Journalism eh? But what is to be done, at a systemic level?
[Rob] Chalmers, although a Labor sympathiser, put all politicians through the ringer. He refused to socialise with them and was disdainful of the trend towards celebrity journalism and the insidious practice of reporters being ‘on the drip’ – getting stories from politicians and in return giving their sources favourable media coverage. He concentrated on policies and not the entrails of real or imagined personality differences, the prism through which much modern politics is reported.
The political caste also includes the vast majority of the press gallery, who live in a symbiotic relationship with the eternal parliamentary party, entombed together in the ghastly forbidden city of Parliament House – a building designed to make public access to parliament as difficult as possible, in a style that reminds one of Ceausescu’s Bucharest “People’s Palace” or all of Pyongyang – recycling minor gossip as news, and trading publicity for a drip-feed of information.
(Rundle, 2014: 68)
Fwiw, we (Manchester Climate Monthly co-editor Arwa Aburawa and myself) didn’t play that game, though we were invited to, by people who then resented us for not being controllable. So it goes.
Rundle, G. 2014. Clivosaurus: The Politics of Clive Palmer. Quarterly Essay
Walsh, K. 2013. The stalking of Julia Gillard. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Itâs a bit hard, though, Marc, when the proprietors are cutting staff like itâs going out of style, and there is no support for investigative journalism except in a few outstanding cases. Itâs lazy, cheap newsgathering, not journalism. I think those left to cover the political scene are forced just to get whatever they can from wherever they can. Itâs pretty rare to find one inclined to go further.
agreed (thus the thing about what is to be done at a systemic level). Although there are venal journos out there, many/most try to make the effort. Probably we need citizen-sourced/funded journalism, since the old advertising-based model is clearly dead….
PS Which journos would you recommend, btw, on Aus Politics? I rate the LTs – Laura Tingle and Lenore Taylor – very highly. Philip Coorey is pretty good too. Laurie Oakes writes well and of course has been around forever. Paul Kelly’s books are better than his journalism (in that he is able to get interviews with everyone, and quotes them at length – I don’t much care for his framing of issues!).