Insiders… ho hum

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.

Elsewhere: Barry has more on Barrie, as does Jason Wilson at PollieGraph.

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Posted in federal election '07, media
30 comments on “Insiders… ho hum
  1. jinmaro says:

    Margaret Simons writes:

    “Go hyper-local. Only in the last couple of weeks of the campaign did the mainstream media begin to pay serious attention to the marginal seats where the election will be decided. But rather than interviewing a few residents who may or may not be representative, what if serious journalistic talent actually based itself in the electorate long term, and covered the issues of the suburbs and regions with the same seriousness of journalistic purpose devoted to the nation – never forgetting (indeed, striving to illuminate) the connection between the local and the national.”

    It’s a good if obvious point. You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to do. But then it is, of course, in today’s world because so few in a position to are willing or able to do it.

    Marg Simons has a great grassroots sensibility. Not surprising given her CPA background.

    This sort of citizen journalism will come. Unfortunately, this will happen later, down the track, as a matter of necessity, as things get so much more dire. As they will.

  2. mbahnisch says:

    Yes, good piece from Jason, barry.

    I think the “hyper-local” will come, jinmaro. It fills a real need – also in state and municipal politics where the mainstream media have more or less given up. I’d also like to see much more focus on the impacts of policy rather than the symbolism of policy announcements.

  3. barry says:

    Marg’s a commie?!

  4. CK says:

    A Certified Practicing Accountant? Quelle horreur!

  5. Snorky says:

    Cassidy’s dummy spit was unedifying in the extreme, and something that he ought to seriously regret, should he ever bother to review the tape.

  6. joe2 says:

    I am just hoping that Kevins’ snub of The Insiders will lead to some critical self reflection by that television team.

    Why would you bother with those overly important, mostly Newscorp, tossers, when you could go for a younger one, with less connections and vastly higher ratings, in the demographic that will decide this election?

  7. phil says:

    Joe2 – exactly. No doubt someone’s done the numbers, but it’s really just commonsense.

  8. joe2 says:

    Commonsense ,yep, phil. I am hoping ‘symbolic’, as well.

    The Insiders has shown very little sign of balance for ages. Unless your world view is the left to right spectrum that Ruppy provides in his wonderful journals.

    And it is all on the ABC. Cheers

  9. “This sort of citizen journalism will come. Unfortunately, this will happen later, down the track, as a matter of necessity, as things get so much more dire. As they will.”

    Nope, sorry, don’t see it happening. Wish I had more time to expand on it but Oz is too small and big media too pervasive and hungry to enter every space to make a buck. Online data is limitless and the long tail works for big media just as it does for the pissants already at the tail.

    Anyway, needless to say Cassidy got p0wned and he’s a pussy for complaining. As for the rest of the Oz political media? A bigger pack of clowns I haven’t seen anywhere.

  10. Ambigulous says:

    “A bigger pack of clowns I haven’t seen anywhere”. Damn right, mate !!!

    Hmmmm, my impressions during 6 months in UK back in mid-eighties were
    i) much more articulate politicians, more polished debate in Commons, more interesting op-ed pieces in broadsheets, better political coverage on Radio 4, BBC TV than back ome in Australia
    ii) Miners Union had shot itself in foot by refusing to hold a strike ballot
    iii) very little reasoned critique of La Thatcher, just bile and spittle (“Thatcher-haters”); no sign then of a building of democratic opposition, later termed “civic society”

    cheerio

  11. TimT says:

    I suspect somewhat different opinions would be expressed here and on Crikey if Liberal ministers preferenced Rove over Insiders. The Cassidy quote, on Barry’s blog, hardly seems over the top – it certainly doesn’t qualify as a ‘tizz’.

  12. anthony says:

    “I suspect somewhat different opinions would be expressed here and on Crikey if Liberal ministers preferenced Rove over Insiders”

    I’m a bit busy at the moment TimT but if you’d like to flesh my opinion out for me, you’d be doing me a great service.

  13. mbahnisch says:

    Personally I couldn’t give a rats what Liberal Ministers do at this stage of the game unless it provides amusement value. So I’d be happy to hear, say Christopher Pyne tell Rove who he’d turn gay for.

  14. David Rubie says:

    So I’d be happy to hear, say Christopher Pyne tell Rove who he’d turn gay for.

    No thanks. We’ve had enough frightful mental pictures from this election campaign already. Picturing Pyne involved in any sort of sexual activity is just awful. I bet crying is involved from someone in the transaction, likely Pyne.

  15. Bill Posters says:

    Why would you bother with those overly important, mostly Newscorp, tossers, when you could go for a younger one

    Younger – but still a tosser.

    Insiders, however, has all the appeal of a game of soggy biscuit.

  16. CK says:

    “So I’d be happy to hear, say Christopher Pyne tell Rove who he’d turn gay for.”

    Himself, obviously.

  17. clarencegirl says:

    What I enjoyed most was Flint’s defence of Cassidy and his calling “Insiders” Australia’s leading program [or words to that effect].
    Flint’s gradual disintergration is wonderful to behold.

