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Monday message board

July 24th, 2006

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. As usual, civilised discussion and absolutely no coarse language, please.

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  1. July 24th, 2006 at 09:06 | #1

    Sorry – I should have waited for Monday message board to link to this interesting development.

    “Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’.” Discuss:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article1191932.ece

  2. Terje (say TAY-A)
    July 24th, 2006 at 11:56 | #2

    John Humphreys 30/30 plan for reforming taxation and welfare in Australia rates a mention in todays Editorial section of The Australian newspaper. John Humphreys contributes comments on this blog from time to time.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19886156-7583,00.html

    Also in that Editorial was a mention of “Phil Lewis” of the University of Canberra who has written some interesting stuff on the relationship between minimum wages and unemployment.

    http://www.cis.org.au/Policy/spring05/polspr05-3.htm

  3. O6
    July 24th, 2006 at 14:36 | #3

    Keating on media reform
    He’s in Crikey at http://crikey.com.au/articles/2006/07/24-1217-8795.html and in today’s Fin. You know what he’s going to say, but he’s still worth reading. The government’s proposed changes will lead to loss of media diversity and more power in the same few hands.
    Why is no one but a few hasbeens worried?

  4. wilful
    July 24th, 2006 at 16:25 | #4

    Why is no one but a few hasbeens worried?

    Could it be because the mainstream media don’t want you to know about it? And anyone who does know much about it, is clearly far too engaged in society to be remotely relevant.

  5. David Michie
    July 24th, 2006 at 18:00 | #5

    You can also listen to Keating on the World Today here (listen from 1:00 onwards) transcript here.

    Why is no one but a few hasbeens worried?

    I’m more than worried, I’m fightened. Howard’s Ministry of Truth can’t be too far away.

  6. July 24th, 2006 at 18:43 | #6

    I’ve been tracking it, as have the mainstream media, with the odd bubble particularly in the Oz which complains about the ‘reforms’. Murdoch being opposed to them in their present form.

    Moving out from my own responses, I suspect that a lot of people are thinking like this:

    1. The print media is under stress financially anyway, from competition for time and ads, as the digital media advance. We feel sentimental about Fairfax, but Fairfax is a hardline capitalist corporation anyway which has steadily eroded its social good to increase profits and deal with the costs of going digital. So why grieve for something that is going rotten anyway?

    2. It doesn’t seem to matter that one company might own a paper, a radio station and a TV station because they each have a different relationship with opinion. They seem to be driven more by the nature of the medium than a specific political position.

    That position may well be true in a narrow political sense. The real irritation is likely to be the river of cross-media promotion that relentlessly pushes us to targeted programs. The ABC is providing us a bit of a taste, as it tentatively cross promotes TV in radio.

    3. Actually media opinion is rilly driven by the journos packhunting ways. Who owns them doesn’t matter. Lot of truth to that. However, people who live in one medium towns like Adelaide and Perth will tell you the world view is oppressively monoscopic and tediously diminished. A sense of living in an infantilised community.

    4. People don’t have local experience of their media owned by a multinational. It might be worth noting, though, that Ten is effectively run by CanWest. It pays obsessive attention to its demographic, and has little loyalty either to local politics or culture, except as a marketing ploy.

    People might like to think about what happened to so many journals when they were bought by Reed Elsevier.

    I suppose we should also anticipate a nasty debt burden once the companies are bought and sold; television reform should be based on the fact that profits are excessive, so the owners can sustain a higher level of decent programming. That profit could disappear into serving debt, and we will have lost our argument.

    Am I worried? You betcha. Leunig had a wonderful rant once against people who are “miserablising” our world. These bastards are doing just that.

  7. derrida derider
    July 25th, 2006 at 11:18 | #7

    To me, it beggars beleif that we now have the technical capacity to easily have 100 TV channels in most of Australia but the incumbents are so powerful that we are restricted to just 3 commercial networks.

    This really is a most flagrant betrayal of an obvious public interest in favor of private monopolies – it’s like England under Charles I.

  8. Terje (say TAY-A)
    July 25th, 2006 at 11:23 | #8

    If you were to refer to websites as “media outlets” or “channels” then there is already loads of diversity.

    I agree though that we should open up the spectrum for use by many more TV broadcasters. Spectrum is the ultimate government owned coduit and they should be doing more to provide new media and communications companies with access.

  9. July 26th, 2006 at 12:02 | #9

    Skilled Migration a FailureSkilled migration a failure: report

    Australia’s skilled migration system has been branded an “abject failure in public policy” for importing thousands of foreign IT workers while Australian graduates struggle to find a job.

    A new report published by the Centre for Population and Urban Research, at Victoria’s Monash University, also says Australian graduates disadvantaged by the move should be given extra training at government expense.

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