CNN effect

Can you believe it’s been 36 years since the dawn of 24 hour news?

In June 1980, CNN became the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage and was the first all-news television channel in the US.

Twenty-four-hour news seemed to garner instant appeal with the American public and made a dramatic impact on the nightly network newscasts, CBS, NBC and ABC. Bringing together the latest technology with the new news format. It was a powerful change to the industry. And a change to the way people watched and absorbed news.

Powerful stories, often with raw, unedited footage, gives live news a certain flavour which communicates real human emotion. It stood out against its competitors and carried a lot of credibility.

Have you heard of the CNN effect?

This effect was first noted when footage of starving children in Somalia pressured U.S. officials to send troops there. Horrifying footage of Somalis dragging the body of a dead American soldier through the streets followed, prompting U.S. officials to withdraw. The effect describes “saturation coverage” of events like the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the fall of Communism in eastern Europe, the first Gulf War, and the Battle of Mogadishu and the strong influence of the “right in your face” images have on political and social consciousness.

Fast forward to 2016. Citizen journalism ensures that pictures of “breaking news” are beamed straight to a global audience. Either bought up by traditional news channels, or spread on social channels. News can be fed to us instantly through live bloggers – at a speed the user can control.

We take 24 hour television for granted now, and instant access to news is part of our everyday life. We see people scrolling through their phones for tit bits of news and have access to stories with the click of a button. 24 hours of news. It’s a lot of content. It gets you thinking what is newsworthy? How to filter out the trash?

CNN in 1980: the social media of today – the perfect communications cocktail: an ability to cover events live, continuously, upside down and inside out. Citizen Journalists can do this now from their portable devices. But does this make news stations like CNN obsolete? Certainly not.  News is no longer just the 6.30 dinner time slot. It’s now a snack you can have anytime of the day. If it’s happening around the world, it’s bound to be shown on your screen shortly after, if not instantly.

The power of portable devices has made stories more accessible, more transparent and media more influential than ever. Live political debates, reports from war-torn areas, natural disasters and terror (think Sydney Siege).

If it’s not printed or trending it didn’t happen.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Cinema, couture and classic casting: contagious combination

We had the pleasure of watching The Dressmaker this week – and at the risk of sounding like Margaret and David I’d have to rate it 5 stars. It’s one of those movies that everyone can take something away from. Kate Winslet plays a character who is striking, real, and a bad girl come heroine with a little bit of mystery. Her performance along with a cast of Aussie greats makes for an incredibly moving film which keeps you stuck to your seat.

Movies like this have a cast of helpers behind them. Hours of direction, writing and costume production go into making them fabulous. On the other hand, short videos that flood the internet are often just moments captured on film. Some only ever seen by a few, others go viral.

Check out this video from The Ellen Show featuring eight-year-old Britton Walker who knows everything there is to know about James Bond, and helps Ellen out by educating her. And then by interviewing Daniel Craig on the red carpet. C = cute.

There is no secret recipe for the perfect viral video, and yet there are videos that receive millions of views every year. What’s the common thread? Generally if you throw a cat, a kid and a piano in you’ve got a good c = combo.

Remember that night watching Susan Boyle’s first performance on X-Factor. No, nor do we. Because we all watched it courtesy of YouTube. So why was her video contagious… ?

Just this week, following the #parisattacks social media erupted in support of Waleed Aly’s condemnation of the Islamic State as ‘weak’. Responding to the deadly attacks in Paris, The Project co-host and GQ ‘Media Personality of the Year’ urged viewers to pull together, and not to play into the hands of the terrorists.

