Lessons for journalists, and editors…from a prolific reader

Media bashing is on the agenda a lot lately…and for good reason.

Editors with agendas should probably take more note, than those who write the stories. It is inevitably the editors who slant items to their own political agenda, most often by omission.

There are some who do get it right. They are those with the fortitude to often be controversial, and don’t hesitate to include all sides of the topic. This is then reflected in the ratings.

The prime example here is Andrew Bolt, the bane of the left. A former media representative for former Labor leader Kim Beazley, now an opinion writer for News Limited and his own show on Channel 10.

Despite a lot of vitriol, mostly from the ‘Left’, Bolt’s ratings continue to be way above expectations. By being sometimes controversial, both sides of the political spectrum comment regularly on his site, and an interesting dialogue takes place. Love him or hate him, it’s always worth a look.

Then you look at items from Fairfax, unapologetic about their content which always omits the full story, or distorts it so much that items have to occasionally disappear even. This particularly happens when anything to do with climate comes up. They just cannot bear that there is an opposing view, with a final resort to name-calling instead.

They even sponsor the Earth Hour, a purely political piece of nonsense. There, see, even I can make what seems to them a controversial statement. And I can back it up with facts and figures, but it is still controversial.

The end result is, that Bolt’s blog reader numbers exceed all the Fairfax publications put together. His viewers on The Bolt Report are higher than the long time program The Insiders on ABC, where he was a regular guest, despite not being available in many parts of Australia.

One of his counterparts, David Marr, is mostly ignored for his partisan efforts in the media. Advertisers want to see numbers, not who is saying what, when and how.

There are many more examples but readers can make their own decisions.

Update: Someone who can give readers something they want to read…

COBBLERS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 07, 12 (05:15 am)

Leftoids typically imagine that, were they not held back by profound ethical concerns, enormous commercial success would surely be theirs. Because it’s just that easy. Here’s the Guardian‘s Charlie Brooker, dismissing the Daily Mail:

The print edition of the paper is edited by Paul Dacre, who is regularly praised by media types for knowing what his customers want, and then selling it to them. This is an extraordinary skill that puts him on the same rarefied level as, say, anyone who works in a shoe shop. Or a bike shop. Or any kind of shop. Or in any absolutely any kind of business whatsoever. Whatever you think about Dacre’s politics, you can’t deny he’s got a job to do, and he does it. Like a peg. Or a ladle. Or even a knee. Dacre is perhaps Britain’s foremost knee.

According to December audit figures, the Daily Mail‘s circulation stands at 1,994,908. The Guardian is on just 230,108 – a 13 per cent decline over the previous year. Got any shoes to sell, Charlie?

The professor adds, (via Tim Blair):

LONG ARTICLES

Tim Blair – Monday, February 06, 12 (06:28 am)

The Global Mail launches today, funded by $15 million in ad-free donations and featuring a raft of ex-Fairfax and ABC identities, plus a few from Who Weekly and the old Bulletin. Take a look.

UPDATE. “This is revolutionary stuff,” writes the Bunyip. “Brave, courageous, daring to go where only the Phage, Silly, The Conversation, SBS, The Drum, Q & A, Lateline, New Matilda, Lavatorius Pronto, Crikey and poor Margo have gone before.” Do follow that link for a Bunyipian lesson on information gathering – a lesson that not even $15 million could buy.

UPDATE II. The public has a right to know!

UPDATE III. From Andrew Bolt

Total audience for yesterday’s Bolt Report and encore (excluding country viewers):  257,000

Total audience for yesterday’s Insiders (including on ABC24): 192,000.

I know we were beating Insiders for total viewers by the end of last year, too, (when the golf didn’t replace the encore) but this is a great start to the year – and I thank you very much for your interest.

If you missed the show yesterday, go here.

UPDATE

Glenn Dyer concedes my total figure is actually even better than I said – 264,000.

Conclusion: if Labor wants to reach the very voters it needs to win over, its ministers should end the boycott on my show. I suspect it’s now hurting them more than it hurts me.

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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2 Responses to Lessons for journalists, and editors…from a prolific reader

  1. Pingback: News Update | Cranky Old Crow

  2. Pingback: Get-Up.org…promoting censorship, (facts checked here) | pindanpost

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