Recipe for a beat up:

Start with the headline, and work backwards. Pick a theme. In this case, riff off the idea of a game show giveaway.

Welcome, asylum seekers — Chris Bowen and Julia Gillard’s ship of fortune

(Include optional sidebar headlines such as “Weapons found on asylum seekers” and “$1 billion to keep asylum seekers”.)

Add a photoshopped image (remember to tie in with your theme):

Hang the story off an itemised list of goods that asylum seekers in community detention are provided with, given to Senate estimates by the opposition.

Call the items “goodies” and use the terms “welcome gift packs” and “food hampers”, employ the term “up to” liberally as you refer to goods to the value of “up to $10,000 worth of furnishings and electronics”. Remind people three paragraphs in of how much they are hurting. Refer to the carbon tax:

“The revelation comes at a time when middle- and high-income families are struggling with cost of living pressures and bracing for cuts to private health rebates and the impact of the carbon tax.”

Add in a kicker quote from the opposition:

“‘The cost of Labor’s border protection failures is a slap in the face to every Australian family trying to cope with rising costs of living, made worse by Labor’s carbon tax and their abandonment of private health insurance,’ Mr Morrison said.”

Allow reader comments that include laments about paying tax, cheating pensioners, and a vague reference to assassinating the Prime Minister:

Bury this as the last line:

“They are basic supplies, we are not talking about luxury,” Red Cross spokesman Michael Raper said.

The last line.

canberra-calling.jpg Listen to yesterday’s Canberra Calling podcast! Also, head over to our iTunes page where you can download and subscribe to the latest Crikey podcasts …

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey