Ready to go on @NoFibs Election13 citizen journo seat reports

by Margo Kingston 4 August 2013 Nearly fifteen years ago, when I was a political journalist in Canberra, I tried to get posted to Bourke to report rural and Aboriginal affairs from the outside in. Now I’ll be covering the 2013 election from the Gold Coast with 20 plus reporters on the ground in seats around the nation. No Fibs’ seats reporters are volunteers who live in the seats they cover, so they report as constituents as well as citizen journalists. It’s a pro-am team. Two volunteers are working journalists, one is a veteran citizen journo for indie media and another a final year journalism student. They join public servants, accountants, […]

Di Smith’s Labor pitch in Wentworth

By Di Smith 30 July, 2013 People often ask me why I have put myself in what they perceive to be an impossible situation: pitting myself against someone who is respected, well liked and, according to some commentators, quite possibly the most popular politician in the country. There are also those that say nothing is at stake this election. That the choice between Labor and Liberal no choice at all. To those people I say, look closer. My name is Di Smith. I am an actor, an activist, a teacher and a campaigner. Most people who still recognise me from my acting career remember the years on A Country Practice, […]

Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning

By Margo Kingston 9 July, 2013 Today’s original Abbott #BATTLERORT transcript was kindly transcribed by Dr Lachlan Hinds – @Doclach, and Brock Turner – @Turlow1. There are errors and lies throughout – have a go at finding them by reading the letters in EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book. Yesterday’s lie QUESTION: Did you claim travel expenses on your book tour? TONY ABBOTT: I did not. * (Transcript Source: Mr Abbott website) QUESTION: Mr Abbott, how is Peter Slipper incorrectly claiming $900 and offering to pay it back different from you incorrectly claiming $9000 worth of travel expenses and then paying it back? How […]

@MediaActive interviews ABC news director @katetorney

By Peter Clarke 5 July, 2013 Kate Torney, director of news at the ABC, says she welcomes new news media players into the local scene, celebrates constant change in the news industry and affirms the bedrock principles of a publicly funded news organisation as the digital revolution gathers pace Torney has been director of news at the ABC since 2009. She is hardly a household name. Yet she is leading the news division during an era of unprecedented change in news gathering and distribution at the national broadcaster. Her daily influence is not overt but it is culturally significant. “Building the future of the ABC is about building agility into […]

ABC loses plot on ethics and news, citizen journos shine

by Margo Kingston 21 June 2013    Update 22 September 2013 Dear ABC Insiders, I note that you had Piers Akerman back on the Insiders program this morning after a three month hiatus following his heinous comments about Prime Minister Gillard’s sexuality on June 16th this year which resulted in many members of the public (including myself), complaining directly to the ABC. I think it’s fair to say, many viewers of the show have enjoyed this hiatus, and in fact, we had been hoping it would be permanent. This is evidently not the case. You waited until two weeks after the federal election to have him back on which I […]

Immersion journalism for democracy

June 15, 2013 For more than a decade I argued inside and outside election planning meetings at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that we must do immersion journalism in key seats. Rushing in and out of seats on the circus bus and making a few calls to profile marginals was crap, I argued. My last experience on the bus, during the 1996 election, convinced me never to do it again. I wrote of the experience in my book on Pauline Hanson’s free-form, authentic encounters with Australians during the 1998 election campaign: ‘Any honest look at the disillusion in the Australian political landscape has to face up to the […]

@NoFibs new directions, by Margo Kingston

by Margo Kingston June 08, 2013 Looking back on my first six months on Twitter, two Tweeps gave me excellent insights. George Megalogenis said ‘Twitter is what you want it to be’ and Asher Wolf said that ‘any activity, repeated frequently enough, is habit-forming’. I got addicted. So many rabbit warrens to run down, a little thrill each time I was retweeted, like pressing the button on the pokies. So much passion spent inside the echo chamber. Now, after a few days disconnected from the drug, I have considered George’s question – what do I want Twitter to be for me? After seven years with back turned to the mainstream […]

Bishop v Indonesian Ambassador Kesoema. Who said what and who is lying?

What the Indonesian Ambassador said about Coalition’s turn-back-boats policy: Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema said Indonesia would welcome Tony Abbott or whoever leads Australia after the September election. But he said asylum seeker boats should be turned back to other countries, not to Indonesia. “Indonesia is a transit country and also the victim of this situation. I think it’s not possible for the coalition to say that it has to go back to Indonesia because Indonesia is not the origin country of these people,” he told reporters in Canberra on Friday. “No such collaboration will happen between Indonesia and Australia (to) bring back the people to Indonesia.” The opposition has long […]

LibLab public funding deal a ‘financial gerrymander’: Tony Fitzgerald.

By Tony Fitzgerald, 2 June, 2013 The recent proposal to pay extra public money to political parties was widely seen as another misuse of public money for private benefit. However, the scheme was even more objectionable because of the impact that it would have had on future elections. Australian democracy is more than a contest between the major political parties, which are merely private organisations – small groups of people who have banded together to advance their own opinions and interests and those of like-minded people – with no formal status beyond registration under the Commonwealth Electoral Act. However, elections are heavily weighted in favour of the major parties. Each […]

Federal Press Gallery list revealed

  MARGO: Everyone know journos can’t keep a secret, but they’ve somehow managed to keep the list of Federal Press Gallery members secret from the general public. Until now. We’ve published two pieces on the PG triggered by its refusal to allow @callumdav to join as a reporter for @independentaus; Your guide to the Press Gallery and its gatekeeper and The Press Gallery contemplates reform: Join the conversation As regular @NoFibs readers know, I FOI’d the list of Press Gallery members when I realised, much to my surprise, that it was secret. Press Gallery President David Speers is now seeking gallery members’ permission to make the list public. Hi @margokingston1 […]