Elon University conducted a study into what makes a video go viral. Here is a quick summary of what their extensive research revealed:

8 Common Characteristics of Viral Videos

A few factors were determined to be the most prevalent (and therefore most important for creating a viral video):

  • Title length: 75% of the videos had short titles (3 words or less), with the average title length being 2.76 words.
  • Run-time:60% of the videos had short run-times (3 minutes or less), with an average run-time of 2 minutes and 47 seconds.
  • Element of laughter: 30% of the videos featured the element of laughter (defined as seeing or hearing someone laughing within the first 30 seconds of the video).
  • Element of surprise:50% of the videos exhibited the element of surprise (defined as seeing or hearing an expression of surprise, such as a scream or gasp).
  • Element of irony: 90% of the videos featured an element of irony (defined as an element contrary to what was expected). The majority of ironic elements in the videos displayed the breaking of social norms.
  • Musical quality: 60% of the videos displayed a musical element (defined as singing, background music, or popular song references).
  • Youth: 35% of the videos featured children seemingly under the age of 18. 20% of them displayed children seemingly under the age of 10.
  • Talent: 30% of the videos were composed of songs, dances, or performances that required practice and talent.

Click to access 08West.pdf

Perhaps we’ll share some old home movies and see if they go viral?

Cheers, Jack and the c word crew

Centre stage: #QandA, again

You wouldn’t think it would be possible, but there is another crisis brewing (or perhaps brewed) at the ABC’s Q&A office. With staff just recovering from the controversy involving Zaky Mallah, accusations of being terrorist sympathisers and a government-ordered inquiry into the program, producers are now facing criticism over the tweets they choose to flash up on screen on Monday night.

Article Lead - wide999688241gj6rjrimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.gj6sdt.png1440460642172.jpg-620x349All was forgiven, and the questions and answers were flowing again, until some (opposite of a genius) decided to tweet under the Twitter handle @AbbottLovesAnal, which slipped through ABC’s moderators mouse clicks and landed Q&A back in hot water. The content of the tweet itself was not offensive (although an insult to the English language), it was the crude tone of the @handle.

With the right use, an appropriate handle and a “normal” person behind a smart phone, Twitter can really come into its own, especially when wanting to interact at a networking or professional development event.

The skill involved in live tweeting is common sense, a good use of language in 140 characters or less, and keeping content clear and precise. Here are our top five tips when attending a corporate event and using the tool.

  1. Make sure you’re using the correct hashtag – if it’s trending you want to be involved. There’s no point tweeting for the sake of it –unless you’re Kim Kardashian then you can do whatever you like.
  2. Engage with people prior to the event. Get Twitter handles of speakers in advance. Connecting with people before the event is the perfect opportunity to learn more about them, set up meetings and learn about their companies (and what they can do for you – or more importantly what you can do for them).
  1. Quote speakers correctly. Always add their Twitter handles to attribute their authorship. If they’re not on Twitter, simply include their name in the Tweet so you don’t confuse their ideas with yours.
  2. Add  visual content
    1. There is so much more to tweeting than just text. Add pictures of the speakers and the venue. This is engaging and shows your audience what you’re talking about. The quality of pictures taken by our smartphones is more than adequate for the budding photographer.
    2. People love seeing themselves in pictures. Take a selfie with your new “friends” and tag them to enforce your new connections and get more retweets.
  1. Live tweeting from an event is a great way to get high number of followers in a very short time. Be generous, retweet and favourite other posts to increase your social footprint. Using the event hashtag, your tweets will appear in the live stream and people will start following you. Make sure you follow them back so the newly created connections can extend to offline meetings too. Tweet consistently but wisely – keep your “digital footprint” out during the event to keep appearing in the tweet stream. This keeps your brand out there for everyone to see. More and more events are holding live streaming of tweets during the day which allows your content to be displayed. So if you don’t want it out there don’t tweet it. Think of it like a live campaign for your company and what you say reflects on you.

Lastly, if you are the moderator of the tweets. Set the ground rules, block any content that shouldn’t be displayed and be thorough. Make sure your hashtag is prominent and the audience knows it.

The moderators at Q&A blamed the large volume of tweets coming through for this recent mishap. It’s critical that you arrange a small bundle of tweets and sort through these. Avoid any anal abbott outbursts or any other overtly political statement for that matter.

Happy tweeting!


Jack and the c word crew

Columns, cats, celebrities and cash

ausnewsNews making news this week, The Huffington Post has launched an Australian version, with co-host of Today Lisa Wilkinson appointed as its editor-at-large.

