Who better to write a media column than the country’s most experienced editor? We had high hopes for Chris Mitchell’s weekly slot in The Australian‘s media pages, but a few short months in, has he already run out of ideas?

Last week:

“Contrast this on-the-ground journalism with the Tuesday morning sneering of non-journalist and Crikey political editor ­Bernard Keane who on Twitter impugned the country’s best journalist, asking if that “grub Paul Kelly” would oppose this royal commission as he had the national commission into child sexual abuse set up by Julia Gillard.

“That is what passes for political comment on Twitter, which then drives much of the degraded online news media.”

This week:

“Twitter is the worst. I would call it little more than a left-wing echo chamber for various highly politicised activists, including many journalists. This is not surprising since it was actually invented as a way for pop stars to talk to their fans rather than to discuss serious issues.

“It can be a danger for reporters when not used sensibly. Smart ­editors want reporters with large Twitter followings to use social media to market their stories, but they risk their own product’s credibility when they allow a journalist to embark on ideological battles on social media.

“Who, for example, could follow Channel Ten’s Paul Bongiorno or Crikey’s Bernard Keane on ­Twitter and ever imagine they were impartial reporters? If you have never done so, Google their names with the word Twitter, call up their feeds and check for yourself.”

We’re starting to detect a theme …

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey