27 July 2010
Political journalism hits the gutter
Although properly described as 'disgusting' and 'nasty', the recent fascination by some sections of the Australian media over Julia Gillard's religion and family situation is perhaps reflective of what is really wrong with political journalism in our country. It has simply and undeniably hit the gutter and can't get out.
No longer content with insightful political analysis, our journalists seem more at home with the sensationalism of the electoral cycle. Instead of dissecting and probing the policy issues, our media is more concerned with ratings, out-scooping their rivals and presenting a dumbed-down version to its audience.
The looks, gender, clothes, religion or marital status of our politicians might be topical for the puerile gossip magazines or discredited shock-jock audiences, but it has no place alongside the serious discussion and scrutiny of public policy. Indeed, the Australian public demand and deserve better from their journalists.
Rod Beisel is secretary of the Annerley Branch of the Australian Labor Party.