Citizen Journalism

Archive for the ‘Tony The Geek’ Category

The Geek’s week in Twitter Pics

In Fifth Estate, Tony The Geek on May 19, 2013 at 4:57 PM


Sat, May 18 2013

Talking Pictures

My week on twitter 13 May to 19 May 2013. Some pics from me, some pics retweeted by me and some pics sent to me.

  1. @Caroleina2 Here 馃檪
    Created by聽@Vic_Rollison @KayRollison聽
  2. Twice #NDIS related legislation was introduced. Who turned up for work? Our esteemed media say LNP own it? #AusPol
  3. Latest #Auspol blockbuster from Fox Studios. @CraigEmersonMP gives it a **** rating…
  4. Media role in creating false narratives #auspol #ausmedia
  5. @Qldaah @geeksrulz
    WHINEY piney’s normal worst. more if he ever becomes Ed. Min. Can one imagine? BWAHAHA
  6. PM Gillard鈥檚 words VS Abbott鈥檚 words. You be the judge! #AusPol

    Read the rest of this entry »

The MSM’s NDIS: Make the frame, change the frame, WTFs the frame?

In Federal Election, Health, NDIS, Tony The Geek on May 4, 2013 at 9:53 PM

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Tony ‘The Geek’ Yegles

May 4 2013

I was fascinated by the media’s framing of the NDIS debate this week. Within 48 hours it moved from reporting a naked tax grab by the Prime Minister, to a worthy聽initiative when Mr Abbott put the national interest ahead of his political interest. Update below May 15 2014

November 29 2012 – NDIS Bill is introduced in Parliament with Coalition absent.

NDIS Bill Introduction 29/11/2012

Tony Abbott: “We have supported the NDIS every step of the way.”聽NDIS Bill Introduction 29/11/2012 with only 6 LNP MPs present.

December 6 2012 – NSW signs on to the NDIS

PM Julia Gillard, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and NSW Disability Services Minister Andrew Constance at NDIS press conference in Canberra on Thursday 6 December 2012. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

PM Julia Gillard, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and NSW Disability Services Minister Andrew Constance at NDIS press conference in Canberra on Thursday 6 December 2012. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

In the lead up to the NDIS Medicare Levy announcement, Joe Hockey and News Limited were the fiercest critics.

Falling revenue forecasts mean Gonski and NDIS reforms are unaffordable: Joe Hockey

Monday April 29: Government leaks the possibility of Medicare Levy

Economists say levy needed to fund NDIS

Levy on table to fund $15bn NDIS


Interestingly the above story and headline in the print edition of The Australian was changed online from Abbott blasts plans for a levy to fund the NDISto聽Julia Gillard expected to reveal NDIS levy details Read the rest of this entry »

Walking Away

In AFHP, Federal Election, Journalism, MSM, Tony The Geek on April 28, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I am @geeksrulz

In AFHP, Tony The Geek on February 13, 2013 at 6:03 PM
The Geek

The Geek

This is a big moment for me, saying who I am. I have personal, family and business reasons for being anonymous on Twitter.

The last piece like this one I wrote 10 years ago on Margo Kingston鈥檚 pioneering Webdiary.

Does it matter who The Geek is?聽 From the moment I set up a site with Margo Kingston called 鈥淎ustralians for Honest Politics鈥, I knew that to be a credible contributor I would have to be honest and transparent about the man behind The Geek.

The Geek’s time is over, and the time for the smart, sophisticated and insightful guy behind him has arrived. This is part of my 2013 resolution. My inner Gough was telling me: It鈥檚 time!

How I use Twitter

Don鈥檛 you love it when people follow through with their New Year resolutions? You have to admire my courage for doing this. Okay maybe not just yet, but please hear me out. To get to this point, I had to fight my way through the party political trench warfare on Twitter. How many people do you know who have done this? How many have retained their sense of humour? I had to fight orcs, goblins, wargs, stone giants and trolls.

