Not to Say, “I Told You So”, But…

28/07/2019

… I told you so. It’s beyond the realm of predictive speculation – what the current government has done, or been tangled up in, has been blatantly obvious since the beginning. If people paid any attention or read into policies and the like, maybe they wouldn’t be so dismayed and shocked when certain stories break in the media. Although granted, the media is half to blame for most of this ignorance. There are countless examples that could be used, but here are four (mostly from this month).

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MUKGA?

26/07/2019

Make the UK great again – it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as MAGA. But, new PM Boris Johnson is keen to channel his inner Trump populism by promising this elusive greatness. Perhaps they can find it behind all of those austerity measures… or in the biscuit tin of a racist grandma…

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Consumerism Vs Participation in Politics: The Silent Majority Exists

20/07/2019

For an upcoming university unit, I have two books as prescribed core reading: An Introduction to Political Communication by Brian McNair, and Reporting Elections: Rethinking the Logic of Campaign Coverage by Stephen Cushion and Richard Thomas. While I have, I’d say, a reasonable knowledge and understanding (as well as some strong opinions) on those topics – I have, obviously, written (much less professionally) on them myself – it’s always enlightening to read more about the things you think you know. Even if many of the conclusions match previous ones, the difference each time is perspective.

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How Is FaceApp Different to US Apps?

19/07/2019

Because it’s Russian. If this were a YouTube video I’d jokingly say ‘bye’ and put the outro music on. The app’s popularity has blown up in the last week due to its new aging filter, with almost 13 million new users this month alone. But while so many have fallen right into it, others have picked up on privacy concerns – because, shock horror, what if a government could access that data?

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Master Theft: George Calombaris

18/07/2019

See what I did with the title there? You see? Get it…? I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet myself, however, I’m 100% certain it is by no means original. But, it is true. George Calombaris is under repeated fire for the scandal that has rocked his businesses for a few years now, having admitted this week “to underpaying $7.83 million in wages to 515 current and former employees…” His punishment? Not a lot.

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The Art of Headlines

17/07/2019

Headlines and by-lines are carefully crafted. Their purpose is to give part of a story to lure readers further, not to inform them outright. But ironically, many people today appear to do the exact opposite – they will read the headlines, form an opinion, and move on, with an optional share on social media stage in between. Misled readers, unclicked links – who’s to blame, if anyone, for this?

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Language in Journalism

17/07/2019

Language can be used for a myriad of purposes. Whether you wish to try and evoke a particular emotion from a reader/listener, persuade someone of your point of view, or just want to convey information, the language you use can be powerful. This can be done consciously or through habit, but how someone will react to what you say may well depend on the language you use. With this in mind, I turn to the media: how do they use language?

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Quick Quips: What’ll We Lose First, Money or Sanity?

15/07/2019

  • As if anyone cared what her opinion was, Pauline Hanson has pitched in on the Uluru climbing debate. She doesn’t see the ‘cultural sensitivity’ seeing as people ‘have been climbing’ it for years. Reality check – yes, it has been a culturally sensitive issue all those years too, but finally Indigenous voices are being listened to. Just don’t climb Uluru – it’s that simple.
  • Can the media please stop asking Hanson what she thinks?
  • For Australians talking about ‘raiding Area 51’, we have a perfectly good US intelligence base near Alice Springs that could do with some dismantling.

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Freedom of Speech in the Workplace

13/07/2019

I’ve spoken about free speech a few times on this site, but almost always in a general sense. Noam Chomsky, to paraphrase, says that if you don’t believe in freedom of speech for views you disagree with then you don’t believe in it at all – no matter how opposite or offensive said views might be. Consequence is another thing entirely, and the workplace is an interesting – and rather dangerous – side of this.

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Harris, Biden, and Israel

09/07/2019

Biden is clearly the corporate and ‘normal’ choice for the Democratic nomination in the US, but there has also been much focus on Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Specifically, Harris attacked Biden regarding his close ties with segregationists and his record on busing. She appears to be gaining momentum in the debates and national conversation, but there is a touch of hypocrisy behind the campaign.

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