Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Coalition’

Coalition’s 10% NBN cost save locks us out of massive upside

In NBN on April 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM
Taken at the Coalition Bikeshed

Taken at the Coalition Bikeshed – Created by The Geek

Editor’s note: Steve Jenkin is a geek who wants to make the NBN tech stuff accessible to all. He has agreed to be a @NoFibs contributor. so feel free to ask your NBN questions as a comment.

By Steve Jenkin


April 29, 2013

The volume of words written and spoken about the NBN must startle many, producing far more heat than light. Is this a case of the “Bike Shed Effect” where trivial decisions dominate the discussion and the biggest decisions seems like an after-thought?

It’s complex, but we shouldn’t be having this debate at all: Frank Blount, Telstra CEO 1992-1999, forecast the customer network would be all Fibre by 2010. What happened on the way to the Future?

What should’ve been a Commercial decision, balancing technical and financial issues, has become political. We can’t unring that bell. As a nation, we now have to figure a path through the combined political, technical and financial/funding maze that will be good value and politically possible.

This three-way tussle is at the heart of the problem: Telecommunications is highly regulated in Australia because it has to be with single large player, Telstra, that can commercially block anyone else, as we saw with cable TV. For the ALP to pursue its broadband policy, it had to first deal with Telstra, deal fairly with its shareholders and create an environment where Telstra was happy and unable to block the new initiative.

There is a huge irony in this debate, each side of politics feels like the other is setting the agenda and dictating terms of debate while the commentariat vigorously defends their personal favourites from the sidelines.

Labor has defined the technical needs debate, “Fibre or not?” forcing the Coalition to respond on those terms with its policy. Read the rest of this entry »

Morrison’s brick wall on how he’ll stop the boats

In Federal Election, Peter Clarke, Refugees on March 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM
Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison

By Peter Clarke
March 26, 2013

Yesterday, we published a detailed de-construction of an interview between the ABC 730’s Leigh Sales and Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It was a critique of Sales for what we opined were her inadequate interview techniques in that specific context and of Julia Gillard for her blatant refusal to answer questions and her use of media training 101 avoidance techniques to manipulate media interviews. Neither came out of that encounter with much credit, least of all the PM.

Here in the comments section and on Twitter the responses have been vigorous and varied. A very worthwhile discussion is still flowing online.

As always, partisan passions appear to animate many people’s perceptions, judgments and opinions. A very few observers were able to bring a sense of disinterested appraisal to bear that rose above merely backing sides.

This is not about being a cheer squad for one of the political parties over another. That’s way too easy really. This is about effective, ethical journalism. And (look away now if you must) THE TRUTH. I know, I know, THE TRUTH is a highly contested idea and many would argue it barely exists, certainly within journalism as widely practised, but it is still a guiding ideal to aim for in some reasonable form.

Any other suggestions? Post-modernists, come on down!

We celebrate and critique journalistic practitioners using a range of measures and factors, depending on each case we examine. We critique politicians who, out of one side of their mouths, extol the notion of a ‘free press’ in the abstract, especially within a parliamentary political debate such as around media reform, and then, in their daily political encounters with legitimate questioning, seem to do their best to hobble and intimidate journalists and avoid the tough enquiries of that free press as they fulfill their democratic, fourth estate roles and functions.

Mind you, they and their media minders keep the avalanche of media releases, leaks and duchessing of favoured scribes flowing and rejoice if slabs of their propaganda appear in print, come out of broadcaster’s mouths or get picked up as talking points or assumptions during interviews by journalists too time pressed and/or lazy to do their own original research.

A free press? Sure thing.

Or even worse, as Tony Abbott has done and continues to do, avoid forensic interviews almost entirely. What does an outlet such as the ABC do then?  Media entities are institutions within the media-saturated democratic ecology too. The ABC, historically and today, holds a special and vital place in our system despite its flaws and the many and growing pressures upon it. Both sides of politics despise it more than love or even respect it.

The commercial sector is just as vital. The strong advocacy (often overtly, corporately self-serving) character of much of News Limited’s contemporary journalism, recently most stridently around media reform, is a major blot on the journalistic landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Punter @WhatYaThinkN will vote Labor to qualify for WST

In Federal Election, Noely Neate on March 5, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Mary River Valley residents protest against proposed Traveston dam. Kandanga Sept 2006 Picture: Annette Dew/The Courier Mail

By Noely Neate
March 5, 2013

I will most likely be voting ALP at this next election. That is an odd thing for me, because I am a fan of independents & minor parties. I personally feel that they are more accountable to the electorate because their only priority is the the electorate – not their party bosses as happens in the big political parties.

Noosa saw that very clearly when Cate Molloy was sacked by Qld ALP for representing the overwhelming majority of her electorate who did not want the Traveston Dam.  Obviously this went against ALP policy, so Cate was sacked (the federal Labor Government later refused to approve the dam) For us in Noosa that was offensive. Surely representing us, the voters, was the right and correct thing to do – surely we were more important than the party.

I have not voted for the ALP since my very first State election, and that was to end the reign of Bjelke-Petersen who had been in charge of Qld my whole life.  What happened to Cate Molloy reinforced my poor opinion of how much political parties actually care about the people in their electorate and what the priority is – not the punter 😦

The thing is I live in Wide Bay, one of the safest federal seats in the country.  Looking at all the attention Western Sydney is getting from both parties should be a lesson to the people of Wide Bay. We should not be bitching jealously about it, we should be studying it and learning from it!

I don’t know Mr Warren Truss at all. The only communication I have had with him is at the Meet the Candidate nights in previous elections, and I have to say he did not inspire me.  His attitude about the NBN alone was pretty insulting. He should have been fighting for us to have better infrastructure in our region so we can compete with the cities, To borrow a phrase from Mr Abbott, fighting for rural & regional communities should be in the National’s DNA. As the Leader of the Nationals, Mr Truss should not be advocating a sub-standard internet for our region.  If Joh could see this he would be rolling in his grave.

Joh was an ornery bugger. He would have fought the ALP tooth and nail on the NBN and taken every opportunity to trash them because that is the way he rolled. But in the background he would have been doing deals to make sure that we in Queensland got the benefits of the NBN first.  He might have come across as a doddery old bloke but he was a cunning man, who – as history shows – always took his ‘cut’ on any monetary transaction in this state. At the same time he did try to improve the State and put Queensland first.

After asking ALP people on Twitter, they don’t bother spending anything in Wide Bay because it is a SAFE SEAT for the Coalition.  Mr Truss improved his vote at the 2010 election and has a margin of 10.25%.  No other party is going to fight for the seat because they don’t have unlimited funds and won’t waste money on a seat they can’t win.

Where does that leave the people of Wide Bay? Read the rest of this entry »