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Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Our media lacks self-criticism

My latest freelance article is now live at Online Opinion. A thorough examination of the mainstream's delusions when it comes to true journalistic investigations. Our establishment reporters are frequently reluctant to challenge the status-quo, making alternative media an even more essential outlet. The how, why and who is examined.

I'm pretty busy at the moment, so pardon the lack of posts. Life dramas followed by book deadlines makes a very busy boy.

6 Comments:

Anonymous michael said...

Cool one Antony, but I thought your conclusion a bit lame.

How does indepedent media 'keep the bastards honest'? After all, they just ignore it.

Unless/until indie media starts to have a measurable impact on the opinions expressed during focus groups made up of swing voters in marginals the pollies will be both safe and justified in pretending it doesn't exist.

Also think that there is an argument to be made for the personality fluff that passes for political reporting in contemporary Aus. After all, Peter Costello will not become PM unless the corporate lobbyists and party donors are convinced that his policies will be essentially the same as those of the incumbent.

Even sillier than the irrelevant current discussion about Costello vs Howard was the strained attempts by the 'true believers' in the press gallery to convince us that a Latham government would have been any different to a Howard one.

Yeah, sure, he wouldn't have been so proudly unapologetic about implementing regressive tax cuts. Instead he probably would have trumpeted slightly less wealth-friendly ones while more quietly distributing the wealth upwards via some other means which is passed off as 'establishing ALP economic credibility' (as did Hawke and Keating with their financial 'reforms' and union busting centralisation and 'Accords').

The people (or, more accurately, financial entities) who do make the policies in Aus don't do interviews on it. The only thing for political journalists to report on is which ugly mugs will be delivering the lies aimed at hiding this fact for the next three or four years.

Why begrudge the press gallery the only function it has left? It's us who are the fools for paying any attention to them. Political reporting is really just 'Who Weekly' style celebrity tabloidism for those of us who take ourselves too seriously.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 11:12:00 pm  
Anonymous michael said...

Just spotted John Pilger's latest piece in ZNet.

As well as giving both barrels to the UK political press (with an extra grenade to Jeremy Paxton for good measure) he also lauds Alex Carey - another sharp analyst of political media who is almost entirely unrecognised in his native Australia.

Of course the Aus political media is even more degenerate than the UK brand that so deservedly cops the boot from Pilger.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:51:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Yep, saw the latest Pilger. His coverage of the British elections are sadly reminiscent of our version last November.
As for my conclusions, my point is that the mainstream press, Press Gallery etc, need to be seen, by many people, not just a few, that they are part of the problem. I'm not convinced a lot of people think this, and exposing how they work and write is important, especially if we're trying to reach more than just the converted.
When cross media laws go through, which they will before Xmas, Crikey predicted yesterday, the media landscape will change greatly. I'm convinced that non corportised alternatives will be sourced...

Thursday, May 19, 2005 10:35:00 am  
Blogger HackWatch2004 said...

Hi Antony,
Have a look at my piece on Bolt Watch as an example of avoiding any criticism.
It comes as no suprise the piece didn't get published in the Bolt Forum and all I got for my troubles was two nasty emails from Andrew Bolt.
Nice article from you though, just don't expect an invite to join the press gallery.
cheers
Iain Lygo

Thursday, May 19, 2005 6:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blah blah green left weekly pilger blah blah cliche diatribe tariq ali blah blah career lefty journos blah blah noam chomsky blah blah.

Friday, May 20, 2005 12:34:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

No desire to join the Press Gallery. At all. Couldn't think of anything more dull...
As for our tongue-tied friend above... As ever, the right avoids the issue. Defend authority, trash the dissenters. Yawn....

Friday, May 20, 2005 10:49:00 am  

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