It will be a debate that will go on for a heck of a long time.
Mr. Flanagan is, of course, right. The right questions aren’t always asked of our political leaders - or for that matter of our business leaders.
Likewise, our Tasmanian journalists are right. Editorial control, and staff shortages, limit what is printed, or what is even covered. I am, also, sure that any poll of journalists in Australia or other Western democratic nations will show a liberal bias - which in Tasmania would, surprisingly, conflict with the ethos of the current government.
And I’m sure our Tasmanian editors would also be right, if they stated that news content is often driven by a whole lot more than the ‘right political questions.’
And media owners would also probably be right to say that they have no say over what content is written, shown, or broadcast. That job, they would say, is up to the journos and editors. And their high paying advertisers would say the same.
Who is right? It is beyond my young years to offer anything too insightful, but I will offer this: somebody is wrong!
TT and Crikey correspondent Wes Young talks a great deal about the ideals of the Fourth Estate. The Estate is a great ideal to uphold - the UTas journalism school lives and dies by it every day!
But the news media has outgrown the Estate. It has spread its real estate out past the gatekeepers and onto the well tendered, market-driven lawns.
There, most likely, lies some level of blame at every level of the news media.
J-schools are churning out students who know a heck of a lot about the theory, and ethics, of journalism, but nothing of the practicalities.
Newsrooms, in a very competitive industry, are full of bright minds. But, unfortunately, these journos are stuck in the arduous pursuit of their two or three (or more) stories a day - extinguishing the chance for in depth, insightful work.
Editors are forced to do the best they can, with what resources they have available. And those resources are becoming scarcer and scarcer by the day.
The mainstream media will never return to an idealistic role of the Fourth Estate. As Mr. Flanagan says, it will take sites such as Mr. Tuffin’s to provide the questioning of the inluential.Posted by Mark Worley on 04/05/06 at 11:51 PM
Now that’s an insight! Well done to Mark Worley - you obviously put a lot of thought into that post, and I agree with your conclusions.
I don’t know much about these things, but surely the media really only presents what will get people watching their shows and news bulletins and reading their magazines and papers?
And maybe the answers to the tough questions just don’t interest the man in the street anymore.Posted by Mr Goobytes on 05/05/06 at 08:27 AM
It’s laughable to hear journalists working for any mainstream outlet (this includes the ABC) talk as if anyone except themselves believes they have any credibility as a profession. They are the whores of corporations, pure and simple.
The driving forces (however deluded individuals may be about their role) are advertising revenues and propaganda imperatives.
There is no such thing as “journalistic excellence”. There is the truth and there are lies. If you don’t speak the truth you feed the lie.
Camillus O’ByrnePosted by Lifeasart on 08/05/07 at 09:07 AM