Mar 5, 2012

Simons: how the Fink nailed the media inquiry

You will find it difficult to get an idea of what the Finkelstein report on news media regulation actually says, or why it has reached its controversial conclusions, from reading the mainstream media.

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

Start with this. You will find it difficult to get an idea of what the Finkelstein report on news media regulation actually says, or why it has reached its controversial conclusions, from reading the mainstream media.

The irony is lost on no one, judging from all the eye-rolling in the ministerial offices this morning, except perhaps those editors and reporters who will deny it is so.

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58 thoughts on “Simons: how the Fink nailed the media inquiry

  1. Peter Ormonde

    Thanks Margaret … excellent bit of gear.

    Will be interesting to see what the Government chooses to do. Can’t really see them being too concerned about getting Rupert off-side … his empire is about as hostile as they dare to get. If we’re lucky we might actually see something happening. But it’s a long-shot.

  2. kwn

    Yes, that is what I read in the SMH and The Australian. Shorter than your piece but quite complete and accurate.

  3. Cleaver

    An “arm’s length committee” like the ones that choose the ABC and SBS boards. Well, there you go. Or perhaps like the one that chooses the MEAA ethics committee? (That other pursuer of ethical purity.) This nidea is just another way to narrow the issues and avoid the core problem. Which is that these folk are all very comfortable and arrogant (not as arrogant as the folk in London now under scrutiny, but the sentiment isn’t different.)
    You know some of us have noticed the change in culture and standards that has emerged since the 1980s, when Fairfax gobbled up The Age and other, smaller, independent publishers. Then Hawke and Keating cleared the way for Murdoch to grab virtually all the rest in one swoop.
    Both Fairfax and News have been run by powerbrokers ever since. Monopolists and oligopolists don’t usually spend a huge amount of time worrying about consumers.
    The effective answer to this is real choice, which hopefully will come when the bloated bureaucracies that sit atop Australian news reporting have a big collision with the consumer’s lack on interest in their shoddy product.
    And can you please lay off the “Fink” bit? The man has a real name.

  4. Suzanne Blake

    This report was created by Gillard / Brown and Co being uphappy with media coverage and reporting on their Government, disguised as a needed report cause of the UK phone hacking episodes.

    Its all about control of the media.

    If people don’t like what they read, they should cancel their papers, decline to buy them, watch something else or go and weave baskets. Its simple really.

    If demand drops, the new outlets will collapse or change. Its simple economocs really.

    No need for Governments to be the nanny state there as well.

    Leave media control and this to Comminist States.

  5. shepherdmarilyn

    Anything that stops whines like Katharine Murphy today claiming they got all their yarns about nothing happening wrong because it moved too quickly.

    Poor dear doesn’t seem to get that reporting what is actually happening is far better than reporting crap.

    And poor David Penberthy, he of the 5 star asylums for asylum seekers and other lies, is having apoplexy about nothing much.

  6. GeeWizz

    So this is the inquiry into nothing….

    What a waste of taxpayer dollars

  7. Michael de Angelos

    So Suzanne Blake : you don’t seem to see a problem that 70% of Australian newspapers are run by a corporation currently being investigated in the UK for a vast criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, the police and public service , illegally hack defense officials politicians including the Deputy PM and ministers of the Crown and so on. Remarkable.

    What is missing from this report is the ability of ordinary citizens who are not rich to access the libel courts, an amazing oversight in our system of law that really demonstrates that the rich have greater access to justice.

    Justice Levesen in the UK has mused on the idea of a libel tribunal for libeled citizens who are at the mercy of rapacious organizations like News Corp (who needs Communism S.Blake ?)and I have no doubt that he will recommend as much. It’s a shame Justice Finklestein did not tackle this problem. Australian tabloids (including Fairfax) have demonstrated too many times that are not answerable to anyone.

  8. klewso

    “Media coverage” – it’s like a cat burying it’s “scat”.

  9. Michael de Angelos

    Cleaver : let’s leave the MEAA out of this :
    they were the ones who in 2005 went into bat for the non-union paparazzi when police said they were investigating bugging devices left outside Nicole Kidman’s house in Darling Point.

    As a union the MEAA acts like middle management. Ask any freelancer who they ignore while taking their fees.

  10. klewso

    (“The Brotherhood of the Elusive Consistency” are off their blocks early.)
    What is the comminist state – “de Nile”?

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