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The Failed Estate – An Australian Blog to follow

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 12th, 2013 - 10 comments
Categories: australian politics, blogs - Tags: , , ,

Jim Parker the failed estate

With the Australian election just around the corner the interest in Australian blogs will ramp up.  Can I recommend to everyone the Failed Estate Website.  It is a blog run by experienced journalist Jim Parker who will be recognised as the voice that we hear occasionally at 6:55 am during the week on National Radio talking about Australian business news.  He blogged semi anonymously as Mr Denmore for a while but outed himself in May 2012.  He is a Kiwi who moved to Australia many years ago.

His full-time role is in corporate communications in the financial services sector and part of his job is to speak to financial and other professionals about how the media works and what a tough gig daily journalism can be.

He initially blogged as Mr Denmore because he was afraid he may compromise his paid employment.  His employers became aware of his blog and were happy for him to continue as long as he did not compromise his paid role.

He writes powerfully and passionately.  On the state of the media in Australia:

There are two upcoming power battles in Australia. One pits Kevin Rudd against Tony Abbott. The second positions Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers against our democracy. The outcome of the first battle may depend on the second, yet we only get to vote in one of them.

That Murdoch wants a change of government in Australia is evident. He has said so himself, tweeting that the Australian public are “totally disgusted with the Labor Party wrecking the country with its sordid intrigues. Now for a quick election”.

Of course, the octogenarian, New York-based global media magnate is perfectly entitled to his opinion and is well within his rights to express it so openly.  But one’s opinions carry a lot more weight when they are magnified by a virtual monopoly newspaper business that amplifies his views through ‘news’ coverage that makes no pretension at being even-handed.

On the Boatpeople issue:

The Rudd government’s new PNG solution to the asylum seekers problem is aimed at shutting down a filthy trade run by cynical and low-rent opportunists who exploit the hopes and fears of the most marginalised for commercial gain. Yes, we’re talking about tabloid editors.

There are two dimensions to the refugees issue. One is managing the problem itself – a relatively marginal one for a rich economy that leads the developed world on most economic metrics. The second dimension – and the trickier one – is the theatrics around the issue, a charade kept alive by attention-seeking sections of the news media and the frightened politicians they goad into one piece of policy knee-jerkery after another.

The facts of the refugee situation – however many times they are raised – don’t seem to register. What matters for the dying institutions of our news media is that this issue is an emotive, eyeball-grabbing one, encompassing age-old fears of brown skinned hordes shattering our cosy, white bread suburban lives. As such, it’s tailor-made for endless rejigging on the front pages of the Tele and the Hun.

On the downfall of Julia Gillard and the return to power of Kevin Rudd:

Looking at social media, there is still much bitterness in the community about the media treatment of Gillard and corresponding revulsion at Rudd’s mealy-mouthed hypocrisy in calling for an end to the politics of negativity. And it’s hard to argue with that assessment of things.

My own view – and it is just my mere unschooled opinion – is that there is nothing inconsistent about on the one hand being appalled at the sexist treatment of Gillard, recognising her great character and significant policy achievements and arguing on the other that she was a poor communicator, tactically inept or least very badly advised.

Likewise, there is nothing inconsistent in recognising on the one hand that Rudd is an egomaniac, a control freak and an over-promiser, while on the other accepting that he at least has social democratic instincts and seems better able to communicate and cut through with the many people parking their votes with Abbott. He may come undone, but he at least for now appears to have wrong-footed a man that many of us dread far more than his own egomania.

Parker’s world views are clearly spelt out by his choice of Michael Joseph Savage as the picture for Mr Denmore.  The fact he can survive in corporate Australia yet maintain what in Australia are radical views speaks volumes about his quality.

10 comments on “The Failed Estate – An Australian Blog to follow”

  1. Sable 1

    Australia has one of the most concentrated media grouping in the world with Murdoch heading one half of the coin. I wonder however whether Australians trust their media anymore than we do.

    As to Gillard, she was placed in power by right leaning elements of the Labor party and holds a strongly pro American viewpoint, much more so than Kevin Rudd. She infamously backed the US/UK position on Julian Assange which placed in her conflict with the Greens, not a good move given the composition of the government.

    I have heard the drivel about sexism regarding her removal until the cows come home. It was I believe originally the work of a feminist journalist who had an axe to grind but its basically bullshit. Gillard was given the boot because she’s disliked by the the Australian public and in my view rightly so. She usurped a popular PM who had only been in office a short time and then implemented polices that ran counter to his elected mandate.

    • karol 1.1

      It’s hard to know who to support in Aussie Labour, because of the way all the debates are skewed by the corporate press.

      I guess if I was able to vote in Aussie, I’d vote Green.

      PS: Thanks for the referral to the failed estate blog, micky.

      • Sable 1.1.1

        If I was still enrolled I would vote for Kevin Rudd. I believe he is at his core a fundamentally good man who is faced with a very trying set of circumstances. Here in NZ I would only ever vote Green which of course is co led by an Australian (there must be some irony in that somewhere).

  2. karol 2

    Found this interesting site from one of the articles on The Failed Estate. The Conversation.

    About The Conversation: a News/current affairs/politics site, supported by academics in an attempt to raise the news media game.

    The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.

    Our team of professional editors work with university, CSIRO and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.

    Access to independent, high-quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Our aim is to allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversations.

    We have introduced new protocols and controls to help rebuild trust in journalism. All authors and editors sign up to our Editorial Charter. And all contributors must abide by our Community Standards policy. We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise, which they must disclose alongside their article. Authors’ funding and potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed. Failure to do so carries a risk of being banned from contributing to the site.


    • mickysavage 2.1

      Thanks Karol. The Aussie media reminds me of American media, some high quality proper investigation goes on but it tends to be drowned out by the dross of the likes of Fairfax and Newscorp.

      • Sable 2.1.1

        Agreed. They are very similar to the US. Of course this kind of journalism is alive and well here too in groups such as “unfairfacts” as I call them.

  3. NickS 4

    Speaking of Aussie politics, this is bloody good read:

    Doesn’t exactly paint Rudd in a good light, even sans all the other shit.

  4. tc 5

    Oz has 2 public broadcasting outlets that enjoy ratings increases during such times as the people seek balanced coverage. It does get drowned out but seek and ye shall find as ABC/SBS’s ratings show during important events.

    Murdoch’s being doing this for decades and actually the level of investigative/in depth reporting has increased through such outlets as Crikey.

    Labour has hinted it they may alter media cross ownership rules, especially after the shrieking from murdoch press over mining tax so getting between an old man with deep pockets in a hurry to claim what he believes is will always get ugly.

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