#VoteYes in the #MarriageEquality survey, just don’t expect a unifying moment: @burgewords comments

A sad, embarrassing uncle – let’s call him Malcolm – is trying to get us to pull his cracker, but we know what’s coming. A PUBLIC vote on marriage equality is delivering what some Australians have craved for years: an excuse to publicly trash LGBTIQ dignity. The usual pundits are hailing the Coalition’s survey as a victorious tipping point for the fortunes of the Turnbull Government, but at best it’s a hand-holding exercise for the prime minister. Because when the 122-million-dollar show comes to an end – and regardless of the result – if he wants to harness the voice of the people Mr Turnbull will still need to stand on […]

#MarriageEquality on the never never: @burgewords on the politics of hope

It’s clear marriage equality will remain just a high hope TONY Abbott has knocked Australian progressives and moderate Liberals into motionless disappointment on marriage equality. The biggest political football of his government has been booted around by parliament again. There’ll be a few free kicks when the cross-party marriage equality bill comes before parliament, but Abbott’s moved the goalposts already, so none of the players will score. The Australian with the highest hope for the Liberals on this issue – and at the greatest risk of being disappointed by her party – is Tony’s sister Christine Forster, a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney. She optimistically submits to interviews […]

Voyage to the new news world: @burgewords #CreatingWaves on online media

Margo Kingston asked me to kick-off a new series on No Fibs about the experiences of citizen journalists working with professional journalists in online media. Here is my response. A WEEK after the 2013 federal election I was driving to my casual sub-editing job on a Fairfax weekly newspaper when I let a brilliant photo opportunity go. During the campaign I’d had to pass a vast billboard of our electorate’s returned sitting member, Andrew Laming, along that route. But on that day, Laming’s face was burning into black ash as a farmer torched his latest crop’s stubble. It was one of those moments when your mind takes the shot, writes the story […]

Dr Glasson’s New Year’s Medicare resolutions: @GriffithElects reports

By Jan Bowman  @GriffithElects 4 January 2014 When, just after Christmas, the Australian Centre for Health Research (ACHR) announced it had made a submission to the Government’s Commission of Audit proposing the introduction of a mandatory Medicare co-payment, there were calls on Twitter for the media to ask Dr Bill Glasson whether he would support such a proposal. That seemed like a big ask: the first day back at work after the Christmas break, Dr Glasson’s answering service issued the message that his office would be closed until Monday, January 6. Yet an enterprising ABC reporter managed to get hold of him, and the resulting report sparked a storm of interest, […]

Who’s been naughty or nice? Silly season starts in Griffith @GriffithElects reports

By Jan Bowman  @GriffithElects 27 November 2013 When he announced his retirement at the end of the first sitting week of Parliament, Kevin Rudd surprised not only his own colleagues, he also shocked his old foe Dr Bill Glasson. Glasson had only recently returned to work, and after some hesitation (he admits to exhaustion following the September election), he’s decided to step forward again for the LNP. Dr Glasson is well known and well liked in the electorate and a speedily organised by-election would have suited him. However, by waiting until November 23 to formally submit his resignation, Mr Rudd bought some time for the Labor party and avoided a […]

Getting to grips with Griffith by @GriffithElects

[clear] by Jan Bowman  @GriffithElects 18 November 2013 Margo: Here is Jan Bowman’s reflection on being No Fibs’ citizen journo reporting the seat of Griffith at the 2013 election She’s ready to go again at the by election, and I hope you’ll help her out as Twitter’s journalist. Thank you Jan.   No more lies As a passionate reader of other peoples’ work, I always liked the idea of being a writer, but I was never really sure how to make it happen. I certainly had the idea that it isn’t necessarily easy. So when Margo Kingston put out a call on Twitter for citizen journalists to cover their electorate […]

Pie in the sky in Redland City: @burgewords reports Bowman’s first candidates forum

Despite some expectation that our sitting member for the LNP, Andrew Laming MP, would be a no-show like so many of his party colleagues across the nation, all candidates submitted themselves to questions from voters in the Redlands this week, in the Queensland division of Bowman. The Cleveland District State High School Language Centre was a bit over half full. Bayside Bulletin journos, and me, were up the back tweeting to a wider audience via #bowmanpol, and, down the front, our candidates sat in a line which perfectly expressed their place on the ideological spectrum. Stage left was Penny Allman-Payne for the Greens, rubbing shoulders with Darryl Briskey of the […]

Bowman election wrap-up by @burgewords

It’s been an interesting year for voters in the Redlands, the federal division of Bowman in south-east Queensland. A few key incidents have put this region on the political map, but unfortunately none of these was a result of good political representation for residents. First and foremost were the infamous tweets from our sitting federal member for the LNP, Andrew Laming MP, the first of which defined a family dispute in a suburb outside this electorate as “Mobs tearing up Logan”. Mobs tearing up Logan tonight. Did any of them do a day's work today, or