Cheeseburger Gothic

Will you miss us when we're gone?

Posted March 18, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

From Blunty.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Stepping away from the all of the issues captured by a thousand different placards on Saturday and Sunday, the systemic failure to recognise the significance of the story speaks to a deeper fear I have about the news media, which is not that we might die out as Google gorges itself on the last scraps of our advertising based business model… but that it won’t matter.

That you won’t care, and that there will be no reason to care.

Because we failed you, long before we failed to do our jobs. There's a case to be made that new media, in the form of professional blogs and even some of the better amateur sites, have already embarrassed us in a dozen different specialist areas that used to compromise the various desks of the old metro dailies; sport, fashion (the 'ladies pages'), entertainment, science and tech, international politics, maybe even national politics. But the meat and potatoes of local coverage? No, that still belonged to us. Or I thought it did. Increasingly, however, I wonder whether the question, "Will you miss us when we're gone", is one which answers itself.


22 Responses to ‘Will you miss us when we're gone?’

beeso mumbles...

Posted March 18, 2014

Even the ABC, which has always done a pretty good job of "state the facts" bog arse reporting seems to have caught the disease of having to tell a narritive with every story.

I know that Fairfax and the Oz still think they rule our hearts and minds, but i wonder if they dissapeared for a month would anyone really, really care? Other than the people making money producing them?

On the other side of the coin, Nate Silver launched his site today and the opening statement is a shot across the bows of the Jones/Bolt/Ellis methodology. If only, please god, Oz could produce a Grantland or FiveThirtyEight.

Lulu puts forth...

Posted March 18, 2014

I would care (about Fairfax, at least).

insomniac puts forth...

Posted March 18, 2014

Speaking of bog arse reporting on the ABC, on two occasions, once when he died and for his funeral, the jockey, Roy Henry Higgens, who was nicknamed The Professor, had the origins of his nickname described once as "the unlikely nickname of", and again because of "his studious approach to racing", when the real origin is as plain as anything to someone with the remotest interest in film and literature. Are the reporters just dumb or is it related to young people living their lives with their heads shoved up their iPhone's arse at all times?

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beeso swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 18, 2014

Really? Fairfax may not have the insidious hand of the sith lord trying to influence Oz politics, bt the quality of their content ranges from Meh on a good day to mind numbingly stupid the rest of the time. Their masthead is a joke.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted March 18, 2014

The website and the dead-tree versions can be very different, and the website has an inclination towards clickbait which would shame a downmarket tabloid. It's a matter of resources. Someone has to put money into reporting, coverage etc, and that affects the international arena as well. For example, I don't want to just read opinion pieces on why Russia is being a baddie/goodie in Ukraine. I want reportage on what's happening, context, historical perspective etc. That needs resourcing, whether Fairfax is putting reporters on the ground, or buying articles/material from other news organisations who have reporters there.

Luke Sleeman would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

" For example, I don't want to just read opinion pieces on why Russia is being a baddie/goodie in Ukraine. I want reportage on what's happening, context, historical perspective etc."

Owww, you should read the Interpreter, blog of the Lowy institute for international policy

http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/

Lots of good stuff in there!

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

Yeah, I link to them occasionally

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Carmen is gonna tell you...

Posted March 18, 2014

Not one bit.

I long ago stopped taking notice of what msm says.

Even ABC is now a total joke in the news and current affairs sort of programes. I no longer bother with them. They have become a mouthpiece for the LIEBERALS. They stymie anyone not sympathetic to them.

Have not bought a newspaper for at least 30 years. Full of rubbish and adds.

Social media and personal observation are my sources now.

Although the net is slow as a wet week most times. Malcolm Turnbull you will stand to be condemned and ridiculed long into the future.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 18, 2014

One thing I have noticed is that the MSM is always wrong. I spent decades in the federal public service. Every time I read MSM coverage on the hows and whys of policy and legislation that I knew well, the MSM was wrong. It was a lot wrong.

