"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

The fall and fall of The Mercury

Image for The fall and fall of The Mercury

Bob Burton. Pub: Dec 18, 2014
25.01.15 5:15 am

The Mercury – Tasmania’s largest circulation newspaper – is in deep, deep trouble. A leaked News Corporation Australia’s financial report from July 2013 provides a stark insight into the rapidly deteriorating finances of the Murdoch empire’s three Tasmanian newspapers:  The Mercury, the Sunday Tasmanian and Tasmanian Country.

• Mark, in Comments: As was written in one of the sidebar sites: Out in the boonies the media is a rough deal. The reporters have an average age of 12. The editors are crusty and conflicted. And the money is running out. They report what they want to happen. Potential mines. Potential pulp mills. Potential farms. Potential developments. Potential money drops from Canberra. Potential Chinese buy-ups. News is all about crossing fingers. At best, 5% of the potential comes true. If you dig through old newspapers you’ll find stories about the same mines and the same “100’s of jobs” they were going to create. Five years ago. Ten years ago. Fifteen years ago. Convince people something’s around the corner and you might convince someone to advertise. You might keep your newspaper alive. Sadly, you don’t inform anyone of anything. http://www.idiottax.net/2014/11/my-abc.html

• Bob Burton, in Comments: … It is also worth pointing out that in the last five years, according to ABS population data, Hobart’s population increased by over 8,800 (2008 to 2012). In spite of this underlying population growth, readership of hard copies of The Mercury continues to fall. The trends affecting The Mercury aren’t unique to Tasmania. However, as the smallest state, Tasmania’s media may well be hollowed out so quickly that it becomes the exemplar of a failed media state.  Sure, we will still have media which cover sport, car crashes, major court cases, major events and some political debates initiated by existing parties but more probing journalism already largely seems to be a quaint thing of the past. Which is why the question on who will cover hard local news in Tasmania remains a critical issue. Ironically, this topic is one which the existing outlets are wary of covering, perhaps because to do so would require an acknowledgement that there is a significant problem. Self-reflection tends not to be a strong point of most media outlets.

Read more

29 comments

Fact-Checking Julia Jabour and Indi Hodgson-Johnston

Narelle Bonarski* Pic*
23.01.15 5:00 am

Image for Fact-Checking Julia Jabour and Indi Hodgson-Johnston

Over the past few months, Dr Julia Jabour and Ms Indi Hodgson-Johnston have published media opinion pieces that are critical of the conservation group Sea Shepherd. Are all of their claims valid?

Read more

2 comments

Dickens on our corrupt legal system

Evan Whitton, @EvanWhitton1 http://netk.net.au/whittonhome.asp . Pic: of Charles Dickens
19.01.15 1:00 am

Image for Dickens on our corrupt legal system

Justinian August 11, 2006 For those interested in the law, Sunday night is Bleak House. We fill a beaker of Armagnac, set fire to a long Cuban, and sit back to enjoy the triumph of the adversary system and the case that never ends.

Read more

3 comments

Maxine’s story from the Trenches v Julia’s story from the Benches

John Biggs. Pic: ABC. Pub: Jan 12
13.01.15 4:15 am

Image for Maxine’s story from the Trenches v Julia’s story from the Benches

… All that said, however, her achievements were in fact considerable. She negotiated a minority government that survived the full term despite relentless attacks from the Opposition and the press, which says a lot for her negotiating skills. That government passed important legislation, such as the CPRS, the national disability scheme,  the mining tax (diluted though both these taxes had become), the Gonski education reforms and unfairness in superannuation tax. This legislative history in one term is more than Howard was able to do in three terms with majority government. Despite Tony Abbott’s incessant rants to the contrary, the performance of her government was also better than the Howard Government’s on inflation, interest rates, household savings, personal tax rate, company tax rate, international credit ratings foreign exchange reserves current account as a percentage of GDP, balance of trade. It was a successful government by any standards.

The problem was that her government wasn’t perceived to be successful thanks to lies and vicious attacks by the Opposition, all echoed in the Murdock press. But probably even more important, her ministers didn’t explain their policies. Rudd had real problems with the programmatic specificity needed for adequate communication and he was continually trying to undermine her; Wayne and Gillard spoke in a way that invited people to switch off; and the distraction and hectic pace of the change had placed on ministers a heavy workload. Whatever the reasons, the lack of adequate communication with the public was a grave mistake. They should have had, and deserved to have had, better PR about their work.

