Citizen Journalism

Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

The round-up: For whom the poll ticks

In Fairfax, News Limited, Press Gallery, Sarah Capper on February 28, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Sarah Capper

Sarah Capper

By Sarah Capper, Sheilas Editor


VOTER support for Labor has jumped to its strongest levels since the last election to put the federal government within striking distance of the Coalition …

This story appeared not two years ago, not six months ago, but less than six weeks ago, on 15 January, 2013 (in The Australian newspaper, ‘Labor starts poll year with bounce: Newspoll’ by David Crowe).

Fast forward six weeks and it’s an entirely different story, with the mainstream media’s coverage on the federal Government’s opinion poll fortunes as being incredibly dire, with doom and gloom scenarios abounding – the resurrecting of has-been Kevin Rudd leadership challenge possibilities, with commentators once again (gleefully) issuing death toll bells for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Murdoch press has never been a great fan of the Gillard Government, with a history of editorials and columnists aplenty going on the attack throughout the course of this minority government’s duration. Following last week’s Nielsen poll, which has the gap widening between the Government and Opposition, calls for Gillard’s head were not just limited to reports by News Limited journalists.

ABC Drum columnist Barrie Cassidy noted the switch in collective commentary, writing that:

Troubling for the Government, Fairfax at varying levels has joined News Ltd in baying for Julia Gillard’s blood.

Cue Mark Baker, Alan Stokes and Waleed Aly (and a raft of others) who wrote scathing opinion pieces last week which could cause even the most ardent of social democrats to choke on their Weeties and feel that all hope was lost.

Baker: It’s time, Labor. Time to end the delusion that Julia Gillard and her battle-scarred camp followers have any chance of political resurrection. Kevin Rudd might well be a very naughty boy, but Labor has no choice but to test whether he still has the makings of a messiah. It is the only card this discredited, demoralized and dysfunctional government has left to play.

Stokes: Julia Gillard, it is time for you to make your graceful, dignified, humble, selfless exit from the prime-ministership.

Aly: Labor’s problems are not nearly so managerial and technocratic. They are much, much bigger than that. Labor’s problem is ideological. It doesn’t really mean anything any more, and probably hasn’t since Paul Keating lost power in 1996. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy to face #Faine ‘Star Chamber’: @Colvinius

In ABC, John Faine Affair, MSM, Peter Clarke on February 27, 2013 at 8:25 PM

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By Peter Clarke
February 27th, 2013

EXCLUSIVE

Last night, I was watching 730 on ABC Television. As we can now, I also had my iPad fired up to follow the #abc730 hashtag as the program went to air.

With the cryptic words of the recent Jon Faine negative finding from the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit still buzzing on my frontal lobes, I was rather amazed to see an interviewer, Leigh Sales, whom I generally admire for the brevity and forensic character of her interview questions, appear to become somebody else.

Bob Brown was the interviewee on a link. Clashes between Japanese whaling and re-fuelling vessels and Sea Shepherd boats in the Southern Ocean was the central topic.

As I remember, Sales in an interview last year with now Greens leader, Christine Milne, exhibited a similar “Mr Hyde” transformation: not listening, hectoring, seeming to have a single line she wished to pursue at all odds. Not forensic, revealing nor at all clever. Except if she was “under instructions” to “do” Brown.

It was not a pretty sight from a frontline journalistic interviewer.

Of course Brown’s claims and assertions needed plenty of testing. He, as a contrarian, in the scheme of things, usually has to bat off quite egregious questions to bring the audience back to some logic and his line of argument.

That is what he did last night. He was able to sidestep Sales’ technique with ease.

The key words from the Faine finding flew through my mind:

“argumentative”? – check

“over-simplification”? – check

Sales’ cringe-worthy use of a simplistic analogy to equate breaking windows on illegally parked cars in her neighborhood with the Sea Shepherd’s activities in the whale sanctuary and serious questions of international law were clearly “over-simplification”.

“strongly-stated personal opinion”? – check

“due impartiality”? – well this is the clincher, catch-all phrase replete with ambiguity and deeply dependent on subjective responses on the part of citizen consumers and potential complainants.

I tweeted a brief critique of the interview. Others on the #abc730 hashtag were more pungent and clearly did not perceive “due impartiality” in Sales from their perspective.

