24-hour news cycle or 24-hour opinion cycle?

This morning on Local Radio, ABC 702, I listened to an interesting interview of Mr. Lachlan Harris by Ms. Deborah Cameron.

Mr. Lachlan Harris was formally a Press Officer to Mr. Rudd.

Mr Harris is promoting the idea the 24-hour news cycle not problematic.  His proposition is that we no longer have a 24-hours news cycle but a 24-hour opinion cycle.

During the interview, it was raised that that blogs sites are to blame for this transformation but was denied by Mr. Harris. 

Maybe this is true, but I believe there are also blogs emerging that are seeking truth and facts. 

People are visiting blog sites, because they cannot find what they want in the media.  They cannot find truth, and facts.

The reason according to Mr. Harris is that the media is giving the people what they want.  Mr. Harris pointed out that opinion and comment is much cheaper than news and facts.

Mr. Harris made the point that in this media climate, genuine political reform cannot exist.  This was true for all political parties.

Mr. Harris also said that the opinion cycle is a nasty place to be.  It caters to the lowest denominator in society.

As the result of this new phenomenon, how are we going to see the emergence of journalist such as Mr. Laurie Oakes? 

We have seen channel Ten abandon the George Negus show at six thirty to be replaced by the 7 pm Report.  A show that dealt in fact to one that relies on opinion.

It was also said that Drum, ABC24 was little more than opinions.

We have Mr. Lachlan’s proposition following Mr. Lindsey Tanner’s book, The Sideshow that said very much the same thing.

Mr. Oakes at the Olle Media Lecture said many similar things.

“……..Harris’s presentation – When your communication gets into a spin – the battle of policy vs populism – focused on “the rise and rise and rise of the opinion cycle” and why it has become more important than the news cycle.

Harris has examined the changes in the media over the past five years. His conclusion?

“Opinion happened”

He says: “Opinion has always been a big part of the media but never like it is now.”

Harris contends the media industry, which has until recent years been driven by the traditional news cycle, has given way to the cycle of opinion (which includes tweets, blogs, talkback radio etc).

As far as the Australian media industry is concerned, “the apprentice has become the master – opinion reigns supreme”.

This in turn has resulted in “massive fundamental change” to the political landscape.

The rise of opinion is new and it’s fundamentally changing the way politics runs, he says.

News and opinion are intertwined but opinion cycle is “slowly smothering the news cycle”.

Tweets, comments, blogs, email, talkback – collectively – are now more important and influential than the news story.

According to Harris, the difference between news and opinion is simple:

News is a flow of information that depends on facts, opinion is a flow of information that depends on argument.

“Opinion is a fundamentally different proposition to news”

 So much of the information we’re exposed to in politics has little to do with facts.

Facts don’t matter, arguments do, he says.

According to Harris, five years ago Kerry O’Brien was the most influential media figure in Australia; today it’s Andrew Bolt (because he has a talent for provoking debate).



“…Many of the young journalists entering the industry still want to achieve the same things as their predecessors. But our will to fight to keep alive traditional media is continuing to drain…”


To me, what is more worrying to me, that those giving the opinion do not have the experience or knowledge to form opinions that are above those of the public.

There is very little forensic journalist to be found anywhere.  Four Corners appears to be the only outlet left.  In the past, shows such as Sixty Minutes and those following the news each day fulfilled this need.

“……..G’day PR Warrior, I believe there is a lot in what Lachlan and you say, and I’m not sure there’s an easy fix.

Traditional media organisations have been cutting expenses in traditional management style and have failed to maintain their values and standards.

As a result, they have spent the last couple of decades throwing away their Unique Selling Proposition.

They have also spent that time diversifying their business interests into entertainment and gaming, which now provides the lifeblood for many of these organisations.

It is no coincidence that traditional media sales have fallen in real terms, almost in inverse proportion to the rise and rise (and rise) of opinion. We can get opinions at the local pub.

What we want from traditional media organisations are the credible facts we can use to back-up our views and fuel our debates.

As an industry, PR has been extremely remiss in not strongly supporting journalists in their role as the fourth estate. Opinions have nothing to do with the role of the fourth estate. We are partially responsible for allowing this problem to occur.

We need to challenge traditional media to return to values-based journalism that meets standards, but we won’t take on that challenge because it is not seen as being good to challenge media proprietors and some see it as against the interests of clients.

People like traditional media. Despite predictions for the last 40 years or so that it was dying, we continue to keep it alive. We still like reading papers in the mornings, however they are delivered…”


The questions I asked, is this good enough? 

Is it up to the media supply only what they say we want? 

Should the fourth estate be fulfilling its role by ensuring news and facts, are publish above opinion? 

Do the media have any responsibilities in relation to society? 

Is the only responsibility the media has is to the shareholders?

If the media has no responsibilities, where do we find truth and facts?


179 comments on “24-hour news cycle or 24-hour opinion cycle?

  1. CU, I would second Migs’ opinion. If the MSM think that they need to or indeed are able to compete with Tweets, Facebook etc then they’re wrong…too many people, doing too much and too quickly.

    The MSM’s only option is investigative journalism, the very thing which requires time and research. The blogs to me fall into a different category. Topics written by very many authors are just as well researched as anything one might read in the mainstream press, however came into being due to dissatisfaction with the bias and often the superficiality of ‘the newspapers’. It is now up to the MSM to decide which way they want to go, the trivia especially evident in the Murdoch media or do they want to provide real ‘news’.

  2. I should add that there are blogs and there are blogs – our friends at The Political Sword, Wixxy’s blog, Political Tarot being a few examples, where the standard is equivalent to if not better than anything one might read on the MSM. On the other hand there are blogs whose standard is probably equivalent to a shock-jock’s phone-in.

