Nov 5, 2012

Brave News World: whose voice will still be heard?

So many new voices, so little real journalism -- a breeding ground for corruption and failed politics. Gideon Haigh asks who will prevail, in the final chapter of his investigative special for Crikey on the future of the media.

Gideon Haigh

Freelance journalist and author

Whose voices will carry farthest and resonate most in a digital environment? Whom will they be addressing, and what will be the social and political effect? We struggle to answer such questions in the present let alone the future, of course, and James Fallows of The Atlantic once wrote that the only iron law of media bias was that “each side is absolutely convinced that the other has an unfair advantage in getting its views out”. But some observations are worth making.

Traditional news media’s institutional power is waning. Barriers to entry are lower. Competitors are more numerous, consumers more discriminating. Margaret Simons at University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advanced Journalism argues the definitions both of “media organisation” and “journalism” are shifting. “Every organisation in this new world is a ‘media organization’,” she observes. “They all have websites. They all have social media presences. That will continue. The skills involved in running these are journalistic skills.

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5 thoughts on “Brave News World: whose voice will still be heard?

  1. Edward James

    Someone must fill the need of the bought an paid for media with money. Even Crikey subscribers do that. But it is self evident those with the most money are best positioned to fill both their need for media share and the media need for money. To many so called journalist are hand fed so media releases like chooks, they have gotten lazy. Edward James

  2. zut alors

    Another thoughtful piece of analysis.

    It already seems a long time ago that we seethed with frustration when a newspaper editor declined to publish a reader’s letter. We no longer need their column space.

  3. Lwin Sein

    It would appear self evident a reliable, well informed and ethical source of news will in any society become currency among those who lead opinion. Today’s problem is neither technical nor structural. The problem for established media is that they don’t do the job.
    It is increasingly obvious that the few reporters who maintain standards and sustain trust are buried under the weight of bilge and offal recyled by opinion writers and an astonishly large proportion of the editorial community that today is firmly in the clutches of spin.
    Probably best to let the whole lot go up in smoke. Perhaps the PR industry will create its own news media for people who want what they sell.

  4. Edward James

    Established media have forgotten how to do their job. That is why so many of its employees are is circling the drain along with dead wood party politicians. Edward James is more than happy to let journalist burn in the same way they have ignored their consumers. Who expected to simply inform the “editor” of their local paper and have matters exposed / addressed in a public forum, were left to stew in their own juices. Edward James 0243419140

  5. Dogs breakfast

    “Who could truly wish for a return to when opinion was the prerogative of a small bloviating elite of op-ed columnists and shock jocks?”

    Wonderful line Gideon, so enjoying your highly intelligent pieces.

    Now why did Paul Sheehan’s name pop into my head as I read that line? I can’t believe the smh got rid of Doug Anderson and kept Sheehan. Blow me down.

    As an aside, I often google ‘right wing think pieces written by Australian Journalists’. Often enough I get a blank page.

    Yes, of course that was a joke, occasionally George M appears. 🙁

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