Let me be clear. I don’t believe the Sales-Brown interview last night warrants a complaint for “bias” or lack of “impartiality” on Sales’ part. A critique of her approach and professional technique? Yes. By any measure, the outcome of that interview for us citizens was a very thin gruel.

That after all is the only real reason for major broadcast, “set piece”, accountability interviews. To reveal “factual” information, test claims and create coherence as optimally as possible in the (always) brief time allocated.

Showing off, digging in journalistic spurs for the sake of it are superfluous to the task. And almost inevitably counter-productive as last night again demonstrated.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

In Kieran Cummings, NBN, News Limited, Telecommunications on February 27, 2013 at 1:09 PM
Kim Williams, ex Foxtel and now CEO News Limited.

Kim Williams, ex Foxtel and now CEO at News Limited.

By Kieran Cummings (@sortius)
February 27th, 2013

It seems a day doesn’t go by where articles are being posted to News Limited (Murdoch) websites with nothing but negative spin for the NBN. Most, if not all, are founded on poorly constructed arguments that ignore technology & the reality. They all seem to point to one solution: anything the Coalition are saying they’ll deploy.

While this does reek of patent bias amongst Murdoch’s Australian arm, I feel this goes a little deeper than just wanting a Coalition government, but a fear of becoming obsolete in the age of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television).

While FTTN (Fibre to the Node) can offer basic IPTV, it cannot offer multi-set full HD broadcasting as FTTH/P (Fibre to the Home/Premises) can. With this in mind, it doesn’t take long before it’s apparent the likes of Comcast & Time-Warner in the US, are bleeding subscribers or seeing a slowdown in subscriber uptake due to internet streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon’s Prime service.

While we haven’t seen a drop in subscribers here in Australia, there has been a slowdown in subscriber uptake that is sending a message direct to News Limited/Fox: kill off any advancements in broadband speeds before it kills off your business model.

WHAT MAKES FTTN BETTER FOR PAY TV PROVIDERS

One thing to remember is that the main differences between FTTN & FTTH are, speed, service area, & reliability, with FTTN failing on all three. These differences can mean someone can happily use an IPTV service, or you are relegated to stuttering pixelated video. The one (& only so far) pure IPTV example I can give in Australia is FetchTV, with others like Quickflix not quite making their mark due to limited outdated content.

FTTN, which a large portion of Australia already relies upon, can be of many flavours, but the generally accepted limit is VDSL2+ up to 1km, VDSL2 up to 2km, & ADSL2(+)/ADSL1 after that. Looking at these numbers, even if VDSL2+ is used, a large portion of Australia will not be able to stream more than one channel to one TV comfortably in HD. Some will not be able to receive HD video at all, having to opt for 1.5Mbps “lite” services offered by IPTV providers.

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With this in mind, we can see that opting for slower, less reliable, with a smaller service area for higher speeds, broadband benefits satellite & cable TV (pay TV) providers by limiting customers’ ability to utilise lower cost IPTV services. Don’t get me wrong, Foxtel are dabbling with IPTV with massively crippled plans that are far more expensive in dollars-per-channel than their set-top-box contract locked services.

Essentially FTTN offers a moderate speed boost to allow for slightly faster speeds, but not so fast as to make pay TV obsolete. This benefits pay TV providers, but not customers or content producers, leaving a monopoly in place to reap the rewards of archaic infrastructure that’s way past its used by date. Read the rest of this entry »

A baby boomer fires back at ‘a certain age bracket’

In Retirement, Supperannuation on February 26, 2013 at 9:49 PM

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By Denis Wright
February 26, 2013
Source: deniswright.blogspot.com.au

I don’t get cross at much, but one thing that really sticks in my craw is the constant harping by a certain section of a certain age bracket – that somehow the baby-boomers are the source of all evil in the world.

Not you, of course – you’re smarter than that.

Do they realise that the next generation is going to say exactly the same thing about theirs? With just as much or as little justification? Probably not. They’re God’s gift to humanity they are.

What exactly are they doing to create a better world? Are they using fewer resources? Are they voting for political parties that are trying to? Not by the look of that house and that car and those clothes they’re not.

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Which generation is expert at internet crime, likely to cause the collapse of the global economic system as we know it, and deal in new forms of bush-button warfare?

