the reports was that online news media sites as well as more traditional publishers would be covered by a News Media Council. But that a minimum of 15,000 “hits” per annum would be used to decide if a site was worthy of the interest of the News Media Council.

This blog sometimes touches on Australian news, politics and the media, and may at some time have more than 15,000 hits per annum. But most of my commentary here isn’t about those topics.

Because I’ve hardly the time to read the report, perhaps someone can answer these questions for me;

  • will such a regulated environment dissect the content of posts before allocating the 15,000 limit?
  • would it include “hits” from crawlers or robots?
  • does it exclude the loading of images?
  • what it, as with this site, it is hosted outside of Australia?

Assuming the Government accepts and implements even one recommendation from the report, these and more questions need to be answered so I and others like me can more clearly understand any changes to the environment we operate in.

Print Publishing’s last opportunity

With different ways of doing business there needs to be different rules. The Recorded Music Industry, the Movie Industry and the Print Publishing Industry among others have learned that the hard way over the last 15-20 years.

The model which news and magazine publishers are currently struggling with is one where they leave their past behind. Continue reading

The living room ‘farm’ long ago stopped being fertile

Ultimately there’s really nothing in “the living room” worth fighting for. The disruptive play here is the crumbling of monolithic audiences that used to define “prime time”. It’s not a new box to take over from another box.

Timely post which from Horace which I’m going to reread a number of times in the next few weeks, I imagine