Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister’

Anatomy of Sales -v- Gillard interview

In Federal Election, Peter Clarke on March 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

By Peter Clarke
March 26, 2013

A little context …

Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.
The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

What would Wilde have had to say about losing a conga-line of ministers, parliamentary secretaries and assorted whips?

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Another day, another interview. Or two, or three.

For an anchor of a nightly national current affairs program such as Leigh Sales @ABC730, this is her bedrock job: conducting set-piece accountability interviews and performing to the highest broadcast journalistic standards she and the team around her can aspire to and produce.

Last Monday night (25 March) was typical and unusual both. Her interviewee was the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. That’s standard. Sales has interviewed Gillard many times both as PM and earlier. And, at times, very effectively both in terms of the information that she elicited and the tone and dynamic of the interview itself.

Monday night’s interview did not fall into that category. It was clearly an unusual context with Gillard, after yet another Ruddesque encounter with losing her Prime Ministership, out in media land selling her message of ‘done and dusted’ and essentially telling Australian electors, ‘Nothing to see here’.

The repeated lines tended to work better on shows such as The Project.

The Project

The Project

Of course, there was much to be seen here and imagined and speculated about and grimaced over and long sighs expended upon, heads shaking all the while. We knew that. Leigh Sales had that as an inescapable reality as she sat at her desk, writing her leads and plotting her approach to what turned out to be a short interview considering the steaming pile of political slag the PM was standing in front of vainly attempting some verbal legerdemain and misdirection to divert our collective bemused and weary gaze. Read the rest of this entry »

Just so you know, the government’s media reform case in Parliament today

In Media Reform on March 19, 2013 at 1:32 AM

House Of Representatives

19 Marc 2013


Media Reform

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth) (14:30): My question is to the Prime Minister. If this week she is unable to persuade the parliament to establish a public interest media advocate to regulate the content of newspapers for the first time in our peacetime history, will she have the courage of her convictions and commit today to take that policy to the next election and pledge to legislate it if she were to win government again?

The SPEAKER: The difficulty with the question is that it is slightly hypothetical.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: And I am not referring to the last part of the question. It also presumes the outcome of a vote in this parliament, and that is a very dangerous precedent to set.

Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:30): In answer to the question from the member for Wentworth, the government does not have before this parliament and does not have as its policy a proposal to have a public interest media advocate that regulates newspaper coverage. That is not the case. That is a distortion of the reform proposition. I said it last week and I will say it again: I understand why the
member for Wentworth is seeking to curry a bit of favour with those who run media outlets in the hope of some good publicity—presumably for himself; maybe for the opposition—in the future. I understand that craven attempt at political advantage. But on more than one occasion—

Mrs Mirabella: That is the pot calling the kettle black.

The SPEAKER: The member for Indi will leave the chamber under 94(a). She was warned just moments ago.

The member for Indi then left the chamber.

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The imputation from the Prime Minister concerning the member for Wentworth was unparliamentary and I ask that she withdraw it. It was absolutely outrageous.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call and will refer to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: I was referring to the question before the chair and the distortion that appeared in the question of what the government’s intentions are. There is legislation before the parliament this week. The government will continue—

Mr Pyne: Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Madam Speaker, I am wondering whether you heard exactly what the Prime Minister said. She accused the member for Wentworth of improper motives for the position that the coalition has taken on the media reforms. We have asked her to withdraw that accusation.

The SPEAKER: I probably did not hear, actually, given the level of noise that continues to flow around the chamber. I did not think that the issue warranted a withdrawal. But I ask the Prime Minister to withdraw in order to assist the parliament.

Ms GILLARD: I withdraw. In answer to the question from the member for Wentworth, firstly, his question misconstrues the proposition that is before the parliament. Secondly, the parliament is yet to have a debate on these various pieces of legislation and the government obviously in that debate will be putting forward what is in the public interest in our nation. I am not going to speculate on the outcome in this parliament. We will work, as we always do, in good faith with those parliamentary members who are prepared to deal with reform propositions on their merits and on their facts.

When it comes to reform propositions on their merits and on their facts, the member for Wentworth has characterised this reform proposition one way in his question. I would refer him to the following: According to the international and well-respected organisation Reporters Without Borders, Australia currently sits 26th in the world when it comes to a free press. The country in first place, Finland, has specific laws that dictate to media organisations that they must provide a right of reply and correct factual errors. We are not proposing to do that. In Finland, the press council gets 30 per cent of its funding from the government. We are not proposing to do that. Denmark, which is sixth on the list, has a press council that was established by legislation in 1991. We are not proposing to do that. What the government has put forward are some propositions clearly in the public interest. They are propositions about freedom of the press, about diversity of voices and about self-regulation by our media. We believe that they are propositions of merit to be pursued this week in parliament. We will join in that debate well and truly.

* Read the rest of this entry »

MSM to blogger: ‘Stunt – so what did she say?’

In Fifth Estate, NDIS on March 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM


By Kim Berry
March 5, 2013

EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday night dummy spit:

Next morning I see this:

I check out the dinner guests and find that I follow @allconsuming and she follows me so I DM and here’s a piece by her for us.

