On another thread, amused made a very astute point very well in a comment:
The effect of not having to go out, and actually mix with the hoi polloi to do your reporting is becoming obvious, as is the effect on the quality of ‘reporting’ (if one call it that), of not having someone who actually specialises, and knows something about, the issues on which they report. It’s like having a agoraphobic write pieces on travels across the Gobi desert. It lacks the essential qualities of closeness to topic, and engagement with the experience: consequently it lacks conviction and credibility.
It’s not just IR. It’s also foreign policy and our region, both of which are of increasing significance in our own politics and for our future. Such “expert” commentators as do get regular space in the dailies are people like Greg Sheridan, who function more as ideologues than informed observers.
It’s been observed at this blog more than once that the politics of near neighbours of Australia, such as Fiji, Timor, the Solomons and PNG, in regard to whom the Howard government has adopted an increasingly forward policy stance, are both little discussed and poorly discussed in the Australian media. Naturally, the elections in Timor, despite the fact that their ramifications continue, are now no longer “news”. So I’m happy to be able to counter these regrettable lacunae by linking to a piece in On Line Opinion by a friend of mine since Uni days, Michael Leach from Deakin, whose article is both an important piece of reportage and a significant critique of media coverage of Timor.
You can read it here.