I am making light of the infamous hash tag on twitter called auspol, where it seems a lot of nasty (mostly from the right) people gather. It was a deliberate decision of mine to go where the left meets the right at the coalface of political argument, to witness it in all its ugliness, pettiness, and hatred. Can you blame me for adopting a pseudonym?

In the distant past, a time before Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, these groups would never meet directly. Now they are directly exposed to each other in public.

It can be fun to go where the tectonic plates of Australian politics clash and observe the resulting fireworks. It certainly can be more entertaining than the reheated, predictable, jaded, cynical and repetitive groupthink narrative dished up every day by our professional media communicators.


What I found in my travels through Twitter Mordor is that reason and logic will only get you so far. To discuss politics and to keep your sanity on Twitter you have to use humour, parody and satire, especially in an era of Post Truth Politics and Post Facts Media.

A thing is funny when it upsets the established order. Every joke is a tiny revolution. –聽George Orwell

Thus George Orwell explains what destroying the joint means. I like to challenge basic assumptions and premises put on Twitter which invariably reflect the media-fed or party-fed narrative of the day. You can quickly establish with a few questions who is a shallow tweeter and who has substance and beliefs.

My first ever Tweet:

My fourth Tweet – Finding my voice:

My sixth and seventh Tweet – Finding my calling:

There are many ways to engage politically. You can write a blog, you can write a letter, you can tweet a journo, and you can ring call-back radio. In the end it doesn鈥檛 matter as long as you engage with the issues that are important to you. I sometimes choose to engage with LNP staffers/members and Menzies House trolls on Twitter because I like to get my hands dirty. I prefer the salt of the earth kind of way rather than a high brow academic approach to politics, which in my view is ineffective in the Post Truth era.

Here is an illustration of the approach I prefer. Cut down a David Speers Sky News video interview from 13.30 minutes to 35 seconds to communicate at a visceral level with the viewer who gets the context of the Carbon Tax scare campaign.

Mr Abbott says: “If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax.” June 3, 2011. You can argue the issues in a purist way and write an impressive blog post about it but as a comparison, this video attracted 55,000 views on YouTube and was featured in multiple news programs, Q & A, Lateline and commercial TV. When is the last time a well argued, well researched blog post achieved that?
If the Liberals did not exist, you would have to invent them. If Tony Abbott did not exist, the media would lose its stunt-a-day readymade vaudeville machine. Abbott fulfils a need the media has to provide content and visuals to fill their gaps with a readymade circus. The media has no need for quality. This in part explains the disconnect with their audience and the failing business model.

So there you have it. The key to twitter is to enjoy it and have fun. This is my guiding philosophy for life.

Early Life Europe

My journey began in a place far away,聽 not Mordor, but a little town called Ettelbruck in the tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

My parents are Spanish and migrated to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the 1960’s. I am incredibly proud of what they achieved in bringing up a family of 8 kids (5 sisters and 2 brothers) in a foreign land with the most rudimentary language skills except for a little French. I was child number 5 and the second to be born in Luxembourg.

My birth made the newspaper as I was born in a taxi on the way to the hospital. This is when my love for newspapers began and ended up with me running a digital services company to Newspaper Publishers.

By 7 I had learned four languages. I was speaking Spanish, struggling with Luxembourgish and German and at ease in French. At the time we had German, French and Luxembourgish TV and newspapers. I watched and read them all as I was growing up and going through my 鈥淪turm und Drang鈥 phase trying to find a meaning to life.

These were exciting and momentous times in the Europe of the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was the era of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan’s Pershing Missiles, Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Giscard D鈥橢staing, Francois Mitterand, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, Erich Honecker and the DDR, Disco and Trabant. It was the era of Petra Kelly, and Die Gr眉nen (German Green Party) who were one of the earlier elected Greens in a national Parliament.

In those days, the terrorists we had to deal with were the IRA, ETA, Baader-Meinhof Group and Brigate Rosse.

