in Women in the Media
I'd just finished watching an ABC Q&A show about feminism and decided to take a flick through SMH on iPad before retiring. I started noticing lots of male images. Had the program on feminism oversensitised me to sexism? But it wasn't the first time I'd noticed what seemed an overwhelming preponderance of male images on the SMH iPad version. Indeed it was questions about whether my initial perceptions were accurate or simply the product of an odd bad male day at SMH that led me to get involved in New Matilda's Where are the women in the media? project. We're looking for hard facts. Part 3's on the way.
I'm a fan of Michael Carlton's who writes the backpage on Fairfax's weekend NewsReview. Last weekend, he tackled the 'farce of the mining tax', the latest sympton of what he calls Labor's 'terminal disease.'
Fairfax's SMH journalists have been amongst the few to probe the NSW O'Farrell's government backing of James Packer's plan for a new hotel casino in Sydney. Reporter Sean Nicholls broke a story about how the government had changed the rules for "unsolicited proposals" in a way that made it easier for Packer to avoid a competitive tender. So I was shocked when I opened the SMH on Saturday and found a plug for a story by Packer pitching his casino plan labelled as an 'exclusive' and 'news'. There were several independent reports inside the paper, but online, Packer's free promo was number three while other pieces were buried further down the page.
This week, Green Left Weekly's Jay Fletcher interviewed me about the big job cuts and changes in the Australian corporate media.
I was asked to submit 400 words to the Sydney Morning Herald as part of regular feature which puts the same question to four people. I was the 'academic",
As if job cuts weren't enough, Rinehart's raid will inhibit the culture of journalistic independence that exists at Fairfax. Wendy Bacon on why journalists must speak out to protect their profession.
This week, Jenna Price and I published a small Australian Centre for Independent Journalism study on the coverage of the phone hacking scandal in Australia on The Conversation a new publishing venture from the Australian university and research sector.
Why does Australia have such a concentrated media and such a weak system of self-regulation for media owners? To help make sense of all this, I made a brief timeline of media regulation in Australia. You can find it here in New Matilda.
Back in the early seventies, Murdoch even opposed the foundation of an Australian Press Council ( APC) funded and controlled by the media organisations. He later joined by then withdrew after a finding of bias against one of his newspapers. News Corporation later rejoinedfter the APC did not pubicly oppose his takeover of the Herald and Weekly Times. This was a crucial step which made him the dominant media boss in Australia. He was assisted by some political mates who were disgruntled with media company Fairfax's investigative journalism.