Author Archives: Michael West and Kim Wingerei
Google good, Facebook bad. That sums up mainstream media coverage of the Coalition government’s bizarre new media code. That’s because Google paid up, Facebook decided it was extortion and called Josh Frydenberg’s bluff, banning Australian news. The mainstream media has … Continue reading
Google is threatening to withdraw its search functions; Facebook is threatening to remove news posts. Not idle threats but with its flawed media legislation, the federal government is using the wrong solution for a problem that requires regulation.
Opposition is growing both locally and globally to media laws introduced by the Coalition Government requiring tech giants Google and Facebook to pay for displaying original news content. Why should our domestic monopolists get preference?
After a year of reports, submissions and public inquiries – and much posturing on all sides – the Government has finally delivered the draft legislation designed to bring Google and Facebook to heel. But who is holding the leash?
Independent media, online and print, continues to grow. Meanwhile, traditional media is under threat on many fronts, driven by stalling readership and declining revenue. News Corp, in particular, is losing out in the online audience stakes.
Otto von Bismarck (in)famously said: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best”. It is a sentiment I abhor.
We live in a particracy – the party-room rules and we are run by clever politicians, not leaders with courage and the fortitude to make tough decisions. Or as Charlie Chaplin put it in The Great Dictator – “we are … Continue reading
On one side of the courtroom: TPG, a consumer-oriented telco grown large on acquisitions and minimalist customer service, run by a reclusive billionaire. Next to them is Vodafone, a mobile carrier with a global brand, the perennial number three in … Continue reading
As much as we should welcome the long overdue Federal ICAC, without redefining what should be the limitations of political influence it will be another toothless body which will struggle for relevance and fail in its intent.
Facebook’s Libra launch has the potential to propel Facebook into a major player in consumer payments and credit services and may turn out to be one of the most profound change to world’s financial systems since the abolishment of the … Continue reading
Israel Folau is a sad case of a sports star failing to understand his own religion, his role and his contractual obligations all at once.
NBNCo is not just a costly technological failure, but a policy debacle that has cost Australias taxpayers billions of dollars that should have been better spent, as well as contributing to the severe devaluation of a whole industry.
Independent media continues to grow. With 21.7% growth in online audience in the last quarter sites such as this are taking significant mind- and marketshare from the mainstream infortainment giants who continue to lose readers both online and offline.
The Shadow Cabinet mirrors the Government in more ways than intended, uninspiring in its uniformity, offering limited hope for new beginnings or imagination.
In the (in)famous words of Donald Horne: “Australia is a lucky country run by mainly second-rate people who share its luck.” The new Morrison Government is a mostly uninspiring group lacking in diversity and bereft of vision. A staggering lack … Continue reading
This was supposed to be the election about climate action. It was the most important issue for voters, yet official government policy remains climate inaction as the opposition was once again divided on the issue and failed to make sufficient … Continue reading
This election proved to be no exception after all – politics is a battle over small margins, apathy reigns supreme among voters, the particracy rules and democracy is the loser every time.
Independent media continues to grow apace, while mainstream media is at best stagnant. Based on data provided by SimilarWeb – a global online traffic measurement service – independent media traffic has grown by 9.76% from November 2018 to February 2019*. … Continue reading
Even if all the 76 recommendations of Kenneth Hayne’s Banking Royal Commission were to be implemented, not much would change. There is a reason bank stock rallied after its release, bank board members and executives have little to fear.
The franking credits scare campaign by the LNP is working. Once again, sensible tax reforms is sacrificed on the altar of short-term politics and the absence of a holistic approach. Once again politics gets in the way of policy making. … Continue reading
The Economist’s Democracy Index is not all doom and gloom – there is hope, but it requires that we engage. Democracy is about much more than the next election!
The Economist’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently published their annual “Democracy Index”, a comprehensive report on the state of democracy around the world. It warns that democracy is in decline after three decades of growth, and of the emergence of populist … Continue reading
As the Brexit chaos continues, it is worth reflecting on the background that led Britain to where it is today – with no ending in sight. The root cause lays in how the Westminster system is failing to serve the … Continue reading
To conclude my series of posts on media power and politics, it is worth highlighting how independent media is on the rise in Australia. As we head into the new year – elections looming – trust in politicians at an … Continue reading
Much has been said and will continue to be said about the power that Rupert Murdoch wields in our very concentrated media landscape. It is a landscape that continues to change and the ACCC just released the preliminary report on … Continue reading
If this week of political machinations, tactical manouverings and partisan grandstanding hasn’t proved beyond doubt what the real problem with our democracy is, I don’t know what will. We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a particracy.
Assuming that come May next year Australia will have had its 7th Prime Minister in ten years, it puts us on par with Italy – the erstwhile lead exponent of revolving door politics. Despite being the fourth most populous country … Continue reading
As the political circus goes from bad to worse, it is important to not only demand that our politicians improve their behaviour, but the media has an equally important role to play. Journalists and the media already have a code … Continue reading
As we decry what many say is the most incompetent Government in living memory, it’s important not to fall into the trap of just waiting for it to be replaced, thinking all will be well henceforth. We need to look … Continue reading