Not fair criticism, they say. No, it’s not fair – but it’s as fair as what they’re dishing out to their parents, or maybe their grandparents.

Not you, of course, if you happen to be of that generation – as I said, you’re smarter than that.

Do they think corporate greed suddenly emerged twenty-plus years after the end of World War 2, just with people now retiring? Have they never heard of the 1929 Depression, the idiocy of Prohibition that gave us the platform for organised crime? Should the baby-boomers try to pass the buck to their parents, and they might do to theirs?

Yes, some baby-boomers made money by investing in a house to put a roof over their children’s head. Generally, they were not looking to end their lives basking in luxury. They just wanted security, and most paid for it fortnight by fortnight, interest rates at about 15%.

Some put off travel until retirement, once they gave their kids a start in life. Now a lot don’t have the money or the health to do that, or new responsibilities have been dumped in their laps that they had no idea were coming. They’ve missed out on a lot of the fun. Maybe not your oldies. Good for them if they’ve managed to squeeze it in before they drop off the perch.

Who wants to start at the top? Who’s seeking luxury right now? Who’s travelled all over the world before they’re thirty, and have a brand new car? 

I know that you saved money and paid for your trip and are busting your guts paying off that car. You know better than the whingers. I’ve no intention of insulting you. And you also know what your oldies did for you.

A lot of baby-boomers didn’t have any of this. They didn’t leave high school with a glorious gap year ahead, often with no end of the gap in sight, supported by social security built on a system the post-war generation paid for. It was unthinkable. Read the rest of this entry »

Life after pokies: A grassroots fightback

In Gambling, Tom Cummings on February 25, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Tom Cummings

Tom Cummings

By Tom Cummings (@cyenne40)
February 25, 2013

There are an awful  lot of pubs and clubs in Australia. I should know; I’ve visited a lot of them. Country clubs, city pubs and everything in between; from Mooloolabah to Blacktown to Bright, and more besides. I’ve spent plenty of time in watering holes up and down the length of Australia’s east coast, and I’ve learned one fundamental truth.

There are two types of pub in Australia, two types of club. Those with poker machines, and those without. No matter how you dress them up with fancy decor and boutique beers, or dress them down with fence-paling bars and chooks out the back, in the end it’s the pokies that are the difference.

Pokies pubs and clubs have a very different atmosphere to their pokie-free cousins. It’s almost a sense of distraction; everyone knows that the pokies are where the money is coming from, even though in many cases they seem embarrassed to admit it. In fact, in a lot of venues (pub venues mainly) the gaming rooms are hidden away, and every effort is made to pretend they don’t exist. Clubs, on the other hand, have a tendency to put their machines smack bang in the middle of everything. It’s hard to convey a sense of community belonging when all around you, money is being siphoned away at high speed.

Now, I freely admit to having a particular bias on this topic. I would much rather walk a mile or two to another venue than give my custom to a pokies pub, and the reason is simple. As a young man, I poured years of my life and thousands upon thousands of dollars into poker machines. I was on the hook, and no amount of wriggling could get me off it until pretty much everything I had and everyone I knew was gone. So these days, older and wiser, I look at the pubs and clubs with their gaming rooms and their glitzy signs, and I walk on.

And I’m not alone in feeling this way. Here in my home state of Victoria, there have been a number of battles waged over the past few years, by residents fighting to slow down or prevent the spread of poker machines into their communities. Romsey’s fight took them to the Supreme Court, Jan Juc marshalled their resistance via Facebook and most recently, Castlemaine won a landmark VCAT decision after years of unified persistence. Sadly though, the truth is that for each of these victories, many more battles are lost, and venues approved… and so the poker machines continue to hold sway.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Because the reality is that there’s actually a third type of pub out there, a third type of club which is bucking the trend and, essentially, making a stand. These are the venues that had poker machines, that knew what they meant in terms of income and revenue… and said, no more.

Enough.

These are the venues that have handed back their poker machines, and started life anew. In many ways they’re just like me; they’ve broken free from the addiction that pokies brings, and made a decision to change. It’s a massive decision to make; believe me, when you’ve been on the receiving end of the kind of money poker machines can bring in, it’s damn hard to walk away. But for some people, it was the right thing to do… indeed, it was the only thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Come on, wealthy baby boomers, take a cut in super tax concessions for the rest of us

In Economy, Noely Neate on February 25, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Credit @Thefinnigans

Credit @Thefinnigans

By Noely Neate
February 25, 2013

I had one of those bizarre mornings where a lot of similar themes unexpectedly came together and smacked me in the face about how self-obsessed we Australians have become.