Supported by Fairfax Media, HuffPost Australia appears to be a positive addition to burgeoning local online media
landscape. Other players in the competitive field include the Guardian Australia, Buzzfeed and the Daily Mail Australia. In addition there are traditional players including, Fairfax digital mastheads and ABC News online. The combination of players brings a range of content for a diverse readership – all easily accessible for the ever-growing audience.

And to give you a sense of the growing audience: HuffPost AU’s twitter following has almost reached 5,000.

The Huffington Post has a massive following in the US and sets its own political agenda (watch out Donald Trump). It allows readers to comment on the columns and have their say. How will the Huffington Post survive in the sunburnt country?

HuffPost Australia has outlined a goal to be profitable within three years, but it has already sparked controversy over its practice not to pay all of its contributors to its blog. It’s something also done by Buzzfeed; offering those who contribute ‘exposure’ rather than ‘cash’.

With the overwhelming success of platforms like Buzzed our crew at the c word thinks the Huffington Post with its broad range of content and opinion pieces has a great chance of survival in the local market and will be a great addition to the digital media we can get our hands on.

“HuffPost Australia will be dedicated to producing great original reporting about the critical issues that Australians face, and to telling stories that focus on helping Australians live more fulfilling lives, while opening up our blogging platform to voices from all across the country to start a conversation on the topics that matter to Australians most,” said the Queen of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington.

To celebrate the arrival of the local version of the Huffington Post, we took a look at the c word sections that this online medium contains in its columns, including a whole area dedicated to cats (we know this is popular after channel 7’s TV show last week).

Here are our top five c word picks from the original US version:

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew



Collection of colour, creativity and caches

The best (or maybe the worst) thing about the internet, is the ability to get lost or distracted when you’re doing research.

We’ve been glued to our screens this week researching for a number of clients as they prepare to refine their websites. We have come across so many sites, some awe inspiring, and some just plain hard to navigate, and have decided to share five with beautiful design to draw you into  the content and stimulate the imagination. Some inspiration if you’re on a similar journey.

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Cooking with manners

Martha’s website offers up recipes, cooking tips and home and lifestyle blogs. Martha’s flair for all things home and decoration is evident on this site. It is user friendly, incorporating mouth watering images and Martha’s infamous flair for decoration, design and perfection is evident.

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A lovely French designer

This amazing site for Parisian designer Mahedine Yahia is a real masterpiece. It acts as a resume and portfolio for Yahia, who most likely will never be out of work again given the site’s flawless design work and concerted focus on great imagery.

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Strong Russian coffee anyone?

Check out this beautiful page from coffee (yes finally a c word) roasters in St Petersburg. Fresh like roasted coffee, this site is definitely up to date and beautifully designed. They’ve combined beautiful colour graphics with parallax scrolling and different types of navigation. It really brings the website to life and keeps the reader intrigued.

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A little bird

We still think that Twitter’s simple design and user friendly experience is one of the best social media sites out there. Perhaps that’s why it’s becoming more and more popular.

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And finally, a crisp classic – simple, elegant, beautiful

It’s a question that will go unanswered: just how did Steve Jobs get something we use everyday to be so damn pretty? The Apple website and specifically the iTunes site are flawless. You could keep exploring the vivid colours and images for hours. (and just been us, we often head there for a little inspiration drooling). Macs are so beautiful that they’d probably be fixtures in movies and on TV even if product placement didn’t exist. They are artwork on their own. Their slim lines, the simple colours, the shape of that iconic apple on each piece. So of course the website is going to follow suit in its design.


Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Inside Media House – PRIA members visit The Age and 3AW

Media House with The Age and 3AW
Media House with The Age and 3AW

“People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath.” – Communications theorist Marshall McLuhan

Whether you like your newspaper with your morning coffee or prefer to save it for the weekend lie in, there’s no denying that newspapers play an important role in our lives and the professional lives of communicators.

