Hackademic

Geddit? I’m a journo and an academic.

I asked you guys if I should start a new blog for posts about my research, or post them here amid the nipples and the swearing. Most of you said to post here because you’re too lazy to go elsewhere. I support that. So, here it is. The Hackademic. Your one-stop shop for my posts that don’t involve swearing (usually) and do involve references.

Do we need the mainstream media?
Now, to any journalist who says audiences don’t want “serious” news, I say that just means the way you present serious news is boring. Consider this: a 2004 study from the Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press found that 21 per cent of 18-34-year-olds learned about the presidential campaign from Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which is almost equal to the 23 per cent who got their campaign info from network news (Feldman, 2007).

Incivility, credibility and news websites
I don’t know about you, but I judge a news website by the quality of its news stories and the quality of the reader comments. If all the reader comments parrot the asylum seeker myths about dole bludging terrorists who are after our jobs (again, logic fail), then that website loses credibility.

Gerard Henderson’s ‘diverse’ views
By “diversity”, I’m assuming Henderson means the ABC must contain more of the views of conservative, middle-to-upper-class, old white men. Because, as we all know, the views of this group are scandalously under-represented in Australia’s media.

We’ve been pwned
I read this: “They have come in illegally so we don’t trust them. That is why we are suspicious about it.”

And it made me think of this: “… the “queue jumper” terminology represented not just empty government rhetoric but also an expression of real fears about the “legitimacy” of asylum seekers,” (Romano, 2004, p. 56).

An unquestioning media
Journalists work hard to sustain the myth of the larrikin journo who delights in asking annoying questions of those in power (Frith and Meech, 2007), but the reality is that these days we hardly even ask the most basic questions: why, and how. Those with power are usually our primary sources of information and we don’t even bother checking the truth of their claims.

We should demand something better than this
Why do I care so much? Because newspaper reading is still the best way to raise awareness of public affairs, because they are structured to lure readers to stories they may not have been interested in (Schoenbach et al, 2005). There is no evidence that news websites increase this awareness of public affairs (Lee, 2009). And isn’t the whole point of news about telling the audience what’s going on in their world?

One response to “Hackademic

  1. Pingback: Introducing… The Hackademic | the news with nipples

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