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Articles from The Failed Estate

The Real Succession

December 10, 2022 - 17:23 -- Admin

‘The Successor’: The title of Paddy Manning’s unauthorised biography of Lachlan Murdoch, oldest son of media giant Rupert, is a conscious play on the immensely popular fiction TV series Succession, which itself is clearly based on the Murdoch dynasty. So if you’re familiar with the series, one of the first […]

How Things Fell Apart

March 26, 2022 - 17:04 -- Admin

“How democracies can be sustained as the likely contests over climate change and energy consumption destabilise them will become the central political question of the coming decade.” Professor Helen Thompson, ’Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century’ Like others, I became aware of Professor Helen Thompson’s astounding breadth of knowledge […]

A Night at the Newseum

July 26, 2021 - 18:38 -- Admin

Unfortunately, for all their skills as observers of the world, journalists are notoriously unable or unwilling to see how the business that subsidised their story-telling actually worked and the economic forces that destroyed them

Gimme Some Truth

July 10, 2021 - 15:46 -- Admin

In the wake of St Barnaby’s latest resurrection/resuscitation, the ABC news flashed up with a story about an aborted attempt by his National Party of opportunists, carpetbaggers and grafters to rewrite the Murray-Darling Basin plan, a 2012 bipartisan agreement about how to use the water that flows down Australia’s longest […]

The Bonfire of our Sanity

September 18, 2020 - 15:18 -- Admin

Any Australian who has paid even cursory attention to this country’s poisonous politics over climate change these past two decades will be familiar with this long and sorry story, but to see it all laid out in sequence, in every depressing detail, is breath-taking. In ‘The Carbon Club’ (Allen& Unwin), […]

All Media is Social

April 24, 2019 - 13:51 -- Admin

With much of Australia’s ‘mainstream’ media at war with its critics on ‘social’ media, it’s worth reflecting on an observation from a journalist who was at the vanguard of breaking down the distinction between the two. In ‘Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now’, Alan Rusbridger […]

The ABC of Trust

September 26, 2018 - 21:51 -- Admin

With Australians trusting media platforms less than do people in just about every other country, why would you set about dismantling the one institution they trust the most? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our 86-year-old taxpayer-funded and constantly beleaguered public broadcaster, regularly tops surveys as one of the country’s few remaining […]

Politics: A View from the Stalls

July 29, 2018 - 13:31 -- Admin

In the aftermath of the ‘Super Saturday’ by-elections, the professional media types squeezed into their box seats on the ABC’s ‘flagship political discussion program ‘Insiders’ to discuss how the political commentariat (not looking at anyone) had got it so wrong, again. Despite the media spending a month telling people that the story […]

Kabuki Economics

May 10, 2018 - 10:45 -- Admin

One of the first budgets I covered as a journalist spelt the end of the career of the man who delivered it. John Dawkins, who had been finance minister in the formidable first Hawke cabinet of 1983, had finally achieved his ambition of taking the treasury portfolio after Paul Keating […]

Journalism as a Cooperative

February 25, 2018 - 20:10 -- Admin

Another parliamentary inquiry into how to rescue public interest journalism has come and gone, having raised barely a ripple. Is it because nobody cares? Is it because there’s no money in it? Is it because there really isn’t a problem to begin with? Or is it because we’re stuck inside […]