There was also a more serious version of Ashbygate, the 1982 coup d’茅tat attempt聽in Spain. It was a conspiracy conceived to overthrow the government. I remember my family being glued to the television set, fearful that a Franco type Dictator would return and destroy a fledgling Spanish Democracy. King Juan Carlos saved the country with an address to the nation, calling for rebellious army units to return to their barracks. They did.

As an addendum to my piece in Margo鈥檚 Webdiary, when I met Bob Hawke, he said to me: 鈥淚鈥檝e met your king鈥.

We had Gorby鈥檚 Glasnost and Perestroika, then we had one of those troublemaker union organisers, an electrician (later President and Nobel Prize) Lech Wa艂臋sa in Poland, the head of Solidarno艣膰 (Solidarity) who started the Eastern Block Revolutions of 1989. The communist regimes of Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria,聽Czechoslovakia聽and聽the Ceausescus in Romania all came tumbling down. We had Tiananmen Square and the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of Yugoslavia.


You get the idea. I followed all of this not through studying history but through quality multilingual media and journalism in Europe. My favourite publication was the German Der Spiegel (Global Mail Story), one of the world鈥檚 most successful magazines which, against all odds, is still making money. Have I mentioned quality yet?

If journalism is the first draft of history, we are in big trouble right now. Apparently we feel threatened in this country by a few women and children on a boat. We are unable to find out who leaked to Laurie Oakes in the 2010 Election campaign. We are unable to find out who continually leaks police operations to the media. We are unable to question Mal Brough, Tony Abbott, or Christopher Pyne on their knowledge of the Ashby conspiracy. We are unable to get answers from the Taxpayer funded ABC. We get pop psychology about Celebrity Big Pollies, zero policy analysis, zero fact checking and zero value. Welcome to Post Truth Media.

Early life Australia

If you have made it this far, please the read that story I wrote for Webdiary back in 2003. (Mate, where is my country?)


Australian dream, by Martin Davies.

As much as I loved re-reading that piece again, there was a distinct change in tone from positive, warm and passionate about Australia, my adopted country, to distress at what I thought the Howard Government was doing to it.

One aspect I want to add to my experiences of Australia was the feeling of liberation in being able to call your boss by his or her first name. Breaking down the barriers between people in authority and staff adds a personal dimension to the relationship. This in turn may help in team building, loyalty and mutual respect.


There are not many countries in the world, where it is easier to set up a business. I have been involved in a few startup companies and the ease with which you can get up and running in a new business is remarkable. It is a dream come true for serial entrepreneurs.

Back in 1994 to 2000, I was working as a Digital Producer for a Business Communications company dealing with high profile corporate clients with big budget projects. We worked on exhibitions, museums, first use of live web broadcasting of company AGMs all the way to internal Business TV for Big Banks. My main client was Fairfax Media, managing their Fairfax Newspapers on CD ROM project which were sold to schools, universities, businesses and libraries.

Together with the then Art Director and best friend, I had worked on some smaller freelance web projects, and after we brought in a sales guy to sell our skills and services, our old jobs were made redundant. We formed a publishing company called Smedia,聽 and as technical director I helped it become an industry-recognised digital publishing house. My biggest coup was getting my previous client at the business communications company, big corporate Fairfax Media, to come across to Smedia.

During my time at Smedia, I successfully delivered major contracts for clients such as Woolworths, The West Australian Newspapers, Allied Press NZ, The Star Malaysia, Sing Tao Hong Kong, SMH, AGE, BRW, AFR, Property Press NZ and ACP.

Bringing in the now commonly used Digital Edition format was a major effort in terms of market education requirement. Interestingly, I was selling this still novel concept of online Digital Editions to Fairfax already in 2004. It took until 2006 for them to finally make a decision and adopt the online format. It just goes to show how slow the Fairfax Mother ship moves. Are we surprised they are in trouble?

During that time, I also co-founded the online business Findacarpark, a novel car parking portal for renting, buying and selling private car parking spaces.

