scott morrison stands behind a podium facing members of the press
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

In recent years a new genre of commentary has emerged which, for want of a better title, might be called "someone was horrible to a journalist". It consists of pieces by or about mainstream media figures who are subjected to abuse on social media.

Sometimes the "abuse" is rational criticism that thin-skinned journalists can't take. But often it is enraged and disgusting; for female journalists, it is frequently misogynist and even threatening, filled with rape and death threats. The pieces lament the abuse and see it as evidence of the generally bad, divisive, fictitious and hyperpartisan nature of social media.

The genre also involves counter-pieces from not-so-mainstream figures critiquing those pieces from journalists, making reasonable points about consumer engagement and suggesting the employees of an industry in its death throes might be a little more receptive to audience suggestions.