A flow chart from the global strategy document sent to staff at the ACT government.

A flow chart from the global strategy document sent to staff at the ACT government. 

Yesterday, audio was leaked of Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr expressing his hatred for journalists (which, you know, fair enough) and offering a brutal assessment of the commercial fortunes of local rag The Canberra Times. 

“I’m over dealing with the mainstream media as a form of communication with the people of Canberra,” he told an assembled group of communications specialists. “What passes for a daily newspaper in this city is a joke and it will be only a matter of years before it closes down.

“We need to completely overhaul the way we communicate as a government and that’s exactly what we’re doing. My challenge to everyone in this room is to be at the cutting edge of communication, to put up contentious, risky and interesting ideas about how we can communicate.” 

So with this in mind, we thought we’d check out the communications strategy for the ACT government and see what they’ve come up with now that, as they claim, the mainstream press has turned to carrion.

The strategy comes with a glossary of related terms, which veers between the delicious peaks of meaningless public sector speak (“deliberative democracy”), to the troughs of defining both conversations and listening, four different versions of “meet with the public” (minipublic, citizen panel, citizen jury, community panel) and several definitions that leave you no closer to the meaning of a phrase (“kitchen table conversations”, we’re looking at you). 

Check out some of the highlights below: 


(Click to enlarge)

It’s time to book your next dose of Crikey.

Through the week, news comes at you fast. Every day there’s a new disaster, depressing numbers or a scandal to doom-scroll to. It’s exhausting, and not good for your health.

Book your next dose of Crikey to get on top of it all. Subscribe now and get your first 12 weeks for $12. And you’ll help us too, because every dollar we get helps us dig even deeper.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.