I met interesting and genuinely inspiring people in business. I have also met a few sociopaths along the way. They seem to pop up more in business, because that鈥檚 where their anything goes and no scruples attitudes are highly sought after in the dog eat dog corporate world. I have worked and still work with Liberals as business associates, colleagues and clients. I get on really well with all of them. Politics is rarely discussed in any depth or seriousness.

Business is about solving problems, making money and building a life for yourself and your staff. Politics should not interfere when you do business and this is why I have always tried to keep the two separate. Why let politics interfere with making money from Liberals?

I have sold the two businesses mentioned above in 2010 and now run a few other online ventures in various back and foreground roless, again with a combination of Liberal and Labor partners.


The project that I am most excited about is AFHP. Being a news and politics junkie, it gives citizen journalists like me and others a platform with a highly credentialed former investigative journalist like Margo Kingston to pursue the stories that the mainstream media refuses to cover or follow up for whatever reason.

The gatekeepers have lost the key and are suffering a disconnect with their audience and the public, and there is a need and a huge gap that must be filled. Technology facilitates good quality journalism filling the gap. How about we start with: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

Australians for Honest Politics was started and based around Mr Abbott鈥檚 鈥淎ustralians for Honest Politics Trust鈥. Margo, in a moment of inspiration, reclaimed the words 鈥淎ustralians for Honest Politics鈥 from a covert, behind the scenes operation to an open and transparent citizen journalism project that covers the issues the mainstream media likes to forget.聽 The title perfectly captures what we set out to do and is also a constant reminder that the Hanson Slush Fund scandal really did happen. There are still serious questions that remain unanswered by the AEC and Mr Abbott.

Finally, can we also put to rest once and for all the childish and repetitive Liberal attacks on me of being a paid Labor staffer. I am not an academic, a public servant, a staffer or a member of any political party. I do not get paid to tweet. I do not take or give instructions from anyone or to anyone. I am my own person using the poor man鈥檚 megaphone 鈥 The Twitter. Everything that鈥檚 not fit to print.

You have made it this far? Seriously?

OK, The Geek who tweets as @geeksrulz is Tony Yegles, a proud dad of 4 daughters and a serial entrepreneur who has been destroying the joint in Australia since 1987 and in Europe before that.

Disclaimer for completeness: I run a聽 digital media services company which provides consultancy and development across ecommerce systems, content management systems, search engine optimisation, internet marketing, email marketing, web development, web hosting and social media training courses. I also specialise in digital publishing solutions for publishers, including digital editions for newspapers, catalogues and magazines. My company is 100% owned by me, has never provided any services to any political party, and is not affiliated or linked in any way to any other third party entity.

This is the Geek, but you can call me Tony now.


We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children. We’re all in this together. Let’s fight the good fight.

WANTED: Mal Brough for Questioning

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston, Tony The Geek on February 7, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Wanted: Mal Brough

A long, day for Mal Brough, from ‘up yours’ fluff to, well….

The Courier Mail had a soft 聽story on Mal Brough聽where they forgot to do journalism and ask the hard questions.

Courier Mail

Mal Brough

Margo Kingston‘s incredulous reaction to the Courier Mail fluff piece came via Twitter”

AFHP Citizen Journalist Yathink聽took the Courier Mail to task in her blog post:

Punter call BS on CM’s Mal Brough ‘puff piece’

10th聽sentence 鈥 鈥Mr Brough was linked to this when the Gillard Government accused him of encouraging Slipper staff to leak diaries.鈥澛犅(referring to James Ashby drama).聽聽聽Two points of order on this one…
A. Mr Brough was not linked to this scandal by the Gillard Government, he was linked to this scandal by the Federal Court of Australia, Justice Rares.聽聽You may like to familiarise yourself with the judgement 鈥Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia (No 4) [2012] FCA 1411鈥.聽聽In fact Mr Brough is referred to 113 times in this judgment.
My second point of order here is in relation to 鈥榣eak diaries鈥.聽聽Not sure about you, but if I 鈥榚ncourage鈥 a staff member in a competitors business to STEAL & COPY pages of my competitors diary to give to me to gain an advantage, that is actually THEFT and pretty sure I would be in serious doggy doo should I be caught, as is the case here?