If McKew’s account is even only partly true – and it is surely more than that – there seems to be little hope for the ALP as it is at present. It has lost its roots and is now a principle-free zone driven by spin and polling. The elected leaders governing the country were so craven, and/or so easily manipulated, that they did not speak out against what they later admitted to be patently wrong: deposing a popular leader in his first term as prime minister.The culture McKew describes is one of disrespect, bullying, game-playing and big-noting yourself if you want to survive. How can you represent your electorate when so hog-tied? This is not representative democracyor even any sort of democracy, for once elected you become the creature of an unelected minority. All form and no substance. That is not the way to govern a country.

Read more

20 comments

NATION: Satirists’ rallying cry is being made by Tony Abbott, a caricaturist’s dream

Urban Wronski. Pic: of Tony Abbott
12.01.15 3:14 am

Image for NATION: Satirists’ rallying cry is being made by Tony Abbott, a caricaturist’s dream

… Abbott has once again used the news to inflict his own agenda upon us. He peddles his own bigoted post-modern Manichean struggle between good and evil. He would have us in a straitjacket of fear and beholden to the leader as protector, yielding freely up our metadata, our privacy, our right to know the truth and other democratic rights, yet carrying on as normal as his far right government strengthens the role of the state in a desperate attempt to shore up its shaky foundations. Endless conflicted and compromised, he cranks the hurdy-gurdy of the rhetoric of freedom and freedom of speech while his government systematically goes about undermining its very foundations. …

Daily Mail: Hacker group Anonymous ‘declare war on jihadists’ after Charlie Hebdo massacre by pledging to target terrorists on social media

Read more

1 comments

How to be an ace reporter

Evan Whitton @EvanWhitton1 Pic*
12.01.15 2:00 am

Image for How to be an ace reporter

Never write down to your readers; anyone stupider than you can’t read. - American editor to cub reporter

Read more

0 comments

Stand up ... before our capacity to do so is stolen from us ...

Urban Wronski* Satire* Pub: Jan 8
09.01.15 4:00 am

Image for Stand up ... before our capacity to do so is stolen from us ...

Fast as a rat up a drainpipe, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, wasted no time in seizing the opportunity to link the tragic killing of twelve employees and the injuring of eleven others in an horrific attack on the staff of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris with the Sydney siege despite the two incidents being completely unrelated and totally different.

Buzzfeed: 23 Heartbreaking Cartoons From Artists Responding To The Charlie Hebdo Shooting

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

• Greg James, in Comments: Support for the security services should be mandatory and the thought police should all be awarded medals, grog and pay rises for their bravery under criticism. All beaurocrats should be given a license to kill, not just the Police and secret guys. I say it is time to organise against difference, no more sarongs on our beaches, this type of suppression of women created by the fashion industry is a conspiracy against the bikini and our beautiful budgie smugglers and matching hairy legs.

Read more

33 comments

After the Charlie Hebdo attack, we must resist the clash-of-civilisations narrative

Homa Khaleeli. Guardian
08.01.15 10:00 am

Image for After the Charlie Hebdo attack, we must resist the clash-of-civilisations narrative

Terrorism feeds on society’s fears – and the relentless questioning of Muslims’ loyalty plays into its hands

Guardian Opinion: Those guns were trained on free speech

Jessica Reed, Guardian: Charlie Hebdo’s spirit will endure, despite this atrocity

• Use the TT NEWS dropdown bar (top nav bar) for the latest news/opinion from different sources

Guardian: Charlie Hebdo’s history of challenging and angering fundamentalists

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

Lissa Johnson: The Political Capital Of Fear: How It Helps Governments And Why

Read more

37 comments

Gamergate: Swedish gaming companies tackle sexism in video games

Guardian, via Isla MacGregor
05.01.15 2:50 am

Image for Gamergate: Swedish gaming companies tackle sexism in video games

The industry has been catering for the stereotypical male gamer for too long, but in Sweden games companies are taking action

Read more

1 comments

The grotesque must-read of the year

Martin Flanagan, Saturday Reflection, The Age
05.01.15 2:44 am

Image for The grotesque must-read of the year

Former Monty Python member John Cleese said this book woke him in the night scared. Why? Because at one level, Hack Attack by Nick Davies is the fast-moving story of how the illegal phone-hacking being practised by journalists at News of the World on a mass scale was exposed. But, at an even more disturbing level, it is the map of an unholy web of influence that deformed British democracy.

