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Day to Day Politics: The future of “News”

Saturday June 18 2016

We all know that newspapers aren’t doing well. The fact is’ as Eric Beecher puts it, they are “heading for the cliff or struggling to survive and public interest journalism is at risk”.

With the advent of the Internet and digital media, “news” is going through a period of change unprecedented in the information age.

Quoting Media Watch host Paul Barry:

“In the past 7 months even the stars of the internet have suffered with Vice, Salon, Mashable and Gawker all laying off staff … Buzzfeed has been forced to cut its 2016 revenue forecast by half or US$250m … And the famous digital tech site GigaOm was last year forced to shut down operations completely”.

It seems the reason is that people like me who have been so spoiled by the availability of Internet free news that we don’t want to pay for it. Even the free sites are losing millions.

Speculation as to where it will all end up is rife and many opinions abound.

The Media Watch programme was outstanding for its studied dissection of what the present is delivering and what the future might hold. Here is a link to the Media Watch web page. You can watch a video of the programme or read a transcript.

It well may be that blogs like The AIMN might be the future of news or we will only get it from Facebook. Watch the programme, it will surprise you, even alarm you.

I’d like to know your views.

My thought for the day.

“One of the downsides of technology is that it has given voice to the nutters”.



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  1. Owen

    Nutters do get a voice thats for sure but having the thoughts controlled by only a few media companies whose voices are controlled by ideals or advertising $ is worse…… I wonder what political pressure social media has achieved in changing the way our politicians behave.. ? For some its a positive tool to create wealth.. donations ..yet others a tool for their down fall…!

  2. June M Bullivant Oam

    How is this for being a nutter, I am sick and tired of decisions that are made that will not benefit Australians, I read in the DT the other day that the Labor Party wants to bring in thousands of refugees. But what of our own citizens who do not work a full week, how do they house and feed their families, what about the remainder of the Australians who are tax payers that are being taxed out of existence while the high end of town get away with little or no tax, what is needed is to fix the problems with our own people before we open the doors and ad to the problem. If it depended on the National Newspapers for me to have a say, it is too controlled by the ownership, with media like this I get a go and I thank you for that.

  3. Terry2

    I have been mulling over what has happened to the ‘rivers of gold’ that used to drive newspaper and magazine and TV revenue.

    If it hasn’t migrated to online blogs and Ezines has it gone to Free to Air TV : doesn’t seem to be the case as the FTA TV channels are not doing so well and the programming is appalling.

    I seem to still get volumes of fliers through my letter box : has the revenue gone there and is that cost and sales effective ?

    While Eric Beecher, publisher of Crikey, may have a point, I have been a subscriber to Crikey since its inception and suddenly it stopped coming at the end of May : evidently a software glitch and they hadn’t sent out subscription renewals – not a good business plan. Also, Crikey seems to hit the inbox after 4 pm each day : not ideal.

    News Corporation took a lurch to the Right some years ago – I had always bought the Australian daily since its inception in 1964. I don’t buy it anymore as I find its bias and lack of objectivity unappealing and I don’t think I’m the only one. So, is it the political leaning of the publisher that has diminished its circulation ?

    Do the publishers and broadcaster need to look at their performance perhaps ?

    Turnbull is a great fan of the modern media, hence his insistence on a facebook debate sponsored by Newscorp last night : according to reports this morning the audience varied from 12,000 to 160,000. Not an attractive platform for an advertiser to spend money with that level of paucity and variability.

    The biggest TV shows on Free to Air are cooking shows like MKR and The VOICE : so does that mean that the target audience for advertisers is made up of 14 year old girls ?

  4. Pappinbarra Fox

    June I don’t understand what you are trying to say?

  5. June M Bullivant Oam

    What I am trying to say is that a nutter like me that likes to point out to the politicians where I think they are wrong has a greater opportunity to use social media than mainstream media.

  6. Kaye Lee


    Almost half of all Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was. We are a nation of migrants.