  3. Min, I understand we’re very popular with the shock jock blog sites. The stats show there’s an extraordinary amount of traffic coming from them today. I can only imagine they’re looking for worthwhile commentary.

  4. CU, great post. Thank you.

    Min has pretty much said what I think. However, it goes further, because opinion is being sold as news. I think this is one of the issues that the media iquiry has to address.

    People listening to shock jocks, reading blogs like Dolt’s and viewing TV sites like Fox (Not)News are being hood winked into thinking that what they’re getting is news, not opinion.

    I would be fine if all opinionistas had to give a prominent disclaimer that what they’re feeding the public is their opinion only, not fact.

    Shock jocks like Anal should be forced to do so before any rant and face very stiff punishment for flouting disclaimer rules, like being taken off the air for a week or more depending on how egregious the offence. Ditto opinion writers like Dolt.

    The media regulator would have to be given serious fangs and the will to use them.

    Who knows, it might encourage characters like Shamaham to write serious well-researched pieces. I don’t think there is any hope for Planet Janet, Devine and the rest of the cheerlaeaders.

  5. As to journalists / opinion writers, why pay for their newspaper/opinions especially when you get better information from a blog. As an example as with this appalling Qantas lockout threat, the first these opinion writers knew about it was after the event. If it was circling around Parliament House for weeks, as the opposition claims , why didn’t any INSIDER know about it? why didn’t they run a scoop and warn the poor traveller, or were the chumps caught out like every one else? no they were more involved with tony abbot says, stunts

    so to journos who only want to be opinion writers and be paid handsomely for it the following goes

    Opinions are like arse holes every one has one.

    Meanwhile the people on these blogs can through common sense, connect the dots or read the time lines or review the many conflicting statements of Tony Abbott and other basic reasons work it out for them selves.

  6. Did we have a vote when Mr. Howard set up the Nauru and the Pacific solution?

    I do not remember voting on the issue.

  7. Sue, I have a sneaking suspicion that most opinion writers are not on the payroll and so get paid only for pieces that get published – hence the reason for having to do as da’ man says. If it doesn’t get published then you don’t get paid.

  8. Thanks Mig and all others that have a kind word. I was being lazy, laying in. (I have not much else to do)

    I have not listen much to Deborah Cameron lately but the interview took my interest. It makes sense.

    The media and gathering of news will change.

    We done well in the dark ages with no media. I see the blogs as going back to those days, word of mouth. That bush telegraph worked well.

    What we have is the advantage to information at our finger tips. A powerful combination. No censurers either. No gate keepers.

  9. Jane are we responsible for the plight we are in?

    Does the media have a responsibility to lift their game.

    Are the media fulfilling their role as gatekeepers.

    Does the media only have a responsibility to their shareholders

  10. There is hope for the future.

    I have a family where I am not allow to mention one word of politics.

    I have noticed that they do not believe one word they hear on the TV.

    At least since I asked my daughter why the PM lied.

    They do listen to what goes between them and their mate on the web and emails.

  11. It appears there are people who wish to ruin my career or this blog site, or both. I certainly cannot afford the former. Retirement is just around the corner and I need to keep my financial plans intact.

    However, that means little to those who wish to cause grief.

    To protect my career and Café Whispers there is no alternative but for me to leave blogging. The issue is too big to ignore. Tonight will be my last night at the Café.

    I leave with one major disappointment.

    I have considered reb a good friend of many years. The support he gave me during a health scare some six months ago is something I will always remember and appreciate. He acted like a true friend. It is disappointing that he now encourages animosity.

  12. Migs, that is sad to hear. I can assure you this site will not die. It will be here long after other sites folded.

    We manged for the last few months and will survive again. We have developed a few new skills that will come in handy.

    At least Reb has taken some of the pressure off you. You can now focus on your health and job.

    Enjoy your break.

  13. Miglo

    the price of speaking up should not be that high. to threaten your work and finances is absolutely disgusting, typical of those right wing Liberal loving*******

    It only confirms that you have made a difference and those ******** are scared. Abbott and the Liberals must be waist deep in poo to go after a little duck. Also your health has not been good so look out for your self.
    I have only just joined this blog this year but you have made a difference for me. I was so sick and tired of all the BS dished at the PM it was where do I look for people with good thoughts rather than hate and here at the Cafe I have felt warmth.

    So thank you Miglo for the warmth and welcome and the non hate and lots of laughs. I wish you were not leaving but if you must, good bye and good luck little duck.

  14. Now back to you CU

    Who are the most opinionated bl000dy news organisation, i know that is easy, the oz. Look at this from evidence today in court

    “He said he warned the paper that lives were at risk if it printed the information.

    The court heard the paper’s editor, Paul Whittaker, questioned Mr Negus about how many lives were at risk, before the AFP struck a deal to give the paper an exclusive story if they held off on publishing the article. ”


    So just how many lives were the oz prepared to trade in their negotiations and then the b******tards went to an early print!.

  15. Sue, you had me worried there for a minute. I got the wrong Negus. I doubt it would matter as I would be surprised today if any reporter was listened to.

  16. Migs, it’s a shame you have to throw in the towel because of those Gutter Trash nuffies.
    It would be nice if you could continue to take the fight to them (even though they lack the comprehension to understand when they’ve been thoroughly schooled), but you need to protect you’re own.

    Best of luck and hopefully you can come back soon.

  17. Migs

    I join all the others in being saddened that there are those attempting to undermine you. I believe in karma and hope that those insidious enough to undermine your employment or future health simply as a result of differing opinions get the karma they deserve in the future.

