The last week of Pure Poison is here.READ MORE
A newspaper writer discusses another member of his profession:
…whose writing I’ve often found to be unfair, unbalanced and savagely skewed to fit his ideological inclinations, sometimes to the point of melodrama.
I suspect everyone who’s stuck by Pure Poison to its final week can guess who it’s about, and who’s making the comment.READ MORE
Miranda Devine thinks that Gina Rinehart is exactly what Fairfax needs, and takes a trip down memory lane revisiting her own time at the Sydney Morning Herald to point out why.
When I arrived at the Herald it was controlled by a handful of hard-Left enforcers who dictated how stories were covered, and undermined management at every turn.
Another former high-ranking executive described the newsroom collective as “sabotaging the paper and some very good journalists. It’s a crying shame”.
A former editor said: “They love acting like politicians act. To them it’s a war, to the great damage and detriment of the newspaper.”
Another former executive described the world view of the collective as, “inarguably Left-leaning, and anti-business”. It was also anti-religion – especially anti-Christian – and hostile to bourgeois family values.
“The tragedy was that [Fairfax’s] core audience was a conservative audience. You’ve never seen a paper more disengaged from its core audience. Particularly The Age.”
While editors in morning conference decided which stories should be covered, the collective decided how those stories were framed – and they were ruthless enforcers.
Seems rather damning. Although, not everyone remembers things the way that Miranda does.READ MORE
One effect of sacking large numbers of journos is that those remaining will have less time to file more content. Which, based on what we’ve seen in the past, is often a great opportunity for PR flacks hoping that their thinly-veiled advertorial media releases might appear in formerly credible publications with little scrutiny.
Here’s Tina Alldis, head of publicity at agency Mango PR, cheerfully predicting such a glorious outcome following the recent announcements by Fairfax and News Ltd:
Less (sic) journos will also mean that publications will be looking for content they can syndicate across the networks. Knowing this we must ensure our stories either carry national interest or can easily be adapted for each metro and regional market as needed.
Tina was roundly condemned by journalists for that piece, of course. There are now two apologies on the original post seeking forgiveness for the insensitivity of dancing on the graves of people about to lose their jobs. Her boss:
I would like to apologise on behalf of the Mango team for this opinion piece. While I encourage my team to have opinions and be active in the industry and media landscape, this piece is insensitive. We hold journalists in high esteem and apologise for the offence caused.
Yeah, it’s all about the journalists.
But there was very little acknowledgement or concern about what her central point predicts and admits.READ MORE
The final Pure Poison Podcast. The last ever #LOLBolt comedy section, discussing News Ltd and Fairfax’s future as well as Dave and Jeremy’s future.
For those of you subscribing through iTunes, we’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to go to the Pure Poison Podcast page in iTunes, scroll down and leave a rating, or a comment.
Also, if you’d like to support the Pure Poison Podcast you can find out how to over here.
Sound editing by Jacob Holman.READ MORE
The Herald Sun’s resident resources and energy expert, Andrew Bolt, today posed this question about the Federal Government’s Climate Change Authority board:
What a collection of extremists, Leftists and fellow travellers. Only one scientist among them, and about as alarmist as you could find.
The most alarming inclusion is Clive Hamilton.
This man is advising on how much cheap electricity we can have? You have got to be joking.
It’s OK Andrew, you have nothing to fear, you appear to have misunderstood and misstated what these people will do, and who sets the prices for electricity. So let me put your mind at ease.READ MORE
Andrew Bolt today disclaimed the sum total of his connections with Gina Rinehart that are any of our business:
DISCLAIMER: Rinehart is a shareholder of Network Ten, which runs my Bolt Report, and this paper is part of the Murdoch empire, a Fairfax competitor.
Clearly that’s all there is, so we can now enjoy his completely independent and non-self-interested article today on the subject of how good it would be if all Australian newspapers were owned and micromanaged by right-wing billionaires. Check out his powerful arguments:
1. If lefties want there to be any non-conservative newspapers, why don’t they become billionaires and buy them?
There is, of course, a very easy way for Labor’s allies to stop Rinehart from taking control of the Fairfax newspapers, which include The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald…
…it is for GetUp’s alleged 605,000 members to GetUp off their couches, GetUp a job and GetUp just $800 each to buy Fairfax themselves.
EXACTLY. Why not? That’s why nobody should ever give a shit about conditions for the poor. If they can’t be bothered becoming rich enough to buy their own newspapers, it’s their own lookout.
Surely the battleground of ideas should always be reduced to whoever can pay the most for a megaphone to drown out everyone else. It’s only common sense. (Trademark Cory Bernardi.)
The point is, the media have to be owned by someone, and that someone should be the richest person available, and they should have complete freedom to force journalists to say whatever is in their owner’s best interests. And any media organisation not run to campaign relentlessly for the interests of the hard right is by definition “leftist”. (Anyone trying to be objective must be a “leftist”.)
2. There are some terrifying imaginary things we can pretend are happening.READ MORE
As we meander towards the end of the month and the end of Pure Poison we thought we’d drag a few of our favourite articles from the archives and give them a second airing. It’s instructive to look at how the things we cover here have, or haven’t, changed over the past three years.
This post originally appeared in February 2010 and was followed a few days later by my personal favourite First Dog on the Moon cartoon
Is it possible that News Limited’s own Piers Akerman is the source of an alarmist climate change quote that has for years been attributed to the first head of the IPCC, Sir John Houghton? That’s certainly what is being suggested in the UK by the Independent. READ MORE
A tweet from the ABC’s Mark Colvin caught my eye last night:
Fairfax mgmt spox @ SMH today, asked if paywall will be undermined by ABC: “After next election, I don’t think the ABC will be a problem”.
— Mark Colvin (@Colvinius) June 18, 2012
Then today this pops up on the front of The Australian:
Given the market vacuum opening, Australia can no longer afford a heavily taxpayer-funded ABC locked into a fashionable “writers festival” political culture that caters to a dedicated “true believer” minority. The ABC carries a special responsibility at this point in history.
That means commitment to the central policy questions: the decline in productivity and competitiveness, rising protectionism, the need for tax reform, the implications of industrial re-regulation, the loss of trust in politics, the rise of entitlement, the ramifications of population ageing, the resources boom and lethargy in education and health systems.
It requires an approach more mainstream, more intellectual and more independent.
The media restructuring should mean a greater journalistic onus with opportunity for the public broadcasters.
While there is a lot of deserved attention being paid to the future of Fairfax in light of Gina Rinehart’s current play for control, should we actually be asking about whether the ABC is about to cop yet another thrashing from their competitors, and perhaps the Coalition?READ MORE