    According to the 2015 IGR, about 88 per cent of migrants are aged under 40 years, as opposed to only 54 per cent of resident Australians; almost half of newcomers are aged 20-34 years versus only one in five resident Australians. Migrants are mainly young and at their prime working age.

    In November 2013, the ABS released a survey on the characteristics of recent migrants. Of those who obtained Australian citizenship since arrival, the labour participation rate was 77 per cent, which is above the national average rate of about 65 per cent. Claims that migrants are a net pressure on welfare payments do not stack up. Migrants are likely to be working.

    Migrants lift the three “Ps” – population, participation and productivity – of high economic growth. Australia has a relatively stable fertility rate of 1.9 births per woman, which is below the replacement level. That is, without migration, Australia’s population will inevitably dwindle.

    The greatest barrier for refugees is language. We should offer English language tutoring to them and then reap the benefits of their contribution to our society. We should also be investing in the infrastructure required for a growing population and in so doing create jobs.

  7. Freethinker

    I am very disappointed with the media in general.
    i was following the Guardian but now with some promotions in the Australia political news the Guardian becomes very bias towards the government.
    Going by the comments by the readers they will lose a lot of them if they keep going like this.
    The ABC is is not much different.
    Í like this site, it have good quality articles and intelligent comments by the readers.

  8. jantonius

    Where’s that preference deal between the Libs and the Greens that Labor ‘followers’ were going on about – across bloggers’ sites?
    The Greens denied it from the beginning. They received very little coverage for defending themselves.
    The claims have now been exposed as completely false. Where are the retractions? Irrelevant to the campaign?

  9. michaelattoowoomba

    Great post again John.I watch Media Watch on a regular basis [ on Iview ] if I miss it.The episode you mention was frightening.That reinforces my feelings re AIM,that is worth fighting for.As a pensioner,with no super or savings,I live hand to mouth and have to watch every cent.friends tell me I should reduce my spending by reducing my internet.I feel that I get more value from independent and truthful news from AIM and couple of others.The cost of internet pales next to electricity rort.Just paid my bill,nearly one third was non electricity,service fee plus meter read charges.Anyhow I still try to donate $10 or $20 to this site when ever I can,not much I know,but if every one chips in alittle it will help.M F..

  10. Miriam English

    I am delighted that the mainstream media are failing. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch. They have become complacent, screwed their customers, their employees, and society in general for years. Payback time. I, for one, am especially looking forward to Murdoch’s empire going broke.

    If the mainstream media had been more proactive in helping society instead of pandering to short-term sensationalism to temporarily lift their bottom lines then they would almost certainly not be having these problems. People happily pay for things they want and that they can afford. But the mainstream media are trying to sell something few people want enough to pay for (bad news) and they’re trying to do it by pushing advertisements in people’s faces, which nobody likes.

    Funding news as a social good via the government, subscription, and donation, and variants of those things are the only ways forward. But I think even that’s just a temporary bandaid.

    My feeling and hope is that we are seeing the end of the pernicious form of capitalism and we will see a complete makeover in the future to a more benevolent form after the advent of large-scale automation, artificial intelligence, universal basic income, and the effective end of money as we know it. We will still have money, but it will no longer be scarce and will be used to reward people with credit for doing cool stuff — credit, as in giving credit for something well done. But that’s a fair way off. In the meantime we’re in for a rough ride. Fasten your seatbelts, kiddies. Exciting times ahead.

  11. @RosemaryJ36

    My main sources of News are the ABC, radio and TV, The AIM Network, Crikey, Twitter, Facebook, The Saturday Paper – pretty much in that order. When I encounter something I find strange, I will do online research to check it out. I donate on a regular basis to the EDO NT (currently denied any funding by the federal government) and the ASRC. I am 80 years old, an ex-maths teacher, later lawyer now mediator and I despair for the humanity (or lack thereof!) in Australia!