    While there are so many selfish, bitter, angry, violent and intolerant human beings, there are some who try to do good for all and it is those that keep the true value of humanity in perspective.

    All the best for you and those you love. Hopefully we will hear fom you in the future.

  18. Thank you, my friends.

    But a threat has been made and it is serious enough to heed. I’m of the understanding that initial enquiries have been made.

    It’s a pity that people see the need – or the thrill – to make this personal.

    I haven’t enjoyed blogging as much as I have this past month. The blogging has been fun and very entertaining.

    But don’t fear. I’ll be hanging around a bit this evening and I don’t see me going down without a fight.

  19. Migs, ever since you started this blog you are been subjected to threats of one kind or another. All coming from the same source.

    In spite of this, you have prevailed. In fact, not just prevailed but turned this blog from not just a backwater one but one which is quoted as an ideal of citizen journalism.

  20. Just in case people consider that I’m waxing lyrical, have a look at the list of Authors..and this doesn’t include our list of guest authors. I dare anyone to name one other blog which encourages citizen journalists to this extent.

  21. Min

    I hope you are right and they offer an apology, While I have apologised on numerous occasions when proven incorrect here and at previous sites regrettably it is very rare indeed to actually see it happen on any blogsite.

  22. I’m not after an apology. Goodness no. It’ll be like expecting an apology from a mugger. However, a retraction would be nice.

    Huh. Dream on.

  23. What shane & Massive & Sue & CU said Migs (I couldn’t possible match the eloquence of their messages).

    I’m not sure the perpetrator is the type to offer an apology Min – one can live in hope though I guess…

  24. Migs, a retraction? That would require the ability to be able to write more than 2 sequential sentences..that means more than 2 sentences in a row…that’s for those who keep peeking through the Café window..ever had the feeling that you’re being perved on.. My last time was when I fell into the pool (the kelpie’s fault) and had to strip off. I met neighbors which I never knew I had.

    Yes please Migs. A bundy and diet coke pour moi.

  25. Miglo, the ‘enquiries’ will prove very disappointing to the enquirers…

    if that should be with an “I” ….too bad 😀

  26. Well bugger me dead. Someone over at Gutter Trash wants me to produce evidence of my serious allegation. Don’t they read what people write over there, or are they all too busy rubbing their noses against our window?

  27. Amazing! I just checked our stats. Today, the number of visitors from the blog police site is triple what we’ve received from Facebook – our regular number one provider.

  28. Now where did Bacchus go to? I just sat down with a cigar and a bottle from the top shelf and he’s disappeared. Oh well. I’ll start without him.

  29. Damn – I forgot. Have to dash out for an hour and a half (but I’ll be posting from my phone). It’s member’s draw night at the club. $70K on offer.

    Gosh I hope I win. 😀

  30. I’m here Migs – and you behave yourself Min – you’ll make me blush 😳

    Rum & Coke for you too Pip?

  31. Migs, I suspect too busy rubbing their noses..somewhere…

    I noticed that we’ve had yet another visitor via Facebook here today, the fabulous Jenny. Just received a message from her that she wants a yet another person with the name S* (Migs you know who I mean) to come to the blog.

  32. Migs, you always start first 😀 We’ll all be keeping fingers crossed for you for the member’s draw.

    Whoops sorry Bacchus, it just came to mind for some reason. A bundy yes please and one for Pip too.

  33. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for..imagine Jenny M. and S* on the blog!! Interesting times indeed…scary, but interesting 😉

    But yes it’s great that the Café does attract so many visitors.

  34. Only if it lasts long enough to melt 😆

    Is that real Coke or diet for you Pip?

    Migs, that assumes that I was sober to start with :mrgreen:

  35. Bacchus,
    Only if it lasts long enough to melt

    I sip mine like a lady….isn’t that right Min ?????

    Real Coke please 🙂

  36. “Dear Dr Wilson

    Now that Qantas has resumed normal operations I would like to
    update you on what the recent decision by Fair Work Australia
    means for you.

    I apologise sincerely for any inconvenience that you or your
    family experienced during the grounding of the Qantas fleet
    between Saturday evening and Monday afternoon.

    The decision to lock out some of our employees was an immensely
    difficult one and one that I did not want to have to make. But
    it was a decision that we were driven to by the industrial
    action of three unions, together representing less than 20
    percent of Qantas employees.

    As of last Friday, industrial action by those unions had forced
    the cancellation of hundreds of flights, disrupted 70,000
    passengers and cost Qantas $68 million. Two union leaders had
    warned that industrial action could continue into next year.

    This would have had a devastating effect on our customers, on
    all Qantas employees and on the businesses which depend on
    Qantas services.

    On Saturday, I came to the conclusion that this crisis had to
    end. I made the decision to proceed with a lock-out, the only
    form of protected industrial action available to Qantas under
    the Fair Work Act, so that agreement could be reached quickly.

    Unfortunately, it was necessary as a precautionary measure to
    ground the fleet immediately after the announcement that
    a lock-out would take place. While I deeply regret the
    short-term impact of the fleet being grounded, following the
    Fair Work Australia decision we now have absolute certainty
    for our customers. No further industrial action can take place.
    No more aircraft will be grounded and no services cancelled as
    a result of industrial action.

    You can now book Qantas flights with complete confidence. This
    is an immeasurably better situation than last Friday, when
    Qantas faced the prospect of ongoing disruptions, perhaps for
    another 12 months.

    We have now moved into 21 days of negotiations with each of
    the unions with the assistance of Fair Work Australia. All
    parties will be treated equally in order to reach reasonable
    agreements. If this cannot happen, binding arbitration will take
    place to secure an outcome. We will respect whatever decisions
    are reached.