I had a conversation with a friend about Sunrise on 7 (which I am not allowed to watch anymore as my husband says it makes me rant too much) and David Koch’s obsession with superannuation while pretending he is a ‘man of the people’.   His super carry-on drives me insane. Most Australians are worried about paying their monthly bills, not their bloody super. Rant for another day.  To settle down I went cruising various news sites and came across an awesome article on BBC New Magazine  called Australia: Where the good life comes at a price which tells ls us how bloody good we have it in this country.

To push me over the edge I went to AUSVOTES 2013 and read a brilliant, thought-provoking article by Ed Butler titled The ego behind anti-welfarism. It focused on how most Australians now believe they have ‘earned’ their privilege, not that they are lucky.  I urge people to read this article and then have a good look at themselves in the mirror. Like what you see?

The fact is the Baby Boomers are the wealthy in this country. They are the ones with superannuation and homes they have paid off . They are the reason  finance news is now part of our nightly news. They are the people who have convinced us all that the Economy is the most important aspect of our upcoming election, because share prices and the like affect the returns on their shares and their superannuation.  These are also the people who have forgotten that we are the ‘lucky country. Many of them have also forgotten empathy, and passed that on to the public at large.

I many will frown at that statement, but take a breath and think about it.

What sort of country are we that we condone the hit on struggling single mothers by making their lives worse? Yet there is a Hands off my super! cry at the thought of cutting tax concessions on super?  Single mothers would love to have the luxury of superannuation!

Homeless people have no idea about superannuation!  People dying, waiting on hospital surgery lists don’t give a rats butt about superannuation – they will most likely not be alive to benefit from it.  No-one cares about these people, we all just bow down to the all powerful ‘Economy’. Somewhere over the years we lost our humanity .

Baby Boomers consistently tell us they ‘worked hard to live comfortably’ and ‘earned everything they have’, and to a certain degree they have, though they also have a tendency to re-invent history.  They love to proclaim that they ere savers who were not wasteful on big screen TV’s and McMansions, which is true.What they neglect to say is that they did not have the same issues faced today which inhibit saving or paying off your mortgage early, and that many of those issues are actually social.

For starters, back in the day the bank gave you a mortgage based on one sole wage earner, not both as is needed today. In most cases women stayed home and looked after the kids, so there were no child care expenses.  If the earnings were the result of a university education, they didn’t pay for that at all – it was free education. Read the rest of this entry »

Pity the poor journalist…

In Journalism, Sally Baxter on February 24, 2013 at 7:27 PM

The End of Newspapers

By Sally Baxter
February 24. 2013
Source: SallyBaxter 

Pity the poor journalist.

For every pompous hack filing his or her daily lecture to the nation, there are countless others trying to do more and more every day with less and less.

At the same time, if they’re smart, they’re trying to get a handle on the shape of the future. Which way, Journalism? And, not unimportantly, will it pay?

And will it be worth the constant nit-picking and sometimes outright abuse on social media that seems to go with the job these days?

Is the good ship of the traditional publisher going down or is it just shifting course?

And what, in the future, will distinguish a professional journalist from the many competent amateurs already out there with their blogs and their wonky charts?

Journalism academic Jay Rosen recently identified five distinct power shifts between writers and publishers which may give a hint of the way forward.

Not all of us can be technology bloggers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg (the subjects of his article), but their story highlights how niche journalism is developing well beyond the traditional specialist publication model.

Rosen observes correctly that modern readers simply have less of a need for publishers. Traditionally, news was bundled together into a single package which tried to include something for everyone.

Put the package online, says Rosen, and the bundle falls apart.

And there’s the rub. As consumers we are no longer prepared to wade through all the bits we’re not interested in to get to the few stories we do want and the telly listings.

An exchange on Twitter between Australian blogger Greg Jericho (Grog’s Gamut) and Marcus Priest of the Australian Financial Review encapsulates Rosen’s point, and the dire predicament of traditional publishing.

Jericho commented to fellow blogger Paula Mathewson (Dragonista’s Blog) that he’d like to see the AFR return to a pay-per-view model so he could read just its political coverage.