Much to my disappointment the journalist has not asked any pertinent questions of Mr Brough in regard to his involvement in this scandal.聽聽I do not know of this journalist, though considering how hard it has been for others of his profession to actually get Mr Brough to answer his phone, this is such a wasted opportunity.聽聽See graphic above, (larger version聽here), in fact more than just the journo鈥檚 on this graphic have聽聽tried to contact Mr Brough, even though he was very very cute in an interview with the聽Sunshine Coast Daily聽where he suggested no-one had phoned him?聽 Mr Hall obviously missed the opportunity for a ‘scoop’ here, alternatively it begs the question, was not asking anything serious about Ashby a condition of the interview?

Emma Alberici from ABC Lateline says Mal Brough is less than open and transparent as Mr Abbott would like us to believe:

Read the rest of this entry »

Questions for Mr Pyne

In Ashby Conspiracy, Guest Author, Jane Cattermole, Margo Kingston, Tony The Geek on February 3, 2013 at 11:29 AM


  1. Mr聽Pyne, do you聽condone聽the theft of diaries from MPs? If not what action should be taken against people who request & receive stolen goods?
  2. What is your attitude to stealing the diary of an MP & giving it to his rivals?
  3. What is your attitude to someone receiving stolen property? Particularly if they confess to so doing?
  4. Do you support abusing the process of the Court?
  5. Do you believe being named in Federal Court indicating abuse of process warrants full and open press appearance?
  6. Mr Pyne, WTF do you mean by ‘no specific knowledge’?聽
  7. As LOTO, why didn’t Tony Abbott intitiate thorough investigation of serious rumours surrounding Mr Slipper?
  8. Why don’t you release your publicly funded transcripts of recent doorstops?
  9. Why does Abbott falsely claim that Brough has ‘been very upfront about his dealings with James Ashby’?
  10. Why did you say on Lateline that Mr Brough is contesting the Rares findings when he’s not & is it a ploy to avoid ?
  11. You’ve stated that on March 19 you drank with James Ashby and had “political discussion”; What was discussed?
  12. Pyne, you have repeatedly said this is a contest about trust. So why don’t you & Mr Abbott front the media & answer questions on Ashby?
  13. Do you condone Tony Abbott turning his back on journalists asking questions about the Ashby Brough Affair?
  14. You demanded the resignation of Mr Slipper over private SMS’s with Mr Ashby; will you release all your emails/SMS’s to or from Mr Ashby?


These questions were crowdsourced from a number of people on Twitter who contributed to a request by Margo Kingston.聽They were all collated in this聽Storify聽post. A great thank you to all for their combined efforts.

[View the story “Christoper Pyne Questions on Ashbygate” on Storify]

Additional information

Abbott Questions

Brough Questions

Did Mr Pyne stay or leave the room?

In Ashby Conspiracy, Jane Cattermole, Margo Kingston, Tony The Geek on February 3, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Mr Pyne doorstop Adelaide February 3, 2013
Today the Prime Minister has serious questions to answer about how she intends to govern for the next seven months with what is clearly an unravelling government. The Prime Minister needs to confirm whether by elections will be held in the normal course of events, say within two to three months of a resignation and not held off til September in order to keep the Prime Minister’s tenuous hold on power in place. We know that we’ve had the resignations of Nicola Roxon and Chris Evans. We know that Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson are under a legal cloud. Robert McClennand has announced his retirement and has said he’ll be applying for jobs that will take him out of the parliament. There are rumours of other Labor MP’s and frontbenchers to follow and the Prime Minister is leaving very vague whether she will pursue the normal course of events which is by elections within one, two or at most three months of 聽resignations or whether she’ll hold those off聽until September 14th聽election date. That’s not good enough for the Australian public.

