Mark’s article in The Drum last week honed in on the role of the media in Rudd’s downfall (among other issues raised). Now Matthew Ricketson, Professor of Journalism at the University of Canberra, has written an excellent essay for Crikey on that very question:
The extraordinary events that took place in the nation’s capital last week give us a good opportunity to get some purchase on the big questions of media. They allow us to look at what journalism is, the extent to which it has changed in recent years, and the implications for its future.
The speed and unremitting pressure of the 24-hour news cycle did play a part in the downfall of the prime minister, just as you could argue that it played a part in the rapid turnover of Liberal Party leaders that followed former prime minister John Howard’s ousting at the 2007 election.
The 24/7 tweet-now, think-later media omniverse is not the sole or even the biggest contributor, but it is surely part of the range of elements, along with the prime minister’s autocratic style, his disavowal of the ALP factions and his tendency to promise?—?and promise with religious fervour?—?more than he could deliver, that led to his demise.
Within the news cycle he was captive to the suite of competing news organisations’ opinion polls, which are reported and parsed in the kind of detail that literary critics have lavished on Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Read the rest here.
NB: I think we’ve had enough commentary on a host of threads over the last week on the merits of the leadership challenge. Please confine your threads to the specific issues raised by Ricketson on the media and its influence on politics.
Elsewhere: Guy Rundle.