You can read the full exchange here  (thanks to Matthew Lee for Storifying it).

Priest’s defence of the traditional bundle is robust but can’t alter the fact that a growing segment of news consumers – like Jericho, like me – no longer want it.

Encouragingly perhaps, Rosen thinks that puts writers in the ascendant.

As he sees it, it’s simple economics. People will pay for something which is scarce. And that’s no longer ‘news’ which, we all know, is with us 24/7 in a bewildering array of formats, nor the ability to distribute it.

What’s scarce is good journalism which serves its community.

And there are readers – like Jericho, like me – who will pay for it. Just find out how we want it, and give it to us just that way, as I’ve said before (Does journalism die not with a thunderclap but a tweet).

In the Netherlands there’s now an app for that. It’s called DNP and its readers subscribe to specific journalists who edit and market themselves. Seed money included around E25,000 raised through crowdfunding.

According to DNP managing director Jan-Jaap Heij, the journalists don’t have to invest anything, not even a start-up fee and revenue is split at around 50 per cent each between journalist and host.

Heij says the venture started out with 11 people and now has about 200 lined up to join. More details at Journalism.co.uk (and thanks to Margo Kingston for the link). Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Tingle reveals why some policies don’t get covered any more

In Jane Cattermole, MSM, Refugees on February 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM
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Laura Tingle

By Jane Cattermole
February 23, 2013

On Friday I attended a forum at the Perth Writers Festival titled Refugees; where do they come from. The speakers were Robin de Crespigny, author of  ‘The People Smuggler’, Kooshyar Karimi, refugee and author of ‘I Confess: Revelations in Exile’ and Carina Hoang, author of ‘Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus’. The forum was convened by Laura Tingle from the Australian Financial Review. After the presentations and discussion there was time for a couple of questions. Here’s one asked of Laura, and her reply.
Question:
Don’t you feel that the media has a much greater responsibility to act rather than to simply mouth what is the party line? You’re in a privileged position where you can speak with a far greater volume than most of us, so I would like to ask you, why doesn’t that happen? Who’s stopping you from speaking out? Why won’t more journalists have the courage of our convictions?

Laura Tingle answer:
image

Right!

This is a complex question which I’m trying to answer very seriously and successfully, and we’ll also be having a discussion about media tomorrow.

A few things have happened. One of them is the way the political debate in Australia is reported has changed dramatically over the last ten or fifteen years in particular. We used to have people who wrote about immigration and refugees and asylum seeker policy. We used to have people who were health policy experts.

I work in Canberra and this is what I can tell you about best. The change in the economics of the media and the change in the way the media works means that we no longer have specialists in those areas anymore. Now that sounds like a really small thing but it means that when a story is reported it’s reported by generalist reporters.

In Canberra we’re political reporters and we tend to report it, and I’m using the Royal We here. I’ll take responsibility for the sins that are mine and that aren’t. We report it as a political story, as a matter of political controversy. There aren’t people in the key offices of the newspapers who would have written really detailed, well informed pieces backgrounding these issues, but that’s a sweeping generalisation. The guy who won the Gold Walkley in December was Steve Penros from The West Australian and he wrote about the Christmas Island tragedy – but it is now a rare thing that it happens.

Now the Financial Review, which isn’t your mainstream Refugee policy paper I fairly concede, but we actually had a period, and this shows you how these things happen, where there are a whole heap of issues which the editor, the previous editor, there were a range of issues that business was just not interested in.

Refugees was certainly one of them. Climate change was another, and we literally couldn’t get them into the paper. That extended to immigration generally, which was I thought was, well, a bit stupid because, you know, it’s the labour market. Read the rest of this entry »

Building Bridges

In AFHP, Fairfax, Margo Kingston, MSM on February 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston

By Michael Taylor (TheAIMN)
February 24, 2013

There is an old movie line I often recall: A life filled with activity suggests a life filled with purpose.

I have no hesitation in borrowing that line in applying it is an apt portrayal of well-known Australian author and journalist; Margo Kingston. I’ve been a big fan of Margo’s since her book Not happy, John hit the shelves in 2004, so I was chuffed to be granted an interview with her last week. I was to discover just how active and purposeful her life has been, and still is, and that there is far more to Margo than the book which first introduced her to me.

