There’s been numerous ink spilled over the way forward for Australia’s information media. The previous decade and a bit noticed tech platforms like Google and Fb yoink journalism’s core enterprise mannequin of promoting and weasel themselves between media and its viewers. Cue the articles about “How We Should Save Journalism for the Sake of Democracy” (usually written by journalists who’ve pores and skin within the sport, too).
I’ve obtained some excellent news. There hasn’t been an excessive amount of fanfare about it, however the previous two years have been a mini golden age for the Australian media. Earlier than you pop the champagne, there’s dangerous information too. I remorse to tell you that this gilded interval is already coming to an finish. Apologies for the whiplash.
The 2 main components behind this digital media increase have been the COVID-19 bump and the infusion of money from Fb and Google. When COVID-19 first struck, Australians turned to the information. Viewers numbers soared. Locked-down Australians had been ravenous for data, caught with out a lot to do apart from surf the online and disadvantaged of different locations to spend their money just like the pub.
Across the similar time, Fb and Google began paying main Australian information publishers underneath the spectre of presidency regulation. When the federal authorities’s information media bargaining code laws handed, the 2 huge tech corporations had already entered into sufficient “partnerships” with media corporations — together with with Crikey’s guardian firm, Personal Media — that the federal government hasn’t but resorted to flipping the “Make The Firms Pay” swap (i.e. by designating the platform).
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Architect of the code Rod Sims estimated that Fb and Google are paying $200 million a yr to publishers. An nameless Sydney media government quoted by the Columbia Journalism Evaluate described the tech platform’s money windfalls as “brown paper bag will get filled with cash, is shoved throughout the desk, after which the platforms can say, ‘Now simply shut the fuck up.’” Enable me to talk on behalf of all of the media corporations that weren’t arbitrarily shut out of negotiations by the 2 corporations and say: Don’t thoughts if we do!
After a yr or two of the media being in a superb paddock, current indicators counsel issues are heading downhill. College of Canberra’s most up-to-date Digital Information Report discovered that Australia’s curiosity within the information and belief within the media are each dropping as extra individuals keep away from the information on account of (mockingly) COVID-19 fatigue and different components.
In the meantime, Fb’s guardian firm, Meta, has been making eyes on the exit. Fb employees have been instructed they’re shifting sources away from information; it modified Fb’s “Information Feed” tab to simply “Feed” earlier than, lastly, calling it “Dwelling”; and most instantly, the corporate has instructed its US information companions it’s not paying for his or her content material anymore. As Unmade’s Tim Burrowes wrote: “In Australia, that’s more likely to imply Fb will stroll away from renewing the large offers it has accomplished with publishers underneath the specter of the information media bargaining code.” There’s nothing to counsel Google is considering the identical factor.
Because the afterglow of those two tendencies fades, there’ll be doom and gloom in regards to the decline of the business. As an alternative, I believe it’s most likely clever to view these occasions as a fleeting, synthetic excessive. My recommendation for journalists — at all times an optimistic bunch — is to heed the clever phrases of the nice poet Dr Seuss when reflecting on the Nice Media Growth of 2020-22: “Don’t cry as a result of it’s gone. Smile as a result of it occurred.”
‘Unethical’: crowdfunded on-line medical trial giving ivermectin to deal with COVID-19
It blew my thoughts that folks can signal as much as a trial on-line that provides them entry to a discredited COVID-19 remedy this simply. (Crikey)
Blockade Australia local weather activist can’t use encrypted apps, should let police entry cellphone
I fear how a scarcity of tech literacy influences decision-makers — resembling a choose proscribing a protester on bail from utilizing “an encrypted communications machine”, which might, perhaps, embrace banking relying on the way you interpret it? (ABC Information)
Dwelling Affairs warns of on-line actions ‘fracturing’ Australian society
Not a shock but it surely’s a noteworthy warning. (The Age)
These corporations know if you’re pregnant — they usually’re not holding it secret
Not Australian however it’s so good (and certain relevant right here) that I couldn’t resist. (Gizmodo)
‘SURPRISE SURPRISE’: anti-vaxxers unfold misinformation in regards to the monkeypox vaccine
It’d shock you however I don’t prefer to report an excessive amount of on the foolish and deranged beliefs of conspiracy theorists, as a result of gawking at their views solely provides them extra consideration. The rationale that I wrote it is because anti-vaxxers’ criticism of the monkeypox vaccine exhibits an unimaginable hypocrisy. (Crikey)
Content material Nook
The expertise of going on the web has at all times concerned being insulted by strangers — from early chat rooms, to gaming lobbies with mic’d-up 14-year-olds, to trendy social media pile-ons and trolls.
A current innovation, nevertheless, has been eating places swearing at me on social media. Reminiscent of an account purporting to belong to a regional Hog’s Breath Cafe which went viral for its crass posts implying that its mascot was a intercourse pest. From SmartCompany: “In late July, Instagram account @hogsbreathorange, presenting because the reputable account for the Orange franchise of the steakhouse chain, started posting photographs with weird and politically pointed captions.
This account ended up being faux, however there are different, legit accounts prefer it. Take Griffin Burger in Ballarat. Yesterday, a Fb web page for the shop posted “Good morning to everybody aside from the people who find themselves attempting to eat wholesome for the time being”. One other current put up is a public warning to a current buyer who “shit their pants and tried to flush their jocks”. Pleasant. (Griffin Burger didn’t reply to my Fb message to speak about its on-line presence).
Or Rajshahi Indian Restaurant in Gosford, which posted a meme to its Instagram with the caption “Watch your mouth with me…. I’m within the hospitality business however I’m not right here to take anybody’s crap.”
These accounts have discovered on-line notoriety by shirking the conventional, vaguely nice and sterile means that numerous eating places and cafes promote their companies on-line. Just like how manufacturers on Twitter in 2019 began absurdly tweeting how they had been depressed, being vaguely threatening and aggressive to prospects subverts expectations and, if accomplished properly, delights some components of an viewers.
Doing so definitely garners consideration. Does it in the end profit a restaurant? Is the trade-off of alienating prospects who don’t get it price rising a web-based viewers (a lot of whom might stay elsewhere and aren’t even potential prospects)? I don’t know! However once I’m subsequent in Ballarat and Gosford, I do know the place I’m consuming.