Last week, I put my presidential hat on (ok I don’t have a special hat but perhaps I should get one?) and joined 12 members of the Public Relations Institute of Australia for an exclusive tour of Media House with The Age and 3AW. Following the tour we sat down for lunch with three journalists from the paper.

Fellow PRIA member and Communications Manager for The Age, Miranda Schuppan, led the exclusive tour. She started at the epicentre of editorial operations – the modern newsroom with numerous journalists working across the day to produce news for print and online versions of The Age.

Shane Green a senior journalist with The Age talked through the various areas of the newsroom. He’s held a number of roles with the organisation and was happy to share his insights with our members.

We then huddled around the screen of editor, Daniel Sankey, and saw how quickly they were able to publish stories. If you think the back end of your website is impressive, consider how it would cope with hundreds of new stories a day and thousands of unique visitors a month. At the time they were just about to break a World Cup 2022 story.

Daniel told us about the peak times for online news viewing. They are 8am when people are arriving at work, lunchtime when people are munching on their sushi and a little before 5pm when they’re packing up to head home. Hands up if you head to at one or all of those times?

If you’re a regular visitor to you’ll know that video content is being used more and more. What you might not know is that it is produced at Media House. We were shown the well-equipped studio, which is just like a mini commercial television studio and is used for video interviews, panel discussions and other reports.

A few floors up, we met David Mann or “Mann about Town” as many people know him. He’s been at 3AW for many years and has held both on-air and behind the scene roles.

David shuffled us into one of the studios that was free at the time and provided the group with an insight into 3AW’s production process. He gave each of us some handy hints on working with the team at 3AW and answered many of our burning questions.

We also met some of the voices behind the news broadcasts and were delighted to learn that one of our fellow PRIA members, Keith Hainsworth from Deakin University, had started his career in the 3AW newsroom.

David showed us the impressive technology that keeps the station on air and said that the greatest technological advancement for radio was the invention of the mobile phone. He said that mobile phones have produced thousands of news reporters for radio stations. Effectively, every listener is a reporter, because when anything happens in Melbourne, they ring in immediately with first-hand accounts of the unfolding event.

Finally, David and Miranda gave us some great advice for preparing clients for radio and press interviews. Over lunch with Daniel Sankey, Shane Green and Laura Hamilton we spoke about a range of topics from what different sections cover to the best way to present stories to The Age and 3AW.

Here are some tips:

  • relationships with journalists are critical, particularly knowing what topics/rounds they cover
  • read something written by the journalist or listen to a show that you’re pitching to
  • make sure your pitch/story is newsworthy and pick an interesting angle
  • make sure you know what time of day is appropriate to call a journo or producer. And even pick the right minute to phone in. For example, don’t call a radio producer on the hour or half hour, because they’ll be listening to the news bulletin. Best time to call is quarter past or quarter to the hour.
  • always spell a journo or producer’s name correctly.

Finally, a big thanks to Miranda, David, Daniel, Shane and Laura for sharing their time with us and showing us around Media House.


Jack @ the c word

Let’s Get Digital

PRIA's Let Get Digital Panel: Kristen Boschma, Liz Green, Jason Whittaker and moderator Jack Walden

Last night the c word’s Managing Director, Jack Walden, moderated a panel of digital communicators at an event appropriately named ‘Let’s Get Digital’. The panelists for the evening were:

  • Telstra’s Head of Online Communications and Social Media, Kristen Boschma (@Kristen_Boschma)
  • ABC TV’s Digital Communications Marketing Manager, Liz Green (@ABCTV_australia)
  • Deputy Editor of Crikey, Jason Whittaker (@thetowncrier)

With representatives from Australian organisations providing leadership and innovation in the digital arena, the panelists provided some fascinating insights and points for discussion.

Telstra’s Kristen Boschma explained the use of three Rs to guide their social media policy; representation, responsibility and respect. She also stressed the need for flexibility in social media and empowering your staff to know how to respond and engage. Telstra’s approach is about equality in service, which means they respond to everyone on Twitter; not simply those with a huge following.

Kristen likened good social media to a great dinner party with great food, great guests and great conversation. The same analogy works for bad social media; the bad dinner party where one drunk guest sits at the end of the table and just talks at the other guests.