    Regardless of how and when the agreements are reached, the
    period of uncertainty and instability for Qantas is over. We
    are moving forward and putting this dispute behind us.

    Our focus now is on our customers. We want to restore your faith
    by returning our on-time performance to its normal high levels,
    continuing to invest in new aircraft and lounges and ensuring
    the best possible in-flight experience.

    The end of industrial action means we can concentrate on what
    matters – getting you to your destination on time and in comfort,
    offering the best network and frequency of any Australian airline
    and rewarding your loyalty as a Qantas Frequent Flyer.

    Thank you for your patience and for your continued support
    of Qantas.

    Alan Joyce
    CEO Qantas Airways


    I think you will find that many of the figures were not accepted by FWA.

  37. Pip, naturellement. We of course do sip like ladies. In fact here is a candid snap of the last time that we got stuck into the bundies.

  38. There where three joint meetings where the union put the threats on hold. It appears Mr. Joyce was making some of his own.

    The act says parties must negotiate in good faith.

  39. CU

    and the post script to that email

    And I got a 71% increase in salary, the share price although rising iniitially is falling back and the pilots can choke on their red ties.
    Up Yours
    Alan J

  40. CU

    Alan Joyce Good Faith, probably got guidance on that from Battlelines.
    Albo was quoting from that today in QT

    What other notes have passed between Abbott and Joyce would be interesting to know.

  41. Min, can you make that letter easier to read.

    Note. it was all the unions fault, they made him do it.

    While we at it, remember Mr. Joyce can do nothing unless his board backs him. These are the people we should be criticising.

    I have mine with ice.

  42. I am happy, happy, happy. yesterday the wireless router broke, today we have super fast router with super fast broadband

    Celebration time , yahoooooooooo

  43. Sue, beauty treatment of course ..

    Cu, with ice, you need to drink it quickly…

    I’m off to have dinner… back in a while 🙂

  44. Sue, we’re always planning for a Ladies Night here at the Café..BYO bundy or other beveridge. Migs has dug this largish pit out the back and keeps muttering something about champagne, marshmallows and mud. I am certain that he will advise us of details.

  45. I’m happy. At the club enjoying a latte and a cigar.

    I see you’ve been into bat for me at the gutter, Bacchus. Thanks for that. It can be a dangerous place.

    I see too that the support for my antagonist is quite vociferous. I expect he’ll be back tomorrow to sink the boot in.

    Funny that I appear to have been guilty of publicly naming him. I don’t recall doing that. 🙂

    Nice to be compared to Greg Jericho. Very flattering. However, notorious or not, which I’m not, the punishment can still be severe.

  46. And here is the reply to the email

    “Virgin basks in the glow as brand Qantas crashes and burns

    Mr Borgehtti was keen to emphasise the support Virgin had received from Canberra as it attempted to boost flights to meet the demand after the grounding.

    “We have had nothing but support from Canberra,” he said.

    Mr Borghetti said he spoke to the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, and the Transport Department’s secretary, Mike Mrdak, shortly after Qantas issued its bombshell announcement on Saturday.

    The government helped in relaxing curfews at Sydney Airport and allowing pilots who fly Virgin aircraft on international routes to be deployed to domestic aircraft.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/virgin-basks-in-the-glow-as-brand-qantas-crashes-and-burns-20111102-1mv8n.html#ixzz1cXPNBM1w

  47. Well Mr. Abbott would need counselling that are run by christians, like the ones he set up for poor woman needing an abortion.

    After all they need to be shown the error of what they were doing. To male sure they got the message, they were shown the ultra-sound.

    Of course any counselling service would need to have experience in setting up christian counseling services. It is a pity one cannot take a ultra-sound, to prove you have an addiction.

    Mr. Abbott is very lucky to be able to have the shadow minister who set up the counselling for abortion available to handle the discussion paper.

  48. The lesson is learnt. I don’t provide links for people who derail threads. And they asked ever so politely, according to the rumor going around over there.

    So that’s what the stains on the windows are fr. Noses attached too heads nodding up and down.

  49. Migs, I have the whole kit and kaboodle documented..you know what a stickler I am for detail. Months and months of it…definitely interesting reading.

  50. Miglo, there are much better things to occupy us. I only go there when I am a little bored. It quickly reminds me of how good this site is.

    At least we can get a drink here.

  51. Time for some dinner. Migs isn’t looking – I might have a glass or two of something a bit better than I can afford from Migs’ cellar 😉

  52. Yes Min – that’s the point they’re missing over at the Gutter – this isn’t just a one off. It’s an obvious pattern of deliberately disruptive behaviour (some would even call this trolling) 🙂

  53. Bacchus, months and months of it as everyone here would know. Entire topics devoted to vilification of other blogs. It gets beyond the point of mere trolling.

    Anyway..and meanwhile back at the ranch..yes please Bacchus, another bundie would be very nice.

  54. Virgin is not letting the grass grow under their feet.

    “…Consumers can now look forward to a price war on fares between airlines as Qantas is forced to slash ticket prices and offer other incentives to entice disgruntled passengers back.

    Virgin also began sales of business-class tickets today for flights from January 18 on the so-called “golden triangle” between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, aiming to break Qantas’s monopoly on the high-end market.

    Virgin has not offered business class before on the world’s fourth-busiest route because it did not have enough aircraft fitted with business-class seats.

    By January 18, Virgin will have configured more aircraft to take business-class seats.

