Journalism

Apr 30, 2014

How to spin a budget: leaks, drops and the age of no surprises

From the leaks to the drops to the denials, there's little about a federal budget that isn't planned ahead. Crikey goes inside the process to reveal how it's done.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

First the pension age was going up. And then it wasn’t. There would be a deficit levy. Then, a rise in tax rates instead. It’s all part of the intricate choreography of a budget media cycle.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott may imply journalists are making it up — as he did on 3AW yesterday — but the sideshow is mostly planned. Through a series of drops, a few unavoidable leaks, a studied refusal to rule things in or out, until the press conferences doing exactly that as we near the second Tuesday in May, governments control and shape the narrative around their books.

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5 comments

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5 thoughts on “How to spin a budget: leaks, drops and the age of no surprises

  1. Michael

    I find the whole ‘backgrounding’ of friendly journos quite strange. Is it potentially illegal? For instance the backgrounding of News Ltd jounos around the defence white paper. What did Edward Snowden do again? Oh yes, he leaked secret information about national security to a newspaper…

  2. graybul

    In summary . . Budgets are for political posturing. The Media gets stage management and costume selection. Big Business gets to write content. The Electorate, “gets it” . . . . .

  3. tim readfern

    so i suppose the leaking of the income tax increase was of type number 4? unless not even abbott himself listens to anything he says?

  4. The Cleaning Lady

    principle –> principal
    emphasis –> emphasise
    suites –> suits
    baulk-buying –> bulk-buying

  5. Myriam Robin

    @Cleaning Lady: Noted and fixed – thanks.

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