Following up from Mark’s post about the role of citizen journalism in this campaign, it’s a good idea to have a read of this sharp piece of analysis from Margaret Simons in Crikey about how the election has been reported. She recognises the difficulties journos labour under because of the scripted and micro-managed nature of modern campaigning, but she’s surely right that the press can do better than this. Junk the “insiders” perspective for a start – I mean, who believes that the “strategists” and “Labor figures” being quoted today are doing anything other than spinning about Labor’s chances to keep expectations low, seize the underdog spot, and gee up the troops. But no sceptical razor is applied to these claims, and we get another tedious story about the horse race shaped to suit the parties’ own communications strategy. It’s a revolution of managing expectations, dude!
Or consider what Christian Kerr calls Barrie Cassidy’s “tizz” over Rudd’s failure to appear on his show. As Kerr says, there are “1.368 million reasons why Rudd chose Rove”, and he actually has a democratic duty to try to get his message across (and build his persona) to as many voters as possible. Stuff the navel-gazing weekly pundit-fest.