May 27, 2014

Media briefs: Guardian’s colonialism … feeling blue … Kimye kaptured …

The Guardian is still sending Brits to our shores to pacify the natives. Plus other media tidbits of the day.

Age of empires. More than a half-century ago one of the more interesting books on Godzone country was published. Australian Accent was a selection of essays by John Douglas Pringle, a Brit sent out to edit The Sydney Morning Herald. It was far from accurate -- Pringle hung out with "The Push", so remained convinced that there were plenty of Australian wharfies who were wont to quote Nietzsche at the drop of an haitch -- but it was interesting enough, and hung around in second-hand bookshops well into the 1970s. By then, it was a relic -- imagine a Brit being sent out to edit an Australian newspaper as a matter of course! Sadly, those days appear to be back with Emily Wilson, former Guardian network editor, taking over the editor's chair of the Grauniad Australia next week. Doubtless she'll do a good job, and doubtless it was reasonable for the Guardian to send out a Brit editor -- the departing Kath Viner -- and team to establish the title in Oz. But is the idea that the Grauniad Australia editor will always be a Brit? That smacks of a paternalism many of us thought we had got away from -- and coming from the liberal-Left, to boot. It was a shame that Guardian Australia backer Graeme Wood klutzed up the creation of a left publication so badly with The Global Mail that he saw no option but to partner with the Grauniad. It would be a big step backward if the publication were to be the means by which liberal colonialism is re-established Down Under. I doubt anyone else is going to say this; I know for a fact that a lot of people, Guardian "comment is free" contributors included, are thinking it. We shall watch, as they say, with interest -- Guy Rundle Newspaper blues. Colour has huge psychological impact on people’s moods and perceptions, especially when used for branding products. Why then, have Australian newspapers opted for their mastheads and their branding to be predominantly blue?

Newspaper mastheads

According to a website on the psychology of colour:
"This is a colour that seeks peace and tranquillity. It reduces stress and creates a sense of calmness, relaxation and order. It is conservative and predictable, a safe and non-threatening colour."
It goes on to say:
"Change is difficult for blue. It is inflexible and when faced with a new or different idea, it considers it, analyzes it, thinks it over slowly and then tries to make it fit its own acceptable version of reality."
That doesn't sound like any newspapers we know, does it? And what does it say about The Australian that its masthead is red (we're assuming not reds-under-the-bed red)? According to the site:
"In colour psychology red means energy, passion, action, strength and excitement. It stimulates the physical senses such as the appetite, lust and sexual passion."
Goodness, Chris Mitchell, we're blushing. -- Jake Stevens Kimye get attention they deserve. The gong for best celebrity reporting goes to the New York Post for its clever couple of sentences that perfectly summed up the Kim Kardashian-Kanye West wedding ...

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3 thoughts on “Media briefs: Guardian’s colonialism … feeling blue … Kimye kaptured …

  1. Pete from Sydney

    slow news day today Jake?

  2. AR

    Spurned suitor, Grundle?

  3. citizen k

    It’s not only the Guardian. Have a look at our public broadcasters – where a growing proportion of commissioning editors and other decision makers are Brits. These people make the lion’s share of decisions about, for example, the documentaries we watch. Their commissioning decisions determine where public subsidy goes…The cultural cringe has been quietly seeping back into Australian life for a decade or so now…

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