Saturday, 30 March 2013

Journalism - A Future?

After listening to Mark Colvin deliver the most recent Andrew Olle memorial lecture, and reading this insightful post from Mr Denmore, I am not feeling remotely optimistic about the future of journalism in this country.

 I can see the reputation of this previously noble profession morphing into something resembling that held by used car salesman and purveyors of imitation Persian carpets.

Mr Denmore describes the corporate media trying to convince us that a free press and unrestrained corporate power are one and the same.

They aren’t – never have been and never will, be, but the objectivists out there (and the media moguls who have sold out integrity at the altar of unbridled profit) are working feverishly to convince us that they are.

The biggest threat to a free press in this country is, quite simply, this same unrestrained corporate muscle.

The quickest and most effective way to curtail press freedom is to buy it. If you buy enough media, you can control it. If you own almost all of it, the politicians (and those who elect them) become your playthings.

Unrestrained control of publication becomes a problem when it is owned by a monopoly, especially when that monopoly crosses national boundaries, and is largely unanswerable to any form of national accountability.

That situation is a long way from anything than can be described as a "free" press. It is already upon us in this country.

Colvin’s view is pessimistic also, but for a different reason. He sees the demise of conventional news gathering as we have known it for decades in favour of news sources running the gamut of social media, blogging, and corporate pay-to-view sites such as Fox News.

With this, he sees the end of frank and fearless reporting, sacrificed at the altar of the 24 hour news cycle, and what will sell copy, or lift ratings. The journalistic skills of research, fact-checking, testing the accuracy of information from all sources and exercising care to avoid inadvertent error are no longer employed.

Besides, the cycle is so rapid, that there isn’t time for due diligence.

Colvin has some interesting ideas about crowd-sourcing and the use of social media, but his bottom line is negative.

It looks like it’s up to humble bloggers like you and me to keep the bastards honest.

 Onwards and upwards….

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Irish

The Russians may be  different, but the Irish are unique. Reblogged from the Failed Estate.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Those Russkies Again

Apparently dash cameras are common in Russia.

As result, we have an avalanche of You-Tube clips of Russians doing crazy things on the road.

Here is an example. I wish I'd had that presence of mind when I was subjected to something similar a few years ago...

Reality Check

This image was posted by a relative on Facebook the other day - H/T Chris.

It's a timely comparative reminder of the reality of our current debt levels.

It also puts the hysteria promoted by many in the MSM (especially the News Limited cabal) into perspective.

But it won't sell many newspapers......

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Dogs That Climb

This is our fourth Heeler, but she's the first one that climbs.

She's done so, almost as if she was born to it, from the first day we collected her from the refuge.

She's also smart and curious, and I'm pretty sure she likes to get up high so she can see what's going on. Sitting on top of the barbeque (as in this pic) puts her at window height where she can see where we are and what we're doing.

She also sits on top of our outdoor furniture and climbs to inspect things in the backyard shed.

You can always find the coolest spot on a hot day, and the warmest on a cold day by checking the location of the dog.

Hugh White - Without America

Hugh White is always provocative, and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticising current defence policy. In 1995, he was appo...