Liz Green from ABC TV spoke about the flexibility of ABC TV’s social media policy. Their four-line policy guides staff on how to interact on Twitter and Facebook, while allowing personalities to shine through. In total, the ABC has an impressive 438 accounts across Facebook and Twitter.

Liz also highlighted the value of strategy; although social media is cheap, it is also resource intensive, which is why you need to be strategic about how to best use your resources. One example of this is the ABC blog, which has become a primary channel to distribute press releases.

Jason Whittaker, Deputy Editor of Crikey is another champion of flexibility on social media. Although rules and guidelines are important, he said you need to be able to respond quickly. Journalists nowadays need to be on social media to be privy to where stories are being broken; he stresses however you can get caught out if you rely solely on social media for your information.

He attributed Crikey’s success to not trying to be something for everyone, rather they define their reader and seek them out. He believes if traditional media is to continue to exist, they have to relinquish the appeal to a mass audience and find their niche audience.

All three panelists agreed social media was a commitment to quality exchange rather than simply broadcasting a message. Some key points to take from the evening:

  • You can’t run a Twitter account without monitoring and responding to conversations
  • People can sniff spin. And the beauty of social media is they will tell you
  • Social media is resource intensive, which makes it essential to have a plan about how best to use your resources
  • Social media has empowered the customer, and potentially hundreds of thousands of people see complaints through Retweets making it important to respond quickly
  • Successful media companies will produce content across many platforms and give audience the choice on how to consume it.

You can view the panel’s Twitterstream on #priadigital to get a great overview of the discussion.

Chin chin,

the c word

Communicator’s Corner: Sunday Age Political Reporter, Melissa Fyfe

Melissa Fyfe is the State Political Reporter for The Sunday Age. Her career with Fairfax has seen her take on a varied number of roles including: Sydney correspondent, health editor, section editor and also the state news editor. She has won several awards for her reporting on climate change and water during her time as The Age’s environment reporter.

With a State and Federal election upon us, this will be a feverishly busy year for the political reporter.

1. Tell us about your typical day.

I start the day reading the newspapers and keeping a keen ear on the radio. The rest of the day is spent meeting with contacts, digging through reports, talking to my editors about ideas for the paper, interviewing people and, when parliament is sitting, hanging around the big house on Spring Street. I write my stories on Fridays and Saturdays. Every second Friday I chat to Tony Biggs on RRR about state politics.

2. When did you first know you wanted to be a journalist?

Quite young – when I was in Year 7 at high school.

3. Who’s your communication hero/mentor?

I have had many fantastic mentors at The Age. My journalistic heroes are mostly American writers, particularly those working for The New York Times and The New Yorker.

4. Which tools can’t you live without?

My mobile.

5. What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Managing my time. I have a weekly deadline, so I have to be very disciplined about what I do. Also, dealing with the spin machine of the government and the opposition is very difficult at times. In an election year the stakes are very high.

6. Tell us about the best story/campaign you’ve ever worked on?

In the scheme of other stories in my career this one was quite small but it meant a lot to me: I reported on the plight of a young mother who was in a public housing flat so mouldy it was causing her and her baby significant illness. The housing minister moved her within months. She is now living in a place with no mould and her life has completely changed. Her baby is so healthy and happy now. I am also proud of the story myself and my colleague Jill Stark broke recently on Kevin Rudd’s chief mental health adviser quitting.

7. Which campaign do you most admire?

This is difficult to answer because in my business a campaign means an election campaign. Barack Obama’s tilt for US president is easily the best example of a political campaign for office that we’ve seen in decades. It’s been said many times, but his harnessing of grassroots support through the internet was spectacular and left the Republican campaign totally flat-footed.

8. What’s been the biggest change to communication industry/journalism since you began your career?

Obviously the internet. It has massively reshaped the newspaper industry, eroded the classifieds and changed our business structure. It has opened up many more opportunities for journalism but obviously threatens the fundamental economics of old-school media.

9. What’s your favourite brand?

I don’t really have one.