    Mr Borghetti said the business-class tickets would be 30 per cent cheaper than pricing available now.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/virgin-basks-in-the-glow-as-brand-qantas-crashes-and-burns-20111102-1mv8n.html#ixzz1cXVID4iQ

  55. Another bundy for Min.

    How about a Fat Yak for you CU? I enjoyed the one I had earlier.

    And I’ll grab a red to have with dinner.

  56. CU

    and the other good quote from the article

    Virgin Australia’s boss, John Borghetti, said today that the grounding of Qantas’s fleet for two days showed the need for a “strong second carrier”.

    And Albanese is making sure that the Virgin name is in Hansard, as the business that came to the assistance of the PEOPLE.

    And at sometime the “second carrier” may become the “first carrier”,especially of choice.

  57. Yes, beer is my drink of choice. To make matters worse, I like Old.

    I am not much fussed with them fancy new brews.

    If you do not have that, I do not mind some old fashion spirits.

    I am sure aren’t a middle class lady.

    I am afraid I have no class at all.

  58. Old – how about a Guinness or a Kilkenny CU?

    And I beg to differ – you’re all class CU!

    Real wimmin can drink beer these days (In fact my Grandma used to enjoy a cold one on a hot day)

  59. Bacchus, my father also had a stradivarius hidden under the bed for a couple of decades. It said so on the label.

    Must go and eat..foood….

  60. I predict that Qantas are going to rue the day they took on the PM.

    I fear that the lady might be inclined to get even when one attempts to make a fool of her. I have a suspicion that she shows no mercy when riled.

    The lady we know is a very patient, but the time comes to everyone when pushed too far.

    I believe Mr. Abbott has already crossed the line, if the body language of the PM is anything to go by.

    The PM also has another trait, one they upset at their peril. The PM like the tiger is dangerous when enraged.

    Many have forgot, that IR is her home ground. The field where she cut her teeth.

  61. Yes Tom – there’s beer! Migs left the key while he went to the club. What will you have?

    I don’t have a Guinness on a regular basis either. Only on days that start with ‘F’ or ‘S’ and end in ‘day’ 😉

  62. Tom, we women can multi-task

    So can us blokes, we just prefer to them one at a time 😉

    Cheers Bacchus, a cold Cold would hit the spot 🙂

  63. I do note, however, that hockeys major stuff up on thhe 7.30 null last night didn’t even get to the 24 news cycle. All the journos were busily studying their shoelaces at the time perhaps?

  64. Albo, Swan & Shorten didn’t miss him in QT though Tom 😆 Caused Abbott to do his usual “suspension of standing orders” to save any further embarrassment. Didn’t work though – Albo got to speak to the motion and let fly!

  65. I’m back, though without the $70k. 😦

    Now while I’m here I might indulge myself with a few words for all those blog police who visit us regularly. It will give them something to giggle at, as I expect it to do to small minds.

    Excuse me if I drop the odd swear word, Cafe patrons.

    There are bloggers at Gutter Troll who I have a lot of time for and whose contributions at the cesspit I thoroughly enjoy. Toiletboss, armchair (kitty) and TB come to mind from the regular contributors. Others include N5 and Metatron (under his various names). James is OK, and for some strange reason I like Neil of Sydney and el gordo, even though she’s a brown noser of the highest order.

    But it stops there.

    The rest revel in abuse of others. They get great thrill in providing disruption and torment, to the extent that it’s easy to fathom they are of sick mind. But just have a look at the blog master and his shotgun rider and it’s easy to see why.

    They indulge in destroying others, emotionally. Of the five original Cafe members they have broken Joni, Nasking and Ben. After tonight there will only be Min left, and I shudder to think what they’ll try and do to her. Of course, there’s Cu, Sue, Jane, Pip and Patricia, all of whom they’ve started on.

    Speaking of Patricia, the treatment of her was absolutely disgusting. It continued for months. Actually, the ridicule and sniping aimed at most people who come to Cafe is beyond belief.

    From the day we opened their has been a vendetta and as soon as they stand up to the assholes from the gutter they run back and carry on like fucking sooks. Talk about a bunch of righteous pricks.

    And reb loves it. He encourages it. He is one hell of a sick individual.

    About 18 months ago one of the morons at his dump made fun at the death of my wife’s sister. Oh how they laughed. But if someone here refers to Alan Joyce as a gay leprechaun – holy fuck – he has a spastic attack. What a sick, deprived little c*nt he is.

    And then he harps on and on that ToM is treated poorly. Oh, please. Spare me the bullshit.

    Reb do you want to know what you carry on like? A person who was either spoiled rotten as a child or one that was repeatedly abused. Whatever, it has left you scarred, twisted and bitter.

    For 18 months people here have been harassed by you over the slightest little harmless quip. How dare we say anything but lavish praise! Yet the bile that is said at your scumbag blog site is breathtaking.

    ToM, it is astounding that you repeatedly play the victim. Without doubt you are the most vindictive, sniping, bullying troll I’ve encountered in four years of blogging. I doubt too, that I’m alone in those thoughts.

    Sorry assholes, but the Cafe is staying open. In the meantime the pieces of shit that congregate in the gutter can continue to lead lonely, miserable blogging lives.

    I’ve said my bit. It was a waste of time I know, because I’m actually addressing a couple of people who are close to brain dead. Now have your laugh, or is it cry, as someone dared to face you.

    Reb, I understand that ToM isn’t gay. Never mind. Give him good six inches up his arse. He might like it.

  66. Well blow me down. There was a comment waiting for moderation from Tom of Melbourne.

    It was nothing more than a rant. Just trying to provoke me trouble.

  67. My goodness, I just checked the stats again and with all the visits from gutter trash I might have to change our name for the benefit of their patronage.

