Entries Tagged as 'Citizen Journalism'

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The little blog lives again!

And it’s all down to this guy:


I don’t think I’ve ever been happier on a Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Right up to the minute

Remember that plea from Crikey a while ago, wondering where all the ladies were? This is an answer written by my friend K8y, who I’ve just had a week’s holiday with. She’s been writing blog drafts but is yet to hit the “publish” button. I think this is splendid, and far too good to languish into a drafts folder:

Thanks for asking, everything’s fine at this end with the subscription.

My only comment on editorial matters is about your recent sally into… equal opportunity journalism: “Are the girls alright… are they getting enough stuff on childcare, frocks, etc?”

I didn’t say anything at the time and am still a bit wary of this universalising theory of ‘women’s interests’. If I believed that anyone could comment for all women, I guess I’d be reading Women’s Day, not Crikey. But since you asked, I am going to offer a comment: my idea of interesting articles involves seeing everyday, mainstream issues of politics, society, culture and economics challenged by perspectives other than those of the traditionally privileged or powerful (i.e. old white guy syndrome). Your subjects don’t really need to change much (except lose everything on what female public figures wear: really not funny). To impress more women readers, at least ones like me, you could seek out more divergent viewpoints.

To give you an example, economic analysis offered in Crikey might swing from Friedman to Keynes to the frankly loopy, but that’s not the division I think is significant. Read Marilyn Waring (or ask her to write for you): if your economics doesn’t recognise the significance of women’s unpaid work to Australia’s productive capacity, it is fundamentally and bizarrely skewed, and not a very useful analytical tool. You could use Waring’s economics to look at the value of child care (measured and not) to the GDP and society as a whole – a matter of current interest but addressed in a more interesting way than just talking about Eddy Groves and his pants.

While you’re at it, why not challenge some of the assumptions left lying around by floundering theories of economics or rotting capitalist structures that still reify the ‘smartest guys in the room’ (or shouty young Hugo Boss types on the trading floor) – but fail to respect size-16 women dressed by Rockmans, with part-time jobs, an elderly dependent parent, three kids with packed lunches, a clean toilet and husbands with ironed shirts. What the hell does contemporary journalism say to these women about their lives, other than “despite your best efforts, you’re not doing it right”?

Why don’t you question the effects of pressure from green, slow-food, grow your own mizuna, shopping-at-markets-n-baking-it-from-scratch, read the ingredients label on everything and look-15-years-younger-than-you-really-are articles for women who were already going quietly nuts on 5 hours of broken sleep a night? Why can’t I trust that the food I buy in supermarkets or the water out of my taps is actually safe for my kids? Why do I have to do home study in body chemistry and physiology to figure it out for myself? Why isn’t my government protecting me from rapacious greed? Why don’t I have any choices between the grocery oligopoly and spending $23 on 100ml of olive oil in a tent every fourth Saturday? These aren’t just women’s issues, dammit, so why isn’t journalism supplying answers, or at least asking better questions? Journalism just runs with the dogs: Look out for pedophiles! Look out for preservatives! Have more sex with your husband! Spend time on yourself! Discipline your child! Use sun block! Don’t eat cheese! Satin blouse! Julie Bishop! Babies in microwaves! Buy this! Lose that!

Ahem. Crikey could stop indulging the endless infighting that belongs on homemade blogs. If I’m paying for it (and I am), then I am looking for critical and professional journalism that pushes past the media release to ask tough questions and provide independent and well-researched background about how decisions by governments and other institutions are made and how they really affect our lives. Stop focusing so much on how government decisions affect other politicians or people in club lounges — which Crikey is a bit prone to. Don’t waste space and use up my day on people who just like arguing and who don’t care whether it’s about Israel or climate change. I can have a poorly-argued debate with a partisan nut for free on the weekends, thanks.

I was really impressed with your items on the scandalous termination issue in Queensland. And I like Eva Cox. BUT if she’s the only one doing this kind of writing (or being published), then all Crikey is really doing is creating a context that makes Eva and her subjects appear more “fringe” than they really are. And that’s the crux of it: despite your subscription numbers, women aren’t actually a minority and our many and various interests aren’t something to be considered as a monolithic issue now and then, in your spare time. Don’t worry so much about the ‘woman’s perspective’ – instead, just go out and get a lot more women’s opinions a lot more often. How about interviewing a female expert in every single one of your articles – just for a month – to see if it makes a difference?

(I wonder how pissed off the rest of your readership would get?)

Again, thanks for asking.


Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I did not even cry

Although let’s face it, the lino itself is enough to make you weep.

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Citizen journalism Sunday – Aldi:yes or no?

I am just not sure. Our camping trip was certainly made more bearable by the presence of several tins of Aldi creamed rice, but (fortunately back at home) the end of an Aldi cotton bud came off in my ear and I had to go to the doctor to get it out but IT WASN’T THERE ANYMORE!

I think on balance I say a qualified yes to Aldi. The qualification being don’t buy their cotton buds.

Disclosure: I also have an Aldi fish poacher. Although Duck’s Beloved has an Aldi unicycle which I believe trumps all.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Launch of The Ernies Book tonight in Canberra

My sister in law and her co-author Meredith Burgmann are launching their book “1000 terrible things Australian men have said about women” at Paperchain in Manuka tonight – just in time for Christmas! Paperchain’s in Franklin Street, and it kicks off around 6. I’ll be the one in the “Maxine 13″ t-shirt.


In 1993 a small group of women gathered to celebrate the retirement of the original Ernie, a notoriously sexist trade union official who claimed that the only reason women wanted to become shearers was for the sex. The event grew to become the Annual Ernie Awards, the world’s premier event shaming men for outrageous sexism.

Fifteen years of Australian male chauvinist piggery is faithfully chronicled here with name, rank and serial number – from John Laws to John Howard, from David Oldfield to David Hookes, from Pat Cash to Paddy McGuinness and Australia’s former favourite son-in-law, Tom Cruise. Chefs, archbishops, judges, footballers, shock jocks and politicians are all in our sights.

I never turned away from Cathy. No matter how fat she was… -Nick Bideau, Cathy Freeman’s ex-coach and ex-partner

I bet she’s now sorry she burnt her bra all those years ago (on Germaine Greer at 63) -Ray Hadley, broadcaster

What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits? -Mel Gibson, actor

With a nod to the good guys such as Don Bradman and Russell Crowe (really!), The Ernies Book is unashamedly wicked. If it weren’t so funny, you’d have to cry.

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Facebook continues to judge user preferences

Mark Holden is wack

More cutting edge citizen journalism at Sill’s Bend.

Friday, September 7th, 2007

And lo, the populace with eyes downcast feared they may have rejoiced too soon …

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

And there was great rejoicing amongst the populace

So, yeah, it seems that the dog’s incontinence pills are working.

Bad Behavior has blocked 5186 access attempts in the last 7 days.

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