10. What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?

Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. An oldy (1918) but a goody.

11. What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in your field?

The value of confidence. Backing yourself is important.

12. Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is… keeping the message simple, powerful and accurate’

You can view Melissa Fyfe’s work when kicking back with the papers on Sunday or follow her on Twitter @melfyfe

Threes NOT a crowd: tips on media interviews

D/A Henry Wade (l) conducts press conf. in line-up room / New York Herald Tribune photo by Bill Sauro

With an increasing number and frequency of media outlets, podcasts, blogs and avenues for exposure, it has never been more important to be media savvy.

Nowadays the average sound bite is approximately seven seconds, a far cry from the 60-second sound bite common 30 years ago. And there’s no longer a 24-hour news cycle, instead we have an every-second news cycle.

Therefore being on message and getting there fast is essential when being interviewed by the media. If you do nothing else to prepare for an interview, you must prepare three key messages to convey during the interview. No more, no less.

If you don’t edit your story down to the three most important points, then an editor, producer or audience member will edit it for you. And often your most important messages will be lost and not remembered.

If you have to speak to the media on a regular basis then you should undertake some media training. In the meantime, here are a few basic tips to help you handle media interviews:

1. Give yourself time to prepare, even if that means calling a reporter back when on deadline. Get your messages ready first.

2. Practice, practice, practice: Like a professional sportsperson, the more you do something, the better you will become at it. It takes time and practice to be comfortable with preparing your three messages, getting your sound bites right and staying on message, so it’s best you practice.

3. Give details and examples to help make your point and flesh out your story. Telling stories helps to deliver your message to an audience.

4. Avoid fact and figures, lists, jargon, catch phrases, acronyms – they’re boring with a capital B.

5. Keep it natural and speak at your normal pace. Steer clear of big unfamiliar words but don’t dumb down your message too much either.

6. For radio interviews, check whether the interview is live or pre-recorded and what it’s being used for. If you’re doing the interview over the phone, make sure you’re in a noise-free environment.

7. Drink plenty of water and keep a bottle handy. Avoid caffeine or dairy before the interview as it can affect your speech (dry mouth, licking lips eek). Also don’t interview on an empty stomach. Your tummy grumblings will only distract you and perhaps the listeners. Grrrrrr

8. After each interview, review your performance. Figure out what worked well and what could be improved. Ask a friend or colleague to give you some feedback too. (If you can’t find a friend to be brutally honest, my mother is always willing to provide some frank feedback.)

9. Again, develop three key messages for the interview and make sure you know them off by heart and get them out early.

10. Finally have fun – it’s not the Spanish Inquisition ☺

There are plenty more handy hints and tips however if you prepare your messages and keep it simple, you’ll be an old hand in no time.

Call Jack or Maryann on 03 9676 9040 or email if you want to learn more about how our crew can help you with media training or publicity campaigns to get you the interviews.

Or you can simply ignore us and take tips from Sarah Palin 😛

Celebrate hump day. Yay!

the c word

Can someone bring the mop, please?

Did you know what a spill was before last week? I have to spill the beans (pardon the pun) and admit until I saw it pop up on Twitter I didn’t. But that is the power of Twitter and like they say: “you learn something new every day”.

Australian politics has been littered with spills over the years. In fact this isn’t Malcolm Turnbull’s first nor second, it’s his third after winning his leadership in a spill vote against Brendan Nelson.

In June 1977, a parliamentary Labor Party leadership spill saw Gough Whitlam defeat Bill Hayden (32-30). Other famous spills include Beazley v Rudd and how can one forget Latham taking over the Labor leadership in 2003 from Simon Crean. Or his downfall in 2005 against Kim Beazley.

How times have changed from the mixture of radio, print and a little television coverage of earlier Australian political spills to the continuous coverage of the regular Labor party and Liberal party spills earlier this decade on television and websites. Twitter now brings us real-time coverage and commentary of Turnbull v Andrews v Hockey v Abbott in the latest #spill.

