Canberra Press Gallery named, probably not shamed

Compilation by Barry Tucker                    14 July, 2013

Complaints of news media bias are not new, but are rarely dealt with outside of social media. Last Tuesday, one-time press gallery journalist Kerry-Anne Walsh exposed former colleagues in her book The Stalking of Julia Gillard.

Walsh names those who should be ashamed of allowing political journalism to degenerate to a degree that has rendered it irrelevant for those who are interested in an informed and impartial debate.

Former federal Labor Parliamentary Party leader Mark Latham (no stranger to the rough end of political life and the inner workings of journalism) commented on Walsh’s book in The Australian Financial Review.

“We have never seen a text like this in Australian politics: a press gallery insider, a veteran of 25 years of reporting in Canberra, chronicling the disintegration of the professional ethics of her colleagues.

“If there is an institution more thoroughly broken and discredited than party politics, it is journalism itself.”

“In an era of increased competition and media cost-cutting, getting a story, any story, has become more important than the integrity of news. Off-the-record articles are cheap and easy to produce. They don’t require research skills in the reading of books and policy papers, just a series of anonymous quotes. They are a perfect fit for the demands of the new “fill-the-space” journalism.”

Google links to reviews of the book by the ABC, Fairfax, News Corp and the NoFibs website (and others), and retailers.

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