Thursday, 5 August 2010

Well said

Cross-posted in full from B Sides ...because it is spot-on!

The unreflective mirror

This is a quote from a Barry Cassidy article:
This election is not about gender, or even policies; thus far, it's not even about Tony Abbott.
Social researcher, Hugh Mackay, is spot on. It's about Julia Gillard, yes or no.                                                                                       
I'm always stunned when journalists say things like this, as if what an election is "about" somehow happens in a world in which they themselves do not exist. Does it really not occur to them that what an election is "about" cannot be separated from how the election is reported?
I'm really tired of reading articles written by journalists who presume their own non-existence.
It's like when you read them saying that "Labor can't get traction" or "this story about the Coalition was buried". Those two states (traction and buried) merely reflect editorial decisions about what was covered. They are basically saying, we chose not to cover these stories. And yet they write about the lack of traction or the buried story as if it happened in a world where they are mere observers.
Truly, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just perplexed. Do journalists really think that the lack of focus on Abbott (or policy) and the total focus on Gillard happens independently of their reporting?

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