WHAT YOU WON’T READ IN THE PAPERS: JAMES DOLEMAN’S SMART SUMMATION OF THREE SUN TRIALS SO FAR ...

Read more

0 comments

The storm clouds gather; the goal posts recede ...

Evan Whitton @EvanWhitton1 Pic*
05.01.15 1:30 am

Image for The storm clouds gather; the goal posts recede ...

8 December 1983 LONDON, WEDNESDAY. The Oxford-Cambridge Rugby match has intrigued me since I read Archie Macdonell’s description in England, Their England.

Read more

0 comments

The very best for Chrissy/New Year ...

Editors. Pic*
24.12.14 6:09 am

Image for The very best for Chrissy/New Year ...

Now where did that go ...? The year - a splendid one for Tassie Times with ever-growing readership and some quite incredible articles by readers. Thank you for all your contributions ... without you there is no Tassie Times! We’re shutting down for a coupla weeks ... but will be back in the New Year. Take a break from commenting ... ‘cause we’re taking a break from moderating. Blessings to you Every One !x

Read more

5 comments

But wait ... there’s more: TT’s Tasmanians of the Year

Lindsay Tuffin. Pub: Dec 19
24.12.14 3:45 am

Image for But wait  ... there’s more: TT’s Tasmanians of the Year

Good things come in Threes ... no better exemplified than last night at The Hope and Anchor Tavern where TT knighted this year’s Tasmanian Times Tasmanians of The Year. And they are, from left, Martyn Goddard, Donzo Knowler, and Tom Ellison. ... all holding their - courtesy of the wonderful Artery - framed awards. A marvellous celebration of the wondrous contributions to society made by these three selfless writers. As the awards’ citation says: Keep Writing ... [The interloper in the middle is Lindsay (Poncy Wankers always talk of themselves in the Third Person)]. PS: We gatecrashed the Island party. Thanks Guyzzzz!x

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: Congratulations to the TT award winners. I hope that Will calls you all in to Parliament to congratulate you all on the fine Tasmanian contribution you have all made. I may not hold my breath on that one, but thankyou all for the good work. Tres Hombres indeed.

Read more

9 comments

News Corp’s siege coverage built on a ‘take-no-prisoners’ culture

Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Advancing Journalism at University of Melbourne. Pub: Dec 21
22.12.14 4:15 am

Image for News Corp’s siege coverage built on a ‘take-no-prisoners’ culture

“AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats.” In one brutally insensitive tweet, Rupert Murdoch told the world everything it ever needed to know about the central tenet of the News Corp culture: nothing matters except the story.

Read more

9 comments

What kind of ABC do we want?

Prof Don Aitken, via Bill Rowlings OAM CEO, Civil Liberties Australia http://www.cla.asn.au/ Pic*
22.12.14 3:15 am

Image for What kind of ABC do we want?

So far the debate has been mostly about funding, Don Aitkin says. But it’s equally important for Australians to decide exactly what type of ABC we want.

Read more

0 comments

What can we say? Pakistan ...

The Editors
18.12.14 4:35 am

Image for What can we say? Pakistan ...

Three people dead: a barrister and mother of three young children, a café manager and a deeply troubled and threatening man with a gun. An unknowable number of lives were profoundly affected for the worse last night after the traumatic events in the Lindt café in Martin Place: family, friends, the freed hostages, police, colleagues and the broader community. And then there was the global newspaper mogul gloating about what one of his newspapers did. What can we say?

Guardian: The Pakistan Taliban horror … The Nobel Peace prize-winner, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban two years ago for speaking out in favour of education for girls, said the Peshawar attack had left her heartbroken. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this.” Even the Afghan Taliban condemned the attack as “against Islam” …

Guardian: John Kerry: Pakistan school attack is ‘gut wrenching’ - video

Watch Russell Brand: Don’t Let Sydney Siege Claim Your Freedom: Russell Brand The Trews (E212)

Read more

23 comments

TONIGHT: TT H@A ... Come on Barbie, let’s go party ...

Lindsay Tuffin. Pub: Dec 15
18.12.14 4:30 am

Image for TONIGHT: TT H@A ... Come on Barbie, let’s go party ...

If you are passing the Hope and Anchor Tavern,  65 Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS 7000, , TONIGHT, Thursday, December 18, 6pm onwards, DROP IN ... and join the Island and Tassietimes’ workers for an ale, or an OJ or even a sparkling mineral water. Tis the season to be jolly ... and the time to announce the 2014 TT Tasmanian of the Year ...

