The Blot Report

Discussing World Issues

I'm working on a research paper analysing the interaction between journalists and the audience on twitter. What we've found so far is that, contrary to what we often hear from journalists, replies to news items are not full of what could be deemed 'personal abuse' but instead show the audience is pleading with journalists to look at stories from different perspectives, and to do a better job of verifying information - for example. These critiques of journalists' work are almost entirely received defensively by journalists as 'trolling'. I thought about this when I read the different perspectives from journalists in your [Tim Dunlop] piece. Apart from Amy Remeikis, they all did feel quite defensive in justifying what they're doing. I disagree that the audience don't 'understand' journalism - they know how important it is to democracy and when they see it being done badly - for whatever reason - they complain. And rightly. It's their democracy. I also don't think the journalists collectively can discount just how damaging the obvious bias of Murdoch has had on faith and trust in journalism as an institution. It has become a rule of thumb that most Murdoch journalists are out to campaign for causes rather than objectively reporting facts. When the audience has acknowledged that the largest media organisation in the country is producing what looks more like propaganda than news, it's only natural that they'll draw parallels between this bias, and bias creeping into other outlets - particularly the ABC of late. Journalists don't seem to want to acknowledge the problem of Murdoch bias, and instead host Murdoch journalists and commentators in a collegiate way on their panel shows etc., and sometimes even defend them as 'friends' when they're being criticised. As as media researcher interested in the sustainability of quality journalism, the lack of concern from journalists about the impact of Murdoch bias on trust in journalism is the elephant in the room amongst discussions of 'disruption' and 'doing more work with less resources'.

Victoria Fielding
Bitnami