I would consider myself a bit of a leftie. The main people I would discuss public affairs with would be other lefties. On the policies and policy histories I knew a lot about, I have never come across people more wrong than my fellow lefties. Their cherished and unshakeable convictions about government policy history, successes and failures, what works and doesn't, was mostly absolute rubbish.
I don't doubt the right is much the same.

I have a friend who is very senior in State government. Yep, I can assure you that the common and MSM understandings of what is really going on are dazzling incorrect.

This makes me think that I am probably wildly incorrect about virtually everything too, except a few narrow items that I am only a little incorrect about.

So, I think it is important to remember that, whatever you are reading, it's wrong.

Conspiracy Cat would have you know...

Posted March 18, 2014

And often, deliberately wrong - especially when there is an agenda to push.

Bill would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

Sorry about the previous post - I'll try again.

What you describe is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect: http://pic.twitter.com/BkJNOCoHIJ

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 19, 2014

Sorted

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted March 19, 2014

Bill, The Gell-Mann amnesia effect, that's excellent.

Of course, we have relied on the MSM to have the time, skills and professionalism to be less wrong than the ignorant opinionated blowhard sitting next to you on the bus. Which is who you are listening to in 99% of blog/twitter comment. That is probably still the case, though the gap seems to be deliberately narrowing. Still, I don't like to imagine a cultural life without the ABC (particularly Radio National), the BBC and their ilk.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted March 18, 2014

I'd miss Blunty. Maybe a couple of other things but no, I don't miss it. The ABC website is useful for major headlines but most of them you get from a quick look at Twitter.

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted March 18, 2014

No I won't miss the MSM. I already ignore it. We're down to one newspaper here at Chateau Dysfunction, and that one is for the chop when the current sub expires. Also, I don't watch tv and refuse to listen to commercial radio.

I get my news from my twitter feed and my Old Reader blogroll feeds, both of which host a range of of ideological positions so that I'm not just self-reinforcing my own preferences by ignoring other opinions. It's not reducing my overall levels of cynicism though.

Btw, you do realise that 'cynic' is just a shorthand way of saying 'experienced ICT professional' don't you?

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted March 18, 2014

I read the SMH, Helen Razer's Bad Hostess ( because I like my world view to be challenged ) and CG but these usually reinforce what I already know or believe anyway. This is useful for me in the adverserial society that we now live in. Two party preferred is usually about 50 - 50 so half of us don't agree with what the other half are saying. If either side gives any ground in the argument then two party preferred swings to 51 - 49 and someone loses. As for the ABC ( which I love), they are shit scared of the Libs so they suck up to them big time. They have no reason to be scared of Labor and crucify them at every opportunity.

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Conspiracy Cat ducks in to say...

Posted March 18, 2014

I'd miss MSM. How would we know what to be outraged about at the water cooler otherwise?

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Stephen mutters...

Posted March 18, 2014

Putting on my grumpy old man hat - "and the spelling and grammar were better in my day as well".

"compromise the various desks" - lovely freudian slip there :)

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S.M. Stirling has opinions thus...

Posted March 19, 2014

Generally speaking, elections in a democracy indicate the balance of opinions in the population quite closely.

This is often hard to admit, because most people hang out with those who agree with them and hence tend to overestimate their numbers. The Internet has exaggerated this tendency, but it's always been there.

There's an old joke here in the US about a lady from the Upper West Side in New York who exclaimed that she couldn't believe Reagan got elected honestly -- nobody -she- knew had voted for him.

Getting out in the street with some friends and waving signs doesn't increase your numbers or significance either; it just sooths instinctual needs for Mass Tribal Dancing.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted March 19, 2014

I understand and accept the view that much of the political process boils down to an expression of the instinctive need for mass tribal dancing. I just wish the accompanying music was better.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted March 19, 2014

When we stopped paying for professional journalists, we stopped getting professional journalism.

Lulu mumbles...

Posted March 19, 2014

True, that.

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