  12. Terry2

    Don’t despair, Rosemary your contributions and those from people like you are greatly valued.

    We are currently caught up in an unusual and to me unfamiliar, period when people like Trump can even be considered as a suitable candidate for the US presidency and when people like Abbott actually did attain high office in this country. It is also disturbing that a young and committed politician in the UK can be gunned down because she supports a particular viewpoint.

    Personally I have been greatly disappointed that neither of our potential leaders have found it within themselves to come out and say that they will, when in office, pledge to close down the detention centres on Nauru and Manus and to resettle these people in a humane and caring manner .

    We live to fight another day and in the meantime it is encouraging to find that people like you are out there.

  13. kerri

    In my humble opinion the news providers need to come to a pay per view directly debited to your facebook account agreement with facebook and Internet Service Providers!

  14. Steve Laing -

    The mass media died the minute that advertising dollars became a more important source of revenue than circulation. Most of the mass media in this country (and I now include the ABC in this group), appear to have little journalistic integrity or indeed ability. Perhaps that is because those journalists recognise that a few dominant employers in the market (most of whom are right, or very right, leaning), it is sensible not to publish something that might be career limiting.

    The approach seems to be all about quantity rather than quality, exacerbated by the mantra’s of the 24hour news cycle. Important stories simply disappear before they are properly examined. Many others just go un-noticed. It is now all about opinions, and little about facts. Political reporting is no longer about policies, its about politics. Journalists won’t say what the potential impact of terrible legislation is likely to have, but they will talk about the careers of those who put it forward. It has become little more than insider gossip, and of course, for most of us who are outside that cosy construct, it loses any connection. This is typified by those crass shows of Annabel Croft, but increasingly even Insiders and QandA have lost any edge that they may have once had.

    The Libs must be delighted. Any opportunity to ignore the truth and facts is a day in heaven for them! It’s probably why they bank roll Murdoch with such generous tax rebates.

  15. wam

    kaye, it is confusing enough when the loonies interchange refugees and asylum seekers in the same sentence. so why add the third level immigrants. June is right except it was the loonies and refugees(posts of women and children like 80% of asylumers are genuine rich refugees) although diludbran have sent shy, if not to coventry certainly out of the room.
    The ABC in trying to be fair always airs the coalition’s negative to a labor view but rarely a vice versa mainly because labor pollies do not offer criticism in the same indignant and disingenuous manner. It is pretty clear that the media chose at best a lukewarm labor to balance one or two red hot libs.
    I listened to RN and the twit was talking about QA they were pondering whether turnball attack on shorten’s answer on treaty was politicising the issue or was it shorten whose politicised the issue. No mention of jones. I watched the show and bill did very well. So well that uhlmann, jones and cassidy will boost the middle-minor parties plus empty and joyce.
    Still labor stupidity got us the rabbott and empty, the copperman. We are still too stupid to challenge the economic superiority lie so QED.
    If brexit rules and we get a recession. The rich will survive and the suffering labor victims will accept empty’s assertion that the recession was labor’s fault.
    Spot on steve, an important knife in gillard’s back was the ABC 24 whose i hour news was padded unmercifully with anti gillard crap. Still is not worth watching for more than ten minutes.

  16. Jack Russell

    For “news” to actually become news again, and reported by ethical journalists, then the current licences held by large media corporations need to be cancelled holus-bolus. The legislation and regulations governing media companies needs to be re-designed to dis-allow any future monopolistc cartel behaviour. Say, for argument’s sake, no single entity may own more than 1%, on the basis that keeping them small will keep them honest. A new statutory independent body to be set up and oversight to be rigorous. If found guilty of an infringement then the penalty will be mandatory loss of licence, not a fine.

    Sounds draconian I know but, given the corruption that exists in the media industry now, and the incalculable damage done everywhere on a daily basis by vested interests then I fail to see what else can be done to stop the peddling of lies as “news”.

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