But first, a little background.

Margo, a Queenslander, graduated from university with a degree in arts and law and practised as a solicitor in Brisbane before lecturing in commercial law in Rockhampton. The move to journalism saw her working for The Courier-Mail and within a year moved to The Times on Sunday. She had since worked for The AgeThe Canberra Times and A Current Affair before moving to The Sydney Morning Herald, where she worked until her retirement in August 2005. Her first book was Off The Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip which recounted her experiences (as a journalist) on the One Nation Party’s election campaign in the 1990s. She is also known for her now defunct blog, Webdiary.

“Writing the book about the One Nation Party experience was a testing time for me and I vowed never to write another book again. I didn’t consider myself an author or a person willing to be one. A journalist, yes. An author, no” recalled Margo. At this point I was wondering why she later decided to write Not happy, John, however, a slight hesitation on my behalf gave her the opportunity to proceed with an explanation. “While I was working for the Sydney Morning Herald I was invited by Phillip Adams (from Radio National’s Late Night Live) to be on the discussion panel of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. It was there that Phillip tapped me on the shoulder and said I needed to write a book about John Howard. Of course, the answer was an insistent ‘no’ but the response was “it’s your duty” and one thing led to another and before I knew it I found myself writing Not happy, John“.

Not Happy John

It wasn’t long before the book put her on the outer with her employer.

“After a long-term Government everyone in the media seems quite happy with how the country is governed and so after many years of Howard the Sydney Morning Herald had drifted slowly to the right. The publication of the book was frowned upon and my run-ins with the SMH editor are now famous”.

I could sense that Margo is more excited about her post-SMH life, even though when she began her new incarnation she did so as an emotionally shattered soul. Read the rest of this entry »

The mysterious photo no-one took: New evidence for Press Council

In Anne Tan, MSM, News Limited on February 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

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By Anne Tan
February 22 2013

On 6 November, 2012, an article with accompanying photo appeared on Michael Smith’s blog site. The post included a weblink to The Australian, and the article Gillard call would have ‘ led to fund inquiry’, by Hedley Thomas. Sandwiched between the headline and the article on Smith’s blog site was a photograph of the Prime Minister depicting her behind bars.

I immediately lodged a complaint with the Press Council: ‘…an article/accompanying photo in today’s copy of The Australian, and available through Google, has prompted me to [make] a complaint. I include the weblink and a copy of the page. I believe the photograph impugns the integrity of the PM, depicting her behind bars, and as a private citizen I am appalled at this journalism.’

The Press Council advised that no such photograph had appeared in the digital or hard copy editions of  The Australian and that it was a ‘doctored’ photo posted by a blogger. Obviously, my complaint was prompted by a ‘fiction’ and as such, I did not proceed. The Press Council dealt with the matter in a very timely fashion, contacted me by phone and email, and thanked me for bringing it to attention.

I was and remain shocked by such a blatant and disrespectful representation of the Prime Minister.


But what really happened…
by Margo Kingston

When Anne emailed me her complaint to the Press Council, I suggested she write a piece about her experience and noted that I would seek comment from Mike Smith before publication. I expected a ‘Yes, I photoshopped the pic., big deal, I reckon she’s guilty’.

You never know the truth till you call.

Mike’s response was surprising and disturbing, and we agreed that he would write a considered statement, published in full below.

You make up your own mind about what went on in Murdoch’s stable. I will email this post to the Press Council upon publication and request it to re-open the investigation in the light of new evidence.

We have published Anne’s correspondence with the Press Council under Mike’s statement.


Mike Smith responds:

I recall seeing that photo for the first time very early in the morning of 6 November, 2013 – Melbourne Cup Day.

Hedley Thomas had filed this report.

On reading Hedley’s story I cut and pasted some of his text and republished it on my blog for the purpose of eliciting commentary about the issues he disclosed.

I don’t know if I took the text directly from The Australian’s website or from a re-posting of Hedley’s story elsewhere on News Ltd sites like perhaps www.news.com.au or one of the tabloid sites, dailytelegraph.com.au or heraldsun.com.au.

I know that I lifted the photograph from Hedley’s story, wherever it was published, and thought it an apt pictorial allegory for the imputations I took from Hedley’s story.   I wanted to elicit commentary about the photograph as well as the text. Read the rest of this entry »