  18. kimberella says:

    Was Flint on? Maybe I shoulda watched! That guy is a comedy genius…

  19. kimberella says:

    Ps – was he properly integrated to begin with? 😉

  20. Ambigulous says:

    Her Majesty’s Vessel Menzies
    Order of the day for: Wednesday 21st Nov

    Ship’s cat has been active overnight; the rodents tremble at her approach.

    Whoever trailed Lt Downer’s best jacket in the briny on a rope should just grow up!! It was made in Paris, he’ll have you know!! And belonged to his great grandfather on his grandfather’s side, Rear Adm Downer, RN. It’s just not funny, you’ve gone and got him all upset.

    Quartermaster reports new stocks for Officer’s wine list rec’d from victuallers overnight: 4 cases Porter, 6 cases Best Rum, 3 cases London Gin, 5 cases Scotch Whiskey, 12 cases Bollinger, 6 cases Stout, 8 cases Chateau de Pompadour, 1788; 12 cases Roi de France, 1788; 1 case Mme Defarge (especiaux), 1791; assorted lemonades, sodas, Lyme Regis waters, aperitifs.
    For the Men, several hogsheads of beer, ale, and Spanish Whines.

    Waters unusually quiet last evening, Capt Howard warns against sneak attacks incl boarding parties disguised as tea merchants [recall Boston]. Admiral Nelson advises shld have no truck with tea merchants in any event.

    Scuttlebutt re scuttling dismissed. Vessel will under no circunstances be scuttled.

    Quatermaster advises pleasing reduction in rate of cutlery pilferage, warns goblets & deck equipment cld be next target.

    Stand firm and true men: our voyage nears its glorious culmination.

  21. amused says:

    The eponymously named ‘Insiders’ has simply demonstrated what has been wrong the ‘heavy hitters’ of Australia’s media for the last 11 months.

    First, a ludicrous understanding of the notion of ‘balance in perspectives’, so that mad shouters like Akerman and Bolt get ‘balanced’ by people who have softer voices, and are more mentally balanced, rather than capable of challenging the madness.

    Secondly, an understanding of the issues, particularly the much overdone metaphor ‘the economy’ that owes everything to the received wisdom that leaches out from their Treasury contacts and their Real estate Agents, and owes absolutely nothing to the real and actual economy experienced by those that actually decide elections.

    This is laziness more than anything else, because there has been plenty of research in the last three years at least that might suggest to anyone with even the faintest interest and drive, that things might look different in places where people have never heard of these tossers. The third reason for the utter irrelevance of Insiders is the use of bloviator in chief, Paul Kelly as a means of lending some shape and heft to the topic du jour. If ever there was an argument for compulsory retirement at 60 for males, he is it. Boring is simply inadequate for his performance as ‘interpreter of power to the plebs’ in chief and at large, to the nation.

    After this election his use to Murdoch will I think be over, and I predict he will be gone, not before time.

  22. FDB says:

    “The eponymously named ‘Insiders’”

    Tautology of the week!

  23. Su says:

    Heh. Hosted by the eponymously named Barry Cassidy.

  24. Parisite says:

    I think it’s worth noting that Bob Brown did Insiders a couple of weeks ago, and Rove as well. While this is in part simply grasping whatever opportunity is available in the current presidential-style election environment, I think it also suggests a pollie willing to engage with a broader audience, and subject himself, his party and his policies to greater scrutiny as well – much the same as Bartlett does here.

  25. josh lyman says:

    just watched the Insiders vodcast – Barry really was stroppy!

  26. Paul Burns says:

    Don’t be too hard on Barry or the ABC, Lp-ers. They have to struggle to give an appearance of neutrality these days yet at the same time please their political puppet masters by being hard on the ALP.
    I mean those sudden surges of independent thought issuing from Kerry and Tony Jones must really enrage Howard. And Vaile has inadvertently revealed what happens if you don’t toe the party line with his unveiled threat to the auditor general if the Coalition is re-elected. (Which it won’t be. It might even lose control of the Senate.)
    With a Labor victory I predict the end of the likes of Piers and Bolt and Henderson on the ABC.(as a first step of left wing toadying – I mean we need some contrition for all those years of having the ABC looking like programming from Channel 9 on a Sunday morning. Well not just on Sunday mornings – truncated Latelines, boring newses, etc.)

  27. Paul Burns says:

    And those endless hours of really really boring business news and Business Lateline etc. They have to be gone by next Sunday morning. Take note, Kev.

  28. […] Insiders… ho hum Following up from Mark’s post about the role of citizen journalism in this campaign, it’s a good idea to […] […]

  29. Gaz says:

    “With a Labor victory I predict the end of the likes of Piers and Bolt and Henderson on the ABC.”

    Amen to that.

    A stint for all three on “Play School” A red nose on Henderson and Voila Bozo the clown.The other two Ummm let me see “props”

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