Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Activism’

The genesis of the @ch150ch Abbott gaffe list

In @ch150ch, Fifth Estate on May 15, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Margo: I’ve begun asking tweeps who’ve had a go at activism in the political sphere to write about their experience  for @NoFibs. Here is the first post of what I hope will be a series, by the tweep who compiled a list of Abbott gaffes which has already attracted more than 15,000 views. The  tweep has given me a good reason to be anonymous.

By choosing @ch150ch

May 15, 2013

The genesis of the Tony Abbott gaffe list

During an interview with Leigh Sales on 25 March 2013, Prime Minister Gillard listed some of the ALP government’s achievements. To which Sales responded “Well, Prime Minister, you’ve given me a laundry list there, so let me give you one back.” Sales then gave seven examples of what she described as failures by the Gillard government. Needless to say, the PM disagreed with the premise of the list. [1]

But it got me thinking. If the PM has made x mistakes between becoming PM and now, how many has Tony Abbott made? What would a laundry list for him look like?

Some laundry list items sprang to mind immediately, such as when Abbott ran out of parliament to avoid Craig Thomson’s vote; his disastrous interview with Leigh Sales about BHP; the bat phone jokes; and his strange behaviour during the ‘shit happens’ Mark Riley interview.  [2]

Over a couple of days I recalled other incidents but in the end I resorted to googling his name month by month from June 2010. That’s how the Tony Abbot list of forty eight gaffes between August 2010 and May 2013 was compiled; an average of 1.4 per month. I update it as appropriate.  [3]

As to what constitutes a gaffe, my test was whether his words and/or behaviour attracted criticism and/or ridicule from across the political divide, over and above standard policy debate.

I envisaged the laundry list as a resource for journalists who might have forgotten just how often and in what way Abbott has screwed up; and more generally as a resource for people to quote from or show to friends, relatives and colleagues so they can see for themselves that Abbott is not fit to be PM. Last month Peter Costello claimed that Abbott has changed over the last three years. Based on the list, I doubt it.

I love Twitter

I’d joined Twitter about two weeks before compiling the list. No particular reason, just decided that it was about time. But the value of Twitter quickly became obvious. By the time I was ready to publish the list at the end of March 2013, I had maybe twenty followers but a couple of those had far more.  As is the way with social media, once someone with a big following retweets, or links to, an article, video or whatever, it’s off and running.

The list had about 5,000 reads within days, plateaued at that number for a few days, then off it went again, reaching about 8,500 reads by mid-April. In fits and starts, it’s now had close to 17,000 reads on, and been published on other sites. While the positive feedback and read-count might be gratifying, I would really get a kick out of hearing that someone changed their vote because of the gaffe list. So if that happens, please let me know via twitter at choosing@ch150ch

[1] Transcript of interview 25 March 2013 accessed at

[2] See gaffe list

[3] Gaffe list can be accessed at

Time to get NBN active, GenY

In Federal Election, NBN, Steve Jenkin on May 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM
Fraudband vs NBN: Live Streaming over copper.

Fraudband vs NBN: Live streaming over copper.

By Steve Jenkin


May 6,  2013

Josh Taylor of ZDnet conducted a 45-minute “Communications Debate” between Conroy and Turnbull today. He did a splendid job with a couple of unruly protagonists not out of place in a kindergarden.
My praise and plaudits to Josh: well done, for conceiving and carrying out this head-to-head.

The most reported part of the “Debate” was when Conroy got under Turnbull’s skin and was called “a grub”.

There are a few things about this “Debate” I think are imporant:

  • Turnbull had a very informed and tech-savvy audience, yet maintained his argumentative, “content-free” style, reiterated vague generalities and platitudes and trotted out the same old electioneering phrases.
  • The people who are very interested in the NBN are Gen-Y, but seem strangely silent in my world:
    • They are the “digital natives”, born since the release of the IBM PC and Apple Mac.
    • They know and care about computing and its most recent game-changer, the Internet.
    • Their lives, values and views are defined and shaped by the Internet, increasingly by Social Media.
    • They can expect to live with this decision for the next 50 years.
    • They are, or should be, highly motivated to get the best Value for Money NBN, not in the immediate term, but for the rest of their lives.
  • People came along to the debate wanting more than a slanging match and a repetition of the same hackneyed phrases.
  • Turnbull repeated the same “talk over what you don’t like” tactic that got his microphone turned off on Triple-J Hack.
    • He has still not learned to be considerate & respectful of the moderator.
    • Why would a politician whose electoral success depends on the media, deliberately “burn” media contacts, especially Gen-Ys for whom the NBN really matters? It’s bizarre in the extreme. Either he can’t help himself or means to do it.
    • The media places Turnbull is no longer welcome will soon become a story in itself.

I think Turnbull misjudged his audience, treating them like the usual Mainstream Media, and either underestimated Conroy or came unprepared (shown by retreating to personal abuse) and didn’t say anything new, nor clearly & succinctly answer the questions asked.
Yes, he talked, a lot, and in the moment always sounds plausible.
But as one tweeter opined: What did he say? I can’t remember now he’s stopped talking.
Turnbull threw away a massive opportunity: he could’ve sold himself and his plan to the technical influencers in the electorate. And done so easily & simply by clearly annunciating his intentions.
The bigger question, the headline of this piece, is the comparative silence of Gen-Y in this NBN debate. If Turnbull was bombarded with 5-10,000 emails and tweets after each of his obnoxious media performances, like today’s, would he moderate his behaviour? You bet!

Gen-Y can take onto itself using the tools that it understands and uses everyday to make its point. We’ve yet to see a spate of mashups or clips ridiculing Turnbull as he pompously stabs his finger making one asinine, misleading point after another. The way the “Kony 2012” meme spread displays what is possible, when driven by someone who cares about a topic. Read the rest of this entry »