There's been much frustration about the media's preoccupation with Labor's leadership. Crikey readers have routinely expressed it every time we've run a leadership story. Doing radio spots around the country, I've found radio hosts and producers have discovered the same thing. Social media is full of complaints about the focus on Gillard and Rudd. The frustration seems to take two forms -- that the media are substituting leadership speculation for covering actual news and issues ("why don't you report real news") and that the media have become players themselves in the leadership contests.

Neither criticism is new, but it now gets regular amplification via social media and particularly Twitter.