• Gwenda, in Comments: ’ll raise my glass to TT in absentia, in recognition of the compulsive and sometimes maddening reads offered up over the year.  Thanks to all the thoughtful, incisive and stimulating writers (you know who you are) - and compliments of the season to the rest of you. My nomination for TT Tasmanian of 2014 is Richard Flanagan for his remarks on giving away his prize money (apparently one was enough?) and for getting Lindsay on ABC TV!

Read more

4 comments

Who was Man Haron Monis, the man behind the Sydney siege? Pakistan ...

ABC. ABC pic of Man Haron Monis
16.12.14 5:15 am

Image for Who was Man Haron Monis, the man behind the Sydney siege? Pakistan ...

Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis is the man police believe was behind the siege at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

ABC: In Pictures ... Dramatic photos show hostages emerging from Lindt cafe

ABC: #illridewithyou: support for Muslim Australians takes off following Sydney siege

• Use the TT NEWS Dropdown (top nav bar) for different interpretations of the Breaking News ...

Juan Cole, Informed Comment: The Banality of Terrorism: Sydney’s other Hostage Crisis, of 1984

Guardian: The Pakistan Taliban horror … The Nobel Peace prize-winner, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban two years ago for speaking out in favour of education for girls, said the Peshawar attack had left her heartbroken. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this.” Even the Afghan Taliban condemned the attack as “against Islam” …

Guardian: John Kerry: Pakistan school attack is ‘gut wrenching’ - video

Watch Russell Brand: Don’t Let Sydney Siege Claim Your Freedom: Russell Brand The Trews (E212)

Read more

24 comments

When the Forces of Media Disruption Hit Home

David Carr, New York Times
08.12.14 1:45 am

Image for When the Forces of Media Disruption Hit Home

I’ve been around long enough to have once marveled at the improbability of the fax machine — that can’t be real! — but I like to think of myself as modern. Which should mean that I’m a big fan of disruption, but that depends on who is being disrupted, doesn’t it?

• The Wayne Crawford award ...

AND,

Wikipedia: Metropolitan Police role in the news media phone hacking scandal

Read more

0 comments

Don’t miss Defendant 5, Mon Dec 8, ABC2 9.30pm. FREE tickets to preview ...

ABC. Pub: Dec 2
03.12.14 4:17 am

Image for Don’t miss Defendant 5, Mon Dec 8, ABC2 9.30pm. FREE tickets to preview ...

Watch The Trailer Here:

http://youtu.be/sKVEokzpy9M

Download:

DEF5.pdf

Read more here

• We have a limited number of free tickets available for our private preview screening of Defendant 5 and Director’s Q & A. WHEN: Tonight, 6 - 8 pm WHERE: State Cinema, North Hobart. If you would like to join us, please contact me. Heidi Lee Douglas Writer/Director, HERE

Read more

0 comments

Back to Top of Column 2 —  Click to Page 2, 3, 4, 5, The Rest

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Hobart Baroque? No. Brisbane Baroque 

Media

Media

ABC: Fresh commitment to regional Australians 

Arts

Arts

Integral Ita 

Books

Books

Plate/Grape

Plate/Grape

Travel

Travel

What's On

What's On

Satire

Cartoons

Comments

Comments

#1 A pity you can’t be more gracious towards Leo Schofield - a man who has achieved much and was well - placed nationally…

Funding and Disclosure

TV Tonight

Daily Kudelka

Leunig

Martyn Turner

Inkcinct

Tasfintalk

The Automatic Earth

Twitter Feed - #politas

Dr Kevin Bonham

The New Daily

The Saturday Paper

Crikey

Truth in Media

The Intercept

Blogger Me

BuzzFeed

Daily Mail Australia

ABC News Fact Check

Politifact

Bluestone Magazine

Gizmag

No Fibs

ABC Vote Compass

Learn Discover Access

TROVE at National Library

The Guardian - Australian Edition

The Global Mail

The Conversation

Eureka Street

3 Quarks Daily

The Idiot Tax

MMT

Obituaries

Tasmanian Food Guide

Tasmanian Bands

Independent Australia

ABC Radio National

David Horton

Failed Estate

Imbibe

Feeding the Chooks

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The Racket

Paige Loves Books

Don Knowler

Tim Squires

Justinian

Gazette of Law & Journalism

The Culture Concept Circle