Posts Tagged ‘New Media’

RIP Big Media: An In Depth Look At How Van Jones, Tea Parties & ACORN Destroyed Big Media Credibility

September 16, 2009

Students of history, of journalism, of sociology: mark this month in your diaries. Mark this month well, because this is the month that what was formally called “mainstream” media was officially pronounced dead.

It’s been a nice ride for traditional media outlets. We’ve had our fair share of fun along to way.  But now it is over. Almost 4 years to the day that “Rathergate” showed ordinary citizens taking on Big Media and winning, the last two weeks have completely, totally, and utterly demonstrated the sheer irrelevancy of traditional media outlets and their biased and outdated methods of news dissemination.

The gatekeepers of information have finally been vanquished. No longer are they able to sit upon their lofty heights, determining what information they deem fit for the public to know about. In their stead, an army of citizen-journalists has arisen. The people have become the fourth estate. We are the media now. You don’t have to trust Hollywood or Manhatten anymore, because the game is over. Sure, they will linger around for a few years longer in their death-throws, and of course current outlets will continue in some form, but as of this week, no-one can say Big Media should be taken seriously. They are beyond redemption.

At this point, if you get your news primarily from Big Media outlets, you may wonder what I am talking about, or whether I’ve gone slightly crazy. After all, nothing really happened the last few weeks, did it? Sure a few right-wing extremists got angry at a few things, but that always happens – right? I mean there was nothing special about the last 3 weeks, right?

Wrong. Because in the last three weeks three massive, huge, enormous, game-changing political things happening. Any one of these by and of itself might not have meant much, but together, the political landscape in the U.S. has been irrevocably altered in the last three weeks. And Big Media missed all three.

Let us review events as they happened, and embark on tales of corruption, embezzlement, undercover operations, child prostitution and the American Left.

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Blogs YOU Should Follow

June 21, 2009

Two days ago I posted a call for Australian Liberals to start engaging themselves in the wide world of the blogosphere, and to set up RSS feeds and the like. The obvious question, however, is where to start – who are the best conservative/libertarian writers to follow? Where to get the best electoral analysis?

So, as an introductory guide, here’s a list of blogs I follow and think others should. My suggestion? Add this to an RSS feed, and then skim through the updates daily for what you find interesting. Seriously, just try dedicating a bit of time to this every day. Please note though, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a beginners guide and some suggestions from Tim, divided up into a few categories with comments. I have also attempted to include every Liberal Party blogger I know in Australia (without any comments on quality :p):

Liberal Party Member Blogs

Danny Haynes – I think I can say categorically that the NSW Liberals has no finer economic mind than Danny. Whilst I disagree with him on some of the extremes of Austrian economic theory, his knowledge is far greater than anyone I know in the party. He posts very infrequently now, so encourage him to post more often!

Pimpin for Freedom – Jake Zanoni’s blog (ACT YL). Always good for a laugh, and for some hard-core libertarian material.

The Western Lines – Ralph is a western Sydney Liberal Party blogger, who has a good grasp of the issues at hand.

Will Church’s Weblog – It’s Will Church. What more do I need to say? 🙂

MothyPress – Tim Humphries from Queensland’s blog. Good, strongly ideological writings.

The L Party – Don’t know much about this blog, as only discovered it recently, but seems to be a Liberal Party blogger from Victoria. Quite a bit of good information on new media and the like in particular on it.

Other Australian Centre-Right Bloggers

Tim Blair – The father of Australia centre-right blogging, and has been around since its inception. Hilariously written, you won’t go here for serious analysis, but rather for links on what’s happening around the world, and the sharpest wit in politics outside of PJ O’Rourke.

Andrew Bolt – Probably the most prolific blogger who has a wide-ranging mainstream media following. Writes a lot, and whilst I don’t agree with him on everything, certainly there is a lot there that’s worth a read. Also provides a lot of good links to other sites.

Andrew Norton – Andrew works for the CIS, and is without question the best writer on education issues in Australia. You’ll get a more academic perspective than with some other blogs, but always with solid views and highly informative.

Thought on Freedom – The official blog of the Australian Libertarian Society, and includes posts from a wide variety of writers (including yours truly!) on all political issues.

Catholicism and Liberty – Written by an (anonymous) Australian Liberal, this blog combines traditional Catholic values with free-market economics and libertarian political theory. It is without doubt the best new blog I’ve seen.

Other Australian Blogs

Antony Green – The Grandaddy of Australian electoral analysis. Antony Green is unsurpassed in his analysis of Australian elections. Somewhat technical at times, and he blogs far less than he should, but Antony is king for a reason. You’ll get more out of reading one article of his than reading every newspaper in Australia without a doubt.

Poll Bludger – Australia’s most popular electoral analysis blog. Despite having being bought out by Crikey recently, it remains Australia’s premier blog covering electoral issues, and should be the first stop for everyone at election time for news. Defiantly a most follow.

The Tally Room –  Despite being written by Ben Raue, a socialist criminal and Greens apparatchik, The Tally Room has rapidly become one of Australia’s best blogs on elections analysis. Not only does it provide insight into Australian elections, but is also the only Australian blog that provides in-depth coverage of major elections from around the world in a manner that would be unheard of in the media.

Vexnews – An attempt to be Australia’s Drudge Report (which is also worth a follow), this is Andrew Landeryou’s new blog. ’nuff said.

Cattalaxy – Australia’s top free market economists, and has the advantage of generally been accessible to the layman.

Macquarie Street – New blog that started up last week on NSW politics. Still a bit to early for a full critique, but great writing so far.

