11 October 2010

Who watches the watchers of those who watch watching the watchers ...

Samson that great city, his anatomy on fire
Grasping with gnarled hands at the mad wasps
Yet while his bearded rage survives contriving
An entelechy of clouds and trumpets.

— Ern Malley, Documentary Film

My name's Andrew Elder. Just because you've never heard of me, it doesn't mean I'm anonymous. If you regard so-called "James Massola" as a reporter, then you'll have to regard me as one too. James and I, we're real, and we don't work for the government. Like, really really real, just like the editor of The Townsville Bulletin except much more real. My blog has about as many readers as that paper, if you don't count all the copies dumped unread at educational institutions and caf├ęs, or which homeless people use as toilet paper (truly, the Audit Bureau of Circulation is for people too dumb to get into Standard & Poor's).
We are the media of choice that our business and political leaders turn to when they want to deliver their message to the masses.
Yes, and blogging is a media of choice for people sick of being patronised as "masses".
In just three weeks from now, News Limited will commission the North Queensland Newspaper company's new $52 million press, a massive investment and vote of confidence in the region.
Some factories produce pollution as a by-product of whatever it is they're trying to produce. News Ltd is building a factory producing nothing but pollution. No wonder they're so leery at the prospect of emissions taxes.


  1. Andrew,

    I would hope you wouldn't work for the governoment then it would be absoulutely forbidden for you to provide comment on government affairs. Only those who do not suckle from the government teat; those in the vastly superior private sector are independent enough to be able to comment.

    All those doctors, nurses and pharmacists who provide our healthcare are forbidden to comment on our health system; All those police, and lawyers and judges are not allowed to comment on the legal system and all those who work in the public service in Canberra are banned outright from commenting on the news of the day, especially if it involves politicians.

  2. Tim, you facetious bugger. Only non-profit organisations stoutly defending capitalism like the IPA are able to cast such judgments.

  3. No Andrew, hard-working tradies (who might I say did NOT benefit from the stimulus program) are also allowed to comment via Alan Jones and Ray Hadley. They are the proper people and that is the proper avenue for feedback on public policy.

    Oh and focus groups in Penrith Westfields are OK too :)

  4. Jason Wilson13/10/10 11:52 am

    I grew up reading the Townsville Bulletin. I read it boggle-eyed whenever I visit my family there. The readership figures look reasonable (there's no alternative paper) but it's commonly regarded by the local community (that Gleeson claims to represent) as a rag. News took a so-so local newspaper and strip-mined it. It's now about half sport, and runs one or two pages of text messages from readers every single day. Clapped out opinion writers fill most of the rest of thew space. No state press gallery reporters, and the market has three tiers of News Limited (Bulletin, Courier-Mail, Australian) which suits them well. But the paper actually shames the community in my opinon. The new technology will mainly be used to run more full colour advertising. Gleeson's worried, I'd wager, that any hint of an alternative will make the Bulletin look worse than it currently does.

  5. And when you talk sport, Jason, my guess is a lot of cross-marketing of the Cowboys.

    A paper like that (steady market, reasonable size in terms of variety of public services and reasonable heterogeneity of perspectives, far from press secs and lobbyists) could do a fine job in assessing the gap between various kinds of spin and on-the-ground reality. Sad, really.