Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave an impassioned speech in Parliament the other day on misogyny which caused the world’s media to pay attention. However the Australian media seemed inattentive or unaware of its importance.
I don’t agree with every decision of the current Labor government, and remain disappointed on a number of fronts. But it was a brilliant performance: the PM clearly spoke with conviction and passion – something that has been lacking for some time.
Within minutes of her speech, people in my work were talking positively about it. Tweeters and social media took to it with gusto and shared it around the world.
That’s how powerful her words were.
This public and social media response prompted journalist Jacqueline Maley to ask the question “did mainstream media get it wrong?”
The bubble of the Canberra press gallery has been decisively popped this week.
After Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s scorching oration against Opposition leader Tony Abbott on Tuesday, the gallery, those of us writing and broadcasting in the so called ‘mainstream-media’, came to a general consensus: sure, Gillard had given a great speech, but it was founded on hypocrisy. Many of the nation’s premier political commentators focused on this fact – that the speech was made trying to save the political career of Peter Slipper, himself accused of disrespect to women.
But as the press gallery pundits (mostly middle-aged men, it must be noted) scribbled and spoke, something very different was happening on the internet and in the community…
Yes, mainstream media has got it wrong.
On this issue and so many others.
I believe this: on one of the most important issues of the 21st century – environmental collapse – the media has not merely ignored the problem, but have mislead the public.
When future histories are written, the myopia and subsequent collapse of public trust in the “old media” (radio, newspaper and television) will be related to this failure to inform.
“Old media” should have helped educate our society about the risk of climate change.
Instead, print, radio and television either ignored the issue or facilitated denial.
When I began this blog I was an avid reader and watcher of “old media”.
I rarely depend on those sources for news – except to critique the gross mischaracterization of science.
As a blogger and commentator I don’t “live off” the hard work of old media and hard-working journalists.
I go direct to the sources; I bypass the gate keepers who for far too long have got it wrong.
I’ll go to the science, and scientific community. I’ll turn to other informed bloggers and commentators outside the media. Thanks to the Internet, information and facts are readily available. As an individual passionate about finding out about the world around me, I ignore “old media”.
The old media is dead.
Long live the new media.