Dedication to non-stories
The next time you hear professional journalists describe themselves as a "fourth estate" and get all huffy about their so-called profession, have a look at today's papers and spot the non-stories on politics. The very day after the federal press gallery admits that it missed a ballot within what is now a major party, it comes out with:
- In this piece, John Howard exchanges pleasantries with Tony Abbott. It is still not clear as to whether Abbott has any clue about the economy, though. Samantha Maiden's record for writing much with nothing worth reading to say remains intact.
- In this piece, noted philosopher Bella Counihan considers that while Peter Costello never challenged a sitting PM for leadership of his party, Julia Gillard did for hers, oh and John Howard had a shoe thrown at him (just as George W Bush did). No story there either. When do we get to ask whether Bella Counihan is a real journalist, and what proof we'd accept other than her employer's initial letter of offer?
- In this piece, the Opposition is said to want 'reform' but actually only wants a couple of enquiries that will slow down policies they don't like without creating much to work with.
- In this piece, a Member of Parliament asked the Prime Minister a question during Question Time, and she responded.
You won't have to wait long for an even bigger dose of masturjournalism as Andrew Olle time is almost upon us. This year, a Pom is being paid to come out here and patronise us, without deviating from the Olle formula:
- A few dire warnings about infringements on press freedom, whether from "spin doctors" (experienced journalists who didn't want to waste their lives or earning capacities as editors), third world dictatorships (thousands die in a massacre, but a journo cuts his finger or spends a night in the jug and that's the real story?), or Murdoch;
- Laments for newspapers that can't make a profit churning out dross like the above three examples;
- Some journostalgia about the days when you could spend your whole journalistic career half cut, and still be invited to give the Andrew Olle; and
- A few meagre, backhanded compliments, received with grovelling.