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The speed and unrelenting pressure of the 24/7 media cycle continues to shape the world we live in – whether we like it or not

The political events that took place in Canberra last week and in the years prior with Rudd and Gillard give us an opportunity to ask the big questions of media, what it is today and what it is looking like for the future.

The 24/7 tweet and the 24hr news which you could argue we demand, did play a role in the Liberal party events last week as well as other matters that were not apparently broadly supported by the electorate.
Within the news cycle our politicians are captive to the suite of competing news organisations’ opinion polls, which are reported on and discussed with great detail.

Once upon a time politicians paid little attention to opinion polls. Then for many years they said they paid little attention to opinion polls: “The only poll that matters is the one held on election day.” Then this line became we are “taking it one week at a time.”

Today, a number of senior government figures actually said a poor showing in the polls was the main reason for dumping a Prime Minister. And this has become more frequent in the past two election cycles.
And over the past few years the interview techniques of leading journalists has become increasingly poor and they have lost the art of asking a good political question.

From my perspective it appears journalists doing the ‘ring around’ of party members to determine whether a party spill is likely – in the demise of Rudd and Gillard this certainly occurred and so too with Abbott. Shouldn’t they be reporting on the bigger policy issues?

I am disappointed that my tax payer dollars for the ABC in particular, have been spent on doing the ‘ring around’ in both the Labor and Liberal camps.

I also wonder whether the 24/7 news on politics is making us more numb to policy direction, disengaging us from the really important nationally and state significant discussions and creating a ‘hysteria’ around something we may not have considered was worthy of news, a decade ago.

On the other hand, the public is also subject to the 24/7 spin from governments that is pumped out from the public relations specialists behind the politicians.

What I would welcome from the media is some breathing space – to be able to reflect to allow for some genuine communication from our politicians.

And maybe we need more journalists, not less, who can focus on one media channel (online, print, audio) rather than trying to feed news across three very different mediums.

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