On Monday night I dined with the Prime Minister. This followed last year’s morning tea and then Christmas drinks with her at Kirribilli House, as part of a select group of ‘influential women in digital media’. I totally acknowledge this is a very big deal, a privilege, and pretty darn cool. But let’s back up for a moment.

I started blogging 10 years ago when I was at home with two small children, one with a disability, and in the grip of the clichéd ‘What have I done with my life’ period of angst every 30-year-old is prone to roll around in.

The early stuff is atrocious, akin to teenage diaries of misery, woe, and inexplicable vitriol. I persisted because I’m stubborn and a writer by trade. I learned pretty quickly that writing about yourself in an engaging way is actually quite difficult. See also: white, middle-class whinger.

There were a few stops and starts in those early days of dial-up, a fun year blogging with a friend, and then the last six or so at, my own corner on the interwebs. Anne Summers called my blog  ‘idiosyncratic’. Someone on Twitter said it was “peculiarly fascinating” which pandered nicely to my ego.

I am a personal blogger. I write about my life and all aspects of it which can include a LOT of baking, a fair smattering of swearing, the occasional indignation or insight, and a bit of froth and bubble.

Because I am a woman and a mother and occasionally blog about my children I am often labelled a ‘mummy blogger’. It doesn’t rile me as much as it used because the bigger blogging becomes, the more using that term to patronise or dismiss reflects on the labeller rather than the labelled.

I adore the online space. Blogging gave me a voice when I felt isolated and alone. It built a community, an international force of friendship that buoys me through the dark days and rejoices at the good. The arrival of Facebook, then Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest has only served to grow that community and I think that is pretty awesome.

Did I ever imagine blogging would see me having dinner with the Prime Minister? Absolutely not. Sure, I’m a current affairs addict and passionate about people educating themselves on the issues which form the fabric of our society – but to be in this position? To talk directly to the PM? Never in a million years.

There’s been a steady amount of sniping in mainstream and digital media forums about how we were chosen, that we weren’t from Western Sydney, and that the PM was snubbing women from the very area she was trying to win over, scoring a “Let them eat cake” kicker. Honestly, I don’t know why we were chosen. Read the rest of this entry »

I can see clearly now: PM

In Margo Kingston, MSM, Press Gallery on February 2, 2013 at 6:46 AM

By Margo Kingston
February 2, 2013

The Prime Minister has made a bold, perhaps revolutionary decision that has already flummoxed the MSM and will be fascinating to watch play out this election year.

She’s detached herself from the 24 hour news cycle.

Alex Ellinghausen The Pulse/Fairfax Media

Alex Ellinghausen The Pulse/Fairfax Media

That’s why she looks grounded. Settled. Real. Her stridency has gone. She can even shed a tear in public, as she did today at her farewell press conference to two minister friends.

I reckon she began moving into this new phase of her leadership after the public’s overwhelmingly positive response to her misogyny speech compared so starkly to the Press Gallery’s overwhelmingly negative one. Despite the powerful media forces determined to crush her, lots of Australians hadn’t heard their narrative, or at least hadn’t been smothered by it. They were frustrated too, and their sense of release hearing her speech released her too.

In the two months I’ve been watching politics again I’ve seen her relax into the practical consequences of this moment of clarity. She has begun making public statements on twitter, cutting out the so-called messengers.

She began the year with her controversial captain’s pick, wore the yucky flak, and then made a huge captain’s call by completely freaking out the Press Gallery in her first public set piece. Election date set. Challenge thrown down to Abbott and the MSM to respectively announce and report some stories of substance.

She also chose that moment to begin wearing glasses in public. They symbolise her psychological detachment and her physical shield from the lemming-like ADHD madness of a media in existential crisis.

After the Thomson arrest, she again traumatised the MSM by not rushing in to comment on or spin it. She’d been busy with Bundaberg flood victims, she said, and really, this was a matter for police. Which it is. So they reported she’d ‘deflected questions’ on Thomson, and got their revenge by highlighting smears by George Brandis that night that she had prior notice of the arrest and had timed her election announcement accordingly. His un-interrogated nonsense was big news, her prior categorical denial of foreknowledge buried.


She wore it, and she’ll keep wearing it. And what will the MSM do then? Perhaps even fewer Australians will care.

Did you notice at today’s press conference that she gritted her teeth and set her jaw as the usual inane questions lobbed from journos? Contempt and endurance. And did you notice her wry smile when she said softly:

I note that there’s some speculation today about obligations about balanced coverage. Well frankly balanced coverage I think is a very good thing.

I would quite like to see around the nation an outbreak of balanced coverage. So if we do see that outbreak around the nation that will get a big tick from me.

What I would say about balanced coverage is it ought to bring to the Australian people the facts and the details that they need.

The Australian people are now in the situation where they don’t have to walk into a polling booth wondering.

There is a sufficient time and sufficient space for them to have every detail that they need, every policy detail, every costing detail, and the obligation is on every participant in the 2013 election to put people in that position.

And if they refuse to put people in that position, then I think people will be very, very suspicious why they are refusing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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