    Maybe Gutter Whispers or Café Trash.

  68. Back on topic the Hamster wheel had a great skit on the opinion cycle. Check it out if you missed it, it was near the end. Jericho probably had a hand in that and in the skit on science in the news.

  69. Oh, and ToM, in response to your comment that I binned – Nasking confided that his threat wasn’t real. I believed him and he has kept true to his word.

    Honesty is a policy you might like to adopt.

  70. I have never visited gutter trash, would not be inclined to after my extensive travels in rural India many years ago – can still recall what used to be deposited in the gutters (for want of a better name). Then the pigs would come along and eat it – turned me off pork for life.
    Miglo the swami if you want apples

  71. …. continues the swamis used to say if you want apples sit under and apple tree – I guess they would say “If you want shit visit the gutter trash”. We all have choices in life – yes it hurts to fall out with “friends” move on – that’s life.

  72. Bloody Hell, I leave this place for a distraction called work an all hell breaks loose!

    Migs I’m very sorry that the harassment from those gutless wonders at GT has made it necessary for you to quit the Café for the time being. That they have stooped to the depths they have shows their complete lack of character.

    Spiteful, venal, talentless, mean-spirited liar describes The Troll best. He’s not worth 5 seconds of your time, or anybody eles’s.

    You’ll be interested to know that The Troll has reappeared at TPS no doubt to try the same tricks there. He has targeted Feral Skeleton in much the same way as he did first Min, then CU and Sue.

  73. I hope the commenter from TPS doesn’t mind but I’ve copied his/her comment to publish here.

    Swordsters, as a long time lurker here and at CW, may I implore you all to ignore the Troll of Melbourne. I have on occasions visited his/her regular stomping ground, GT, and found that while sometimes humorous, his and his cohorts denigration of this site and others is pretty low. I think we are all aware he has no interest in civilised, courteous debate as is the norm here and at CW, his intention is to disrupt and destroy and I would hate to see the damage that he has wreaked on CW replicated here.

    We don’t know this person, but it is wonderful that he/she shows support for us all.

  74. That’s it guys and gals. Over and out until I leave the public service or the threat from the gutter trash blogger is rescinded.

    It’s been fun. You’ve all been wonderful.

    I’ve enjoyed blogging with just about everybody – yes, even reb – but it only takes one to stuff things up.



  75. Migs, I didn’t win the $70+ badge draw or a meat tray or a slab either but will try again next wednesday. Didn’t see any ducks there either, except for those on the 14th, then again I don’t suppose you really look like a duck. Nil bastardum carborundum or wtte.

  76. Good luck Migs, we’ll miss the duck. The Troll and his fellow trolls won’t prevail here or anywhere.

    We know who has integrity, honour and speaks the truth.

  77. Reb

    I hope you read this because as you know I no longer comment at GT. I have never been rude or abusive or called people names and actually respect the names of both sides of politics.

    I have agreed and disagreed with the current government. I have voted for both sides of politics and have also apologised when I have got it wrong both here and at GT.

    There is humour and there is nastiness laced with sarcasm that is thinly veiled as humour, to denigrate someones intelligence, simply because they have a differing political opinion.

    Those at GT who like to indulge in those type of comments claim that people should toughen up and get some balls or take it on the chin.

    Well I don’t need to take anything on the chin. I believe in debate not derision and unfortunatly I experienced the latter at GT for quite some time despite my refusal to resort to the same low name calling and insulting my intelligence tactics.

    It has become a very sad media and political arena when the main voices being heard are those who can scream and abuse the loudest or believe they are achieving their point by swearing or ridicule, from either side of politics. Question time is an example of the newfound deniugratimg standards of our politicians.

    I refuse to lower my standards at any site and a decision to no longer comment at a blog site could be for only 2 reasons, 1) I have been banned. 2) I have chosen to remove myself from a site where personal snipes begin to regularly happen from a number of individuals who then think someone is a sook or a nancy boy etc,ect for choosing to leave.

    There are some great people who comment at GT and I have never had a problem with yourself either.Quite some time ago I responded to Walrus who is now rat and those comments regrettably continue to apply.

    What I can say is if the same happened here ( although at this stage I have not experienced it) I would once again move on.

    Final word for all: Respect

  78. I’ve travelled overseas and haven’t help but notice that their news is quite different to what we get here in Australia, which isn’t news, but opinions.

    When Murdoch started to strenghten his stake in America there was voiced concern that he’d bring his news style of propaganda and speculation into journalism. How prophetic.

  79. Mr. Abbott’s first question is a beauty. Mr. Abbott is trying to showhe is an economic expert. He is questioning money to be lent to Europe (Don’t know what). Mr Abbott started the questionby saying our eveonomy is in trouble.

    Swan was surprised at the question, well he should be.

    Swan said that he has doen what akk govenments have done.

  80. shane @7.11am, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately it seems that these abusive types are not content to spread mayhem, discord and back stabbing on their own sites.

    They loathe any site where people discuss and debate issues in a civilised way and try any tactic to derail decent sites, including disgusting betrayals of friendship and the lowest of the low, threats to people’s livelihood and reputation, which just confirms what gutless, back stabbing low lifes they are.

    Mendacity and hypocrisy are their finest character traits; I don’t want to soil my hands with their worst.

    Roswell, that’s because media diversity here is a joke and a very bad one. 70% of our print media in the Emperor’s bony grip and more than his fair share of TV news, imo. And he’s trying to get his slimy claws on ABC international news.

    Until he is bebarked and defanged, news coverage in this country will be like reading pravda. The media inquiry can’t come fast enough for me!