With no 24-hour free-to-air news channel in Australia (come on ABC, 7, 9, 10 & SBS), most of my information about the Liberal Party leadership spills came via Twitter. Of course we did manage to tween some information from Lateline and other current affairs shows.

However political journalist such as @sandraom, @smurray38, @annabelcrabb, @latikambourke, @Colvinius, and @David_Speers gave up to the minute accounts for their followers. It felt like you were walking the halls of Parliament House yourself. Watching the #spill feed on Twitter was far more entertaining and lively than any of the debates seen on television. I guess this fly-on-the-wall coverage is what makes Twitter such a useful news broadcasting tool.

Back to the #spill and for those of you out of the loop, Turnbull’s leadership was challenged for the first time last week after backing the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) with a motion to spill held at 1pm Wednesday. Opposition MPs opposed to the bill said there were many among their ranks to support them. However Malcolm Turnbull retained his leadership after the secret ballot with a result of 48-35.

Climate sceptic Kevin Andrew (of Mohamed Haneef fame) led the challenge with Wilson Tuckey putting forward the motion to spill. Most opposing this scheme believe the economic costs to individuals and businesses are far too costly to take on.

Tony Abbott was quoted as saying the leadership fight was not an issue of leadership but of policy, and said that had now been resolved.

“We forced the Government to effectively admit that its ETS was going to badly damage Australia’s industries, badly damage jobs,” he said.

“We think that the amendments that we forced out for the Government will save 25,000 jobs that otherwise would have been lost.”

As the weekend rolled around, rumours were flying left, right and centre that Hockey and Abbott would challenge. There were resignations, offers of support, wheeling and dealing.

Tuesday morning, another motion to spill was passed and Malcolm Turnbull lost the leadership to climate sceptic Tony Abbott following yet another secret ballot vote with a result of 42-41. Hockey was ousted from the race early on. We watched the Twitter stream and the live stream from ABC (Thank you ABC).

Twitter is used as an information source by journalists and is an effective place for communal note-taking which adds plenty of background colour to what’s happening on a particular story. Although journalists tend to be serious and professional in their tweets, when House of Representative chambers allowed the use of mobile devices in the chamber this year, a new Twitter superstar was born – the political journalist. Suddenly, Question Time or #qt became a trending topic on Twitter.

Journalists such as Sydney Morning Herald’s Annabel Crabb, Crikey’s Bernard Keane and 2UE’s Latika Bourke began to “..provide up-to-the-minute fashion comment, online heckling and an undercurrent of political analysis…these Australian journalists present a unique larrikin voice in the twitterverse – unedited and informal for the twitter public

In a recent survey of editors and senior editorial staff by The Alliance, they encountered a mixed response, especially due to economic constraints putting added pressure on staff and quality. However not all respondents were quite so grim with some outlining the added engagement of audiences through online channels.

“Our audience is bigger than at any time in my career and there are more ways to deliver the news than ever before,” wrote one, while another wrote: “I think that journalists are in a great position to gather, harness, interpret, deliver great quality journalism, and now there are a plethora of opportunities in the way that content can be delivered.”

This is certainly the case with the recent coverage of #spill 1.0 & #spill 2.0 with some even prophesising #split as a demise of the Liberal Party. Yesterday during this battle of leadership, policy and whether or not the Liberal Party want to be a throwback to the 1950s or a party with foresight, there were 10,000 #spill tweets in three hours (statistic courtesy of @wolfcat). This doesn’t include all the tweets without the #spill hashtag. Those interested in politics were stuck to their screens and an organic political discussion about the Liberal party, its leadership and climate change policy has taken place over the last week. Coupled with traditional media, there has been a serious amount of coverage for Australians.

The most disappointing part about this whole fiasco is that it has pushed aside important dialogue about the ETS. If economic costs are such a big concern for Liberal Party members – how are they not disturbed at what the economic impact will be when the natural resources we rely on disappear?

If you’re interested in positive solutions and actions to curb climate change, please support our client Run for a Safe Climate. They are raising funds to develop and implement a Safe Climate Transition Plan.

Hope you had a happy hump day! 🙂

the c word