This government is starting to resemble a scene from “Downfall” and 聽the Prime 聽Minister is presiding over a divided and dysfunctional government.
The Coalition on the other hand has a plan for all for a safe, secure Australia and a strong and prosperous Australia.

We want the government to get it’s act together because if this wasn’t so serious it would be funny.聽

Did Mr Pyne stay or leave the room?

“Faining Outrage” from ABC Management

In ABC, John Faine Affair, Margo Kingston, MSM, Tony The Geek on February 1, 2013 at 6:46 AM

Jon Faine, Radio Presenter ABC 774 Melbourne censored & censured.

Update: ABC Mediawatch had a segment on the Jon Faine Story. You can find it here.

Since our ABC story went live on Tuesday, a new case of how ABC Management responds to the Political Right bullying has emerged. ABC Melbourne Radio Presenter Jon Faine has been reprimanded for聽interviews with former Sydney radio host Michael Smith and聽The Age聽editor-at-large Mark Baker on November 23 as they allegedly breached its code of practice.

Audience and consumer affairs investigations manager Denise Musto said:

”The argumentative style of the interviews by Mr Faine, combined with a pattern of strongly stated personal opinions that at times oversimplified the issues 鈥 was not in keeping with the ABC’s rigorous impartiality standards 鈥 Jon Faine has been reminded of his obligation to gather and present news 鈥 with due impartiality.”

Fairfax Story here

To his credit Chris Uhlmann put up a spirited defence of Jon Faine and these 2 interviews:

  1. The ABC鈥檚 finding that Jon Faine is guilty of a 鈥渓apse in standards鈥 in 2 interviews on the AWU slush fund is absurd.
  2. Jon challenged two journalists to defend claims that the Prime Minister acted improperly in her former career as a lawyer. MTC
  3. Jon believes that, based on the publicly available evidence, the Prime Minister did no wrong. To date, the facts support that view.
  4. The interviews, which so shamed the ABC鈥檚 correctness commissars, were robust exchanges between a broadcaster and two journalists. MTC
  5. Jon pressed them to lay out the key allegations and provide evidence to support their claims of wrongdoing. In short, he did his job. Well.
  6. Jon is one of the jewels of local radio鈥檚 crown and I am proud that I was once his producer. I await a robust defence of him from management

What’s happened to our ABC? The Juliar ‘typo’ and cases where ABC does say sorry…

In ABC, Astroturfing, John Faine Affair, Tony The Geek on January 29, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Update 2: The ABC’s Q and A gets in on the act. 聽Is this the new culture at the ABC? It seems recycling NewsLtd framing by the ABC happens every single day. This makes the ABC a Mini NewsLtd. Is this really what we expect from our unbiased, impartial National Broadcaster?


Update 1:聽The Jon Faine story is growing bigger and has its own dedicated blog post here聽with updates.

The Desperation of a Liberal MP? The Russian spambots.

In Astroturfing, Tony The Geek on January 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM

By The Geek
21 January 2013
Source: Storify

Greg Hunt

This story was published on Saturday on Storify and retweeted via Twitter on Sunday and Monday and now has over 3,300 views.

[View the full story “The Desperation of a Liberal MP? The Russian spambots.” on Storify]

Greg Hunt has resorted or is at least is supported by an army of spambots who retweet his tweets. Could it be that he cannot find real people on twitter that like what he says? Who knows. We know the Libs or supporters do run other Spam Bots like LaborDirt. Here is a breakdown of just 1 LNP tweet.

Update 1:聽Since publishing this story earlier,聽I have put together a growing list of LNP Bots here:聽
Also at last count 19 January 2013, there were about 40 genuine retweets out of 175 in total for this tweet. The Bots are tweeting via an app or platform called “The People’s Voice”. Has anyone heard of this? Contact me聽@geeksrulz聽on Twitter.

Update 2:聽I tweeted a link last night to my storify feature to聽@GregHuntMP聽for comment. No response so far. Read the rest of this entry »