International Blogs

Cato@Liberty – I love Cato. To be honest, I don’t read 3/4 of the stuff they post here, and only skim, as there is just so much output, but Cato really is brilliant.

K Street Cafe – Follow this without a doubt. Only has a few posts which are mainly links a week, but it links to the best new media articles in existance. This is a blog where ” where experts share new and novel ways technology, the Internet and social media are being used to shape public policies.” and is a must-follow.

Reason Magazine’s Hit&Run – Reason is in my opinion the US’s best magazine. Witty, insightful, well written, it is heads and shoulders above everything else in the US. Whilst I don’t have time to read everything posted here, this blog is the best first step the ‘everyman’ should take to the libertarian community.

The Agitator – Written by Radley Balko, Reason Magazine’s legal writter, this has recently become my favourite blog. Focusing primarily on legal issues and law & justice, it is an amalgam of all the legal news you’d be interested in from around the US, as well as touching on other topics. For anyone interested in law, this is a must read. For anyone else, still VERY highly recommended.

Postmodern Conservative – An alternative view at conservative issues. Very well written, and while many of the articles are far too sophisticated and intelligent for me to adequately appreciate, a blog  I certainly like checking out every once in a while (particularly recommend the words of Helen Rittelmeyer, from the Cigarette Smoking Blog; generally takes me a few reads to grasp the point, but she is without doubt the best young writer I have met in my time in the US)

The Next Right – Some of the brightest stars in the Republican Party writing about how to best chart a way forward. Covers new media, campaigning, policy, and pretty much everything else. This blog shows the future direction of the GOP – and a model for us to follow

So. Fire up that RSS feed I told you about earlier, and start following! You won’t regret it!

Solar Panels, Start the Change, and NSW Coalition New Media Successes.

June 21, 2009

Earlier today, the NSW Coalition released a policy on renewable power, supporting government subsidies for solar panels. In my opinion, this is a horrid policy. It will fail to achieve its aims, and will cost the taxpayer millions at a time the NSW economy is desperately calling out for tax cuts and lifting the burden of big-government.

But this is not the point of this post. My point is that this was put up on the NSW Coalition’s new Start The Change website as a blog post – and was freely available for public comment. The first thing I did was to criticise the plan – publicly, and on the Liberal site – and this was allowed. To me, this is a great example of the NSW Coalition’s determination to embrace the inherent two-way dialogue embodied in web 2.0. Rather than simply broadcasting out messages, they are beginning to engage with people. Sure, there is a long way to go, but this is a great start.

I think there is little doubt that the NSW Division of the Liberal Party of Australia is at the forefront of engaging in New Media. While many use Facebook and have a  Twitter account, Barry is the only state opposition leader to actively engage with people – and you can tell it’s him, not a staffer. As a further example, he’s also the only Australian parliamentary leader who tinged his profile green; irrespective of what you think of the act, it certainly shows knowledge and true use of Twitter as a two way mechanism.

The era of top-down political broadcasting is dead, and has been replaced with two way dialogue; it is only a matter of time till the Australian political establishment realises this. In the meantime, we are fortunate in NSW that, under the leadership of Nick Campbell and Mark Neeham, the Liberal Party is moving to the forefront of political engagement and new media. Let us hope they continue down this track.

Why YOU Should Enter The New Media Age

June 19, 2009

It is a truth universally acknowledged by all sides of Australian politics that when it comes to political reporting, the Australian media is a complete and utter joke.

With only a few exceptions (Michelle Grattan springs to mind), the press gallery has long ceased to engage in substantive, investigative journalism. Instead, we get regurgitation of press releases and uncritical acceptance of the party line on one hand, and the blow up of non-existent scandals to create sensationalism and sell papers on the other. Controversies are manufactured, and facts are rarely an issue. I think everyone involved in politics has numerous stories of either how a)they bamboozled the media or b)how stories on which they were the subject were essentially fabrications.  Indeed, in comparison to the Canberra press corp (and its state counterparts), the current affairs satire Frontline would be a beacon of journalistic ethics and fine practices.

Relishing their role as the gatekeepers of information, the media pick and choose which stories to run, and what controversies to reveal. When it suits them, affairs are uncovered, indiscretions revealed, and even the behavior of junior staff make national news headlines. At other times, identical stories never see the light of day: events are constantly controlled and manipulated to suit the agenda of the press and fit whatever narrative they think will sell that day.

When it comes to international news, stories rarely pass the laughter test (I still occasionally print off Ann Davies articles here and distribute them to people for a laugh  – I recall one that was so far removed from reality, that everyone was convinced it was actually from The Onion!), and often appear days late.

To those of us on the small government side, there is an additional problem: the entrenched statist bias of the media corp. With the possible exception of the Australian’s editorial board, all Australian media outlets are sharply statist both in editorial stance, and in actual journalism. Whether it be the populism of the Telegraph and network TV, or the hard-left bias of the Fairfax press, there is no real avenue for classical liberal thought to be expressed, outside a few opinion writers. There is no opportunity to engage with the real intellectual battles of the day, and learn from the true greats of small-government ideology.

But imagine if this was not the case.

Imagine a world where you had instant access to events from around the world as they happened.

Imagine a world where you could read real thought-provoking analysis, and real coverage of news.

Imagine a world where you had instant access to the top economists, the top legal minds, the best political scientists from around the world – reading their daily thoughts, learning from their insights.

And then, imagine a world where you not only read the words of such people, but had the opportunity to actually interact with them.

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