The SMH appears to be following Murdoch’s media in replacing political coverage with endless leadership speculation. Political editor Peter Hartcher for instance has added little to the SMH for months other than “Gillard bad, Rudd returning, ALP hopeless”.
Hartcher (and others) have been running story after story (see picture for just how bad that is) on nothing but rumours (that never seem to eventuate).
I only hope they’ve only been paid for the one article – because that’s all they’ve been turning in for months now.
I understand blind pro-Coalition rhetoric from the band of plutocrats/ex-coalition MP types the SMH gives ample coverage to (e.g. Vanstone, Henderson) but political editors should be somewhat more balanced. There’s absolutely no balance in the political coverage that Peter Hartcher is providing.
This scripted coverage is called “The Narrative” and the rules of it at a high level are simple:
- talk down the ALP as incompetent/unstable and bury achievements,
- talk up the Liberal Party as competent/stable and bury failures.
It explains why we hear little of the coalition/journalist/Ashby scandal, know nothing of the cost of Abbott’s 1.5% baby leave tax or the less-than-Broadband NBN alternative – those things do not help The Narrative or the coalition.
This is why the current media self regulation needs more accountability – Journalists need a push to step away from the comfort of “The Narrative” and do real journalism again. Otherwise – I suggest we just replace these people with an automated Gillard hate text generator – I could replace half the political writers in the country for a fraction of the cost.
PS A look at Harcher’s wikipedia bio suggests he may have something to gain by Rudd getting back in – his publishing efforts around Rudd would be worth more.