    The latest from newmatilda. Assange has lost his appeal on all four counts…… So it’s off to Sweden. Geoffrey Robertson is one of his lawyers.

    I am not so sanguine about Mr Assange. A smug treacherous user from what I’ve read about him. He just sets my teeth on edge.


  81. Mr. Abbott’s mission today is to talk down the economy.

    Swan’s quote of theday.

    I know we live in a post facts world.

  82. Barrie Cassidy has removed himself to a spot nearer to the centre.

    The Coalition’s complex industrial relations challenge

    Despite the best efforts of the Opposition (and some sections of the media) to portray Julia Gillard as the villain in the Qantas grounding, industrial relations remains the Achilles heel for the Coalition, not the Government.

    The point was brought home dramatically when the Prime Minister threw down the challenge to Tony Abbott in the Federal Parliament on Wednesday : “If people want to have a debate about workplace relations in this Parliament, bring it on, bring it on,” she said.

    For a Prime Minister on the ropes on so many issues, it was an unusually bullish challenge. That it resonated and drew no tactical response was testimony to the relative strengths on the issue.

    “Some sections of the media”, mmmm.

  83. Shane, your comment is spot on. It follows with what I am asking, does it matter that we now have a 24-hour opinion cycle, not news cycle. I believe you have answered the question. It does matter. It colours how we all deal and interact with each other.
    Your well thought out comment, illustrates this fact.
    “Mr. Harris also said that the opinion cycle is a nasty place to be. It caters to the lowest denominator in society.”
    We are not talking about an ideology or philosophy. We are we are talking about the fabric of society. The opinionated opinion givers are putting what most value at risk.
    Today’s world of self-opinionated givers is threatening that fabric.
    Many sites are following the lead of the media.
    I would like to give credit and thank Migs and a handful of others, for attempting to build a site that arises above the trend. It is important that Migs and the like few succeed.
    The opinionated, fear this reaction to what media has become. It is not surprisingly that media and their followers have becoming so aggressive, doing all they can, to stop those who have had enough and are fighting back.

  84. Catching up, spot on.

    I would like to give credit and thank Migs and a handful of others, for attempting to build a site that arises above the trend. It is important that Migs and the like few succeed.

  85. “I would like to give credit and thank Migs and a handful of others, for attempting to build a site that arises above the trend. It is important that Migs and the like few succeed.”

    It looks like it hasn’t been a popular move. Is free speech such a crime?

  86. Head Bangers

    In this journalistic world of constant high volume, every story is Metallica. There are no dynamics. The entire media is shouting ALL the time because they’re worried that if they pull back on their Tube Screamers their highly compressed copy won’t be heard over all the other sources of distraction.

  87. Blogwars

    Now these personalities work for each other…GT revels in the cut and thrust (or actually more likely the bludgeon and smash) of the rough and tumble, whereas the Cafe has a more communal atmosphere. It also leads to differing outcomes for the various discussions…the Cafe environment allows for people to discuss their points in a more reasoned manner, whereas GT threads often degenerate into talking point regurgitation, wilful ignorance and refusal to accept the underlying logic behind your opponents arguments.

  88. Or, to put it another way…

    To mind blogs are a form of discussion group, a nerdy virtual example of the book club. As with discussion groups each one has its own personality, so using the blogs mentioned above the Cafe would be closer to the book club variety, whereas GT is closer to blokes hanging around a barbie, or drunk footy players in a locker room.

  89. Roswell, sadly there are those who want to stifle free speech via the denigration of others. That after all is their ultimate aim..it’s all about power and control.

  90. Well Roswell, Mr. Swan did say today that we live in a post fact world.

    That must mean anything goes. We do no longer have to bother about annoying things such as fact an truth.

    It is lovely to hear Mr. Abbott talk about economy, here and overseas. It is shame that much fact is avoided. It is also worrying that he is pitching his comments at the lowest denominator.

    It is just as well for Mr. Abbott that we live in a post fact world. This means we will not see th media questioning what he has said.

    I think Swan thwarted Mr. Abbott censure motion. It is a Shame, I would have like to hear him talk more on the economy.

    Sometimes it is good to give your enemy enough rope to hang them selves.

    I believe in letting them shoot themselves in the foot.

    The government does not have to do it.

  91. The online test for media inquiries

    Media and democracy

    The stakes could not be higher. Democratic societies must shape the accountability of powerful media corporations that, in turn, hold the ability to determine the fate of political parties, and individuals.

    To maintain a democracy we need to sustain credible news media, regardless of the publication platform. And for that we need regulatory frameworks that recognise the increasing influence of online media, and the long-term consequences of not taking appropriate corrective measures in cross-media ownership policy.

  92. Pip, I would disagree with Massive Spray’s comment about blokes hanging around a barbie, or drunken football players in a locker room.

    I think if you behaved the same way in either of these situations you would find yourself quickly snotted.

  93. CU

    as to Cassidy’s article in the Drum. it made me wonder if he has realised there is to be a new chairperson in a month’s time.
    The comments were interesting , quite a few of the readers are fed up with the msm’s view on politics

  94. Anthony G, I agree with you.
    Football players do cop unfair criticism because of a few lads who shouldn’t drink, or whatever.

    I doubt that MS meant ‘all’ football players, and probably doesn’t know what goes on in the locker rooms, and apart from that, the description of the goons at the other place is accurate.

  95. Sue, there could be a number of journalist that have pride in their work that are also questioning or are frustrated at how they do their job.

    The likes Tanner , Harris and others are raising issues that are not far from the truth.

    The way things are now, there could not be much personal satisfaction in what the are producing.

