Heritage Hartigan attacks everyday Australian readers

John Hartigan, chief of News Corp Australian office went on the attack today. It might be just me, but the whole thing reeks of the newspaper ship sinking and an angry captain not making any sense. From Duncan Riley’s The Inquisitr: Almost anyone can start one of these sites, with very little capital, no training…

John Hartigan, chief of News Corp Australian office went on the attack today. It might be just me, but the whole thing reeks of the newspaper ship sinking and an angry captain not making any sense. From Duncan Riley’s The Inquisitr:

Almost anyone can start one of these sites, with very little capital, no training or qualifications. Then there are the bloggers. In return for their free content, we pretty much get what we’ve paid for – something of such limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance. JOHN HARTIGAN

It’s an interesting rant and quite the opposite to Rupert Murdochs stated position regarding the importance of social media. Though probably in line with Paywalls-R-Us, the last (?) ditch attempt to monetize heritage news articles.

It might be worth changing the terms “blogs” and “social media” to a new one: “community media”. Because everytime newspapers attack their former readership they alienate the community. And newspapers are supposed to be serving the community – not advertisers, not sponsors, not fat cat executives but the community. News does not come out of the air, nor formed from the vacuum in the mind of a journalist or an editor but out of the community, to be clarified and filtered and passed back to the community. Don’t get the community too miffed!

Anyway Hartigan’s comments and Duncan’s response is worth a good read. It highlights most of the perceptions/misconceptions facing everyday Australians that write, communicate, collaborate, make and share videos, read blogs – yes YOU! – and chat with family on Facebook and politicians on Twitter.

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    1. Ripple rather than broadcast. My network brings me news. For example, Twitter told me about Mumbai bloggers getting together a wiki of missing people that could be udated as they were found, during the bombings. That’s living news, not found/filtered/forwarded by journalists.

      BTW Heritage media = traditional media outlets opposed to community created media. Not traditional media that embraces it… and stays culturally relevant.

  1. Harto’s speech was so lacking in perception it sounded like one of Dennis Shanahan’s famous pre-election Newspoll columns on how 2 and 2 really added up to John Howard. He praises the Huffington Post but fails to note that it is 90 per cent aggregation with a few columns on the side. Indeed Pembo ( I love all the O men at News Ltd) copied it for Punch. If Punch isn’t a news aggregation site ripping off the work of all and sundry then what is it. And they don’t pay their columnists so you get dunderheads like Bronny Bishop bloviating at length proving again that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. He wonders about political coverage without wondering whether it was the total twisting of reality during the 2007 campaign that had people wondering about the quality of journalism at News Ltd especially its “quality” flagship The Australian. His bleats about good news sounded like the old dears at the Anglican Church womens’ guild “oh dear if only they covered the good news the world would be so nice.” Except we suspect Harto’s idea of good news is, as one other said somewhere else, stories about blokes with their dicks caught in vacuum cleaners.
    The disturbing thing is that the hatred of the blogoshpere, well that part of it not under the News Ltd umbrella, seems to be part of a corporate mantra. At first we may have thought it existed only in the foetid brain of Chris Mitchell and his butt monkey Christian Kerr. But now it seems to be official policy.
    What Harto misses is the reason that Mumbles, Possum, Poll Bludger et al have a following is that they can read things like opinion polls and draw real conclusions unlike News Ltd which seems incapable of understanding its own polls. Then there is its vendetta journalism. Robert Manne is a favorite target but today The Oz did a reverse vendetta with pike by ripping off his cover story from the Monthly and making it the main feature. Good get Cameron.
    Also today in the Oz we have day two of the union scare campaign harking back to 1981 for fuck’s sake!!! It is based on the myth The Oz is pushing that pattern bargaining is allowed under the new laws. It isn’t but hey why let that stop us?
    We have the hysterical anti-green anti-global warming stance of the Australian which one would have thought is read by people who can makeup their own minds. They and the vast majority of Australians know the Oz is talking crap on this and a whole lot of issues They see it on the front page and then they get screamed at by the Albrechtsens, Sheridans (today’s, another fantasy piece) and any other loony they can get to write for them. Michael Costa on economics and governance?
    Everyone knows he was hopeless as a treasurer and now we are expected to receive his pearls of wisdom as though they are holy writ. I could go on. The reason we read Crikey and the rest of the the blogosphere is we don’t like having our intelligence insulted by Chris Mitchell’s merry band of delusional lunatics.
    And Crikey, how about making a note of every story the Oz runs (unattributed of course) which it read about first on Crikey. I think I see about four or five a week.
    Finally, As Harto got his Walkley award for journalistic leadership he announced there would be no swingeing cuts at News Ltd, he would hold the line blah blah blah. At the time he spoke he was throwing journos out of the lifeboat and he hasn’t stopped since.
    The Internet presented problems for newspapers but they could have been tackled. The fact that newspapers are failing has nothing to do with new journalism it is all to do with bad management and dinosaurs like Harto who thinks by making a few “bold” speeches to a bunch of sycophants at the Press Club will show he has the answers.
    If Harto and his pronouncements are the answer we are asking the wrong question.

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