Economissive’s whole twitter thread is worth reading here. Lots of examples, and it’s depressing reading.
Obviously the MSM play a crucial role in a democracy, and having direct access to politicians is an important part of that. The problem with Tova O’Brien’s terrier approach to the daily Covid briefings wasn’t that she was asking the same questions over and over, it’s that they were often the wrong questions.
We’ve had a few weeks now of a bunch of people on the left objecting to the repetitive nature of the questions, and then a bunch of journalists and media commentators saying hang on, there are good reasons to ask the same question over and over (eg it can bring out things that politicians are reluctant to discuss).
Meanwhile, important questions go unasked and unanswered.
I don’t see O’Brien or other Press Gallery journos as the core problem here (and seriously, stop abusing journos on twitter, whoever is doing that). It’s their bosses, and the people that own the companies they work for. If gotcha and Ministerial scalps are the priority then giving a shit about the elderly, disabled and poor people is not going to rate. This is about values, and which ones are driving our media.
As an aside, one of the things that’s improved with the arrival of the daily briefings, is that the public can hear the questions being asked. Compared to press conferences in the past where the MSM seem to think that only the politicians need to hear them.
It’s long overdue that livestreamed press conferences are seen as for the public as much as the MSM. The public being able to hear everything that happens in the room matters. Not only does it make more sense of the content, but it shifts the balance to a trio of interests and breaks the dualistic power structure that existed before.
I’d also like to see all government and political party press releases and additional materials made easily accessible to the public in a central location. We still need the MSM to do the legwork on interpretation and analysis, but the days are gone where the public should be solely reliant on the MSM for access to information, especially when their priorities may differ.