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Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Monday, October 17, 2005

The world stops

Road to Surfdom discusses the superficiality of the Australian media:

"Apparently a woman from Tasmania who lives in Denmark had a baby. The Latham diaries are so last week. Or was it the week before?"

Tim Dunlop has a point. The Sydney Morning Herald features the couple on its front page, its London-based correspondent, James Button, has been sent to Copenhagen, and vacuousness is turned into "news":

"The new prince of Denmark will sleep 'within an arm's length' of his parents, Crown Prince Frederik has told reporters at Copenhagen's central hospital, where his wife, Crown Princess Mary, is recovering after the birth of the couple's first child on Saturday morning.

"As speculation turned to when the baby would be first shown in public - possibly not until Wednesday or Thursday - Prince Frederik's delight dominated Danish media coverage.

"Prince Frederik, who cut the umbilical cord, said he shed a tear at the birth. 'You don't stand there and act like Superman,' he told the newspaper BT."

An Australian woman has a child. She lives in Denmark and has married into royalty. The birth has no impact on Australia whatsoever.

Celebrity culture is not news. But then, the Sydney Morning Herald is increasingly not serious about real news. Its website leads with "Who makes Sydney's A-List?"

7 Comments:

Blogger boredinHK said...

AL,
great nickname , if it is still in use. I'd reject "Lowy" as well.
You often comment on what you term the shallowness of the australian media but are you really prepared to accept this may just reflect the shallowness of the readers?
This analysis isn't going anywhere for being repeated frequently.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:28:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

It's a two way street, to be sure. But for editors to simply say, 'readers demand this' isn't good enough. Many people perhaps wouldn't want to read about death in Iraq - and indeed, we do read less about this - but all depends on your defintion of media and its role.

And, "Lowy" is, well, all very 1992 for me.

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:35:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

I think this ties into an earlier comment you made about newspapers a friend of yours had brought back from Ghana.
You noted that there was little careful or in depth analysis if issues from South America or Africa in the australian newspapers. Perhaps there would be more available than we imagine but it will be in spanish language papers read by the south american communities throughout Australia.
Likewise there will be plenty of news about China in the chinese language papers - and I'm sure the Wen Wei Po Group papers will be there trumpeting the Party line as well. Perhaps it would be more useful for readers to have a "Daily Briefing" style of newsletter of the foreign language
papers ? We could obtain more relevant and informed information from these sources . My experience of foreign correspondents from australian papers hasn't impressed me that much .(AF Review excepted! )

Monday, October 17, 2005 12:57:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Could be interesting, and I wish I could provide that,but alas, time and resources...

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:09:00 pm  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Look sex sells.

And I have a suspicion that Fred and Mary (but not the perpetual Virgin Mary) have had SEX at least once.

Monday, October 17, 2005 4:53:00 pm  
Blogger unique_stephen said...

Let us eat our cake, it's a royal birth. But I must say - royal or not, she's so..... Womans Weekly... so dull.

Monday, October 17, 2005 5:44:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

An Australian woman has a child. She lives in Denmark and has married into royalty. The birth has no impact on Australia whatsoever.

Even if minor, the birth does impact Australia.

The influence of Princess Mary as a mother to this child will inevitably turn Christian (I believe this is what he will be called, the future monarch and thus chief executive in Denmark) into a pro-Australian leader. A pro-Australian Denmark- although it already is- will no doubt have some, albeit limited, influence on EU decisions, especially relating to agriculture and more generally EU economics.

The number of Danish tourists visiting Australia hopefully loaded with kroner (or Euro’s, whatever) it is argued will also continue to grow as a result of Mary’s marriage into royalty.

On top of this, and a less positive impact, the birth apparently warrants the Tasmanian State government lavishly spending tax-payer’s dollars on ‘booties’ for both Tasmanian children, and the new Prince. Apparently we are also sending a pair of (cancer-free) breeding devils to Denmark, and a newly crafted christening spoon.

As Tasmania is effectively the Welfare State- no doubt these costs will be met by the Federal government, thanks to your labour.

Unique Stephen, with a name like that everyone must be dull to you ;)

I’ve actually heard Mary was a bit *promiscuous* (hmm... tried to find a better word in the MS thesaurus, interestingly ‘loose’ came up) before dulling herself down for royalty. It’s that Hobart nightlife…

Monday, October 17, 2005 6:29:00 pm  

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