Do as I say, …

Comment by Barry Tucker                    February 11, 2013

It’s always risky to express yourself in writing, especially when you start telling others how they should do stuff.

Barrie Cassidy is a veteran and well-respected journalist, presenter of ABC’s Insiders Sunday morning news analysis program.

In an article in ABC’s The Drum online on Friday, February 8, 2013,   Forget Parliament: brekkie TV is where it counts http://bit.ly/XXVZar, Barrie wrote:

“A report in the Fairfax media gave much prominence to a claim by one MP that Rudd now has 45 votes, an improvement of 14 votes on the party room ballot a year ago. Such unsubstantiated gossip is useless. In the run-up to the last leadership challenge, the ABC reported a small shift in support towards Rudd and named two MPs who had moved across — Kelvin Thomson and Richard Marles. There is a responsibility on journalists to offer up similar evidence when such high impact political matters are reported.

“Yet the Fairfax report, taken up right across the media, including on the ABC, did not name a single MP who had shifted, not one.

“However, what the related frenzy did expose was a dangerous level of exhaustion among some MPs who had fought hard a year ago to keep Rudd at bay. There is not quite the same sense of fury, the determined resistance that characterised the fight a year ago.

And Barrie doesn’t provide any details either. O dear! “There’s a responsibility on journalists to offer up similar evidence …”, but it’s okay if I don’t do it here … and here.

Incidentally, the headline relates to the LAST paragraph. Usually it relates to the FIRST, or summarises the overall content of the story.

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