    We need to keep the pressure on. I do not believe all the people can be fooled for all the time.

    I would like to remind politicians did manage to get their message across, back before the days of modern media.

    Maybe they should by-pass the media altogether. Knocking on doors and the high street each Saturday. At every school event. The list is endless.

  96. Look at this rubbish from M Grattan

    “The embattled Julia Gillard has been looking a little better over the past week or two, despite the Qantas crisis.

    Admittedly, amid all the flak it’s hard to get a clear reading of how voters will see her performance on that, but on a reasonable view they should not be too negative.”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/gillard-flies-ever-so-slightly-higher-despite-the-qantas-crisis-20111103-1mxtp.html#ixzz1cg3UnpgA

    What absolute twaddle, Grattan trying to work out how this issue will POLL. For goodness sake Grattan forget this mind numbing BS and do some INSIDER investigative journalism. We are told by Hockey that everyone knew Qantas was going to halt the fleet, BUT you didn’t know or tell. WHY?

  97. Agreed. Sue. Rather than criticising pollies for being obsessed with polls, so called journalists like Grattan, make the polls their story. They seem not to think beyond how any policy or action will be reflected in polling from week to week. That Grattan a senior commentator with many years experience should be more guilty of this than most makes one despair of their ever again being reasonably professional journalism here.

  98. Absolutely, patriciawa. All so called news is now poll driven with journos like Grattan abandoning their principles to flit from poll to poll looking for who knows what?

  99. Laurie Oakes said in today’s world there is no time for journalists to work their trade. Many other tasks have been loaded on them. Everything has to be done at once.

    If this is true, why do not they have the back bone to take action and defend their profession.

  100. CU, we can..and so why can’t Laurie… This has been noted previously, that although we can provide links and are able to do research that MSM journalists seem incapable of this.

    Poor me, says Laurie I have no time to research and write..then get out and go and apply for a job at Bunnings.

  101. In two weeks the technical staff at Channel 9 in Sydney are being moved to French’s Forrest and the hatchet men have been reluctantly looking to cut a few.

    Each new wave of technological innovation in the industry over the past 50 years has created redundancy. This is the cost of progress.

  102. Are you suggesting that there would be zero unemployment if it weren’t for technology? Are you also ignoring the benefits that technology has delivered us, such as reduced consumer costs and employment created by these innovative industries? Personally, I prefer to live in a world devoid of Luddites.

  103. Neil

    The only story I can find in the daily Telegraph begins with the following sentence.

    “QANTAS has warned that it would be forced to ground its entire international fleet if long haul pilots invoked a 48 hour strike clause contained in its protected action claim filed with Fair Work Australia.”

    Long haul pilots took no such action whatsoever and only wore red ties and made public announcements. If this is the so called Telegraph Story they are alluding to then they are lying about the contents of their own story.

    Here is the link.


  104. ‘Are you suggesting that there would be zero unemployment if it weren’t for technology?’

    No, the new technologies create redundancy in some places and opportunities open up elsewhere, but in narrow fields like the technicians at Nine it becomes a career changing opportunity thrust upon them.

  105. El gordo, are you basing your argument around one incident? I accept it’s not an isolated one, but certainly not one that is ground shifting.

  106. el gordo, I am a little lost. I believe that technology has changed how we communicate but fail to see how your comment fits in with this post.

    Personally, I believe news would be better served if the outlets relied less on photos and put more effort into content.

    Sacking a few technical positions might be a step in the right direction.

    Money would be better spent giving the journalist time and resources to ply their trade.

    Maybe the comment would be better made at Open thread.

    Just a thought.

  107. Quote:

    People are visiting blog sites, because they cannot find what they want in the media. They cannot find truth, and facts.

    End quote

    I believe this to be true. The newspapers are full of opinion, from journalists and also from readers. Tracking down actual news is getting harder and harder. Now tv stations have access for people to Twitter responses to what is on air, as well as segments devoted to people’s opinions of the news.

    Why? It’s bad enough journalists ‘value adding’ to news reports (one I saw the other night discussing a serious car accident ended by telling the viewers how much worse it could have been “if” x y and z had been different … wtf?)

    To me the 24 hour news cycle is part of the problem. Rather than using it as an opportunity to have news from around the globe as it happens, or even serious news in review type programmes, the media are using it to run half a dozen ‘news’ items in a loop, interspersed with ‘commentary’ by talking heads and interviewees who often add nothing except spin.

  108. I agree, but I question that we are having a news cycle of any type.

    We have moved on to the opinion cycle.

    As Mr. Swan said in question time during the week. We are now in the post fact era.

  109. *nods* yes, good point. It’s not what I want, but I guess it is the way of the world.

    I wonder if the ‘media’ are responding or leading it? They say responding, but continue to make ‘money saving’ cuts in the very areas which produce factual information (overseas bureaus, for instance), and topping up with advertorial programmes and infotainment. Oh, and ‘reality’ shows.

    Come to think of it, how cynical are we about the whole concept of reality? Or gullible. *Sigh*

  110. Maybe we are at fault, wanting news to be presented as entertainment. I just do not know.

    Mr. Oakes said in the Olle Lecture, if it was true people wanted news the old fashion way and not entertainment, he would still have his shows on TV.

    There is some truth in that.

    Mr. Negus’s show was dumped and replaced with the 7,30 PPM Project. I am not sure what type of show it is, but it appears to need shock jocks.

    Maybe the question should be, does media have an obligation to provide serious news outlets, regardless of the cost. Should it be a public duty.

    What excuse does the ABC have for deserting the field. Money should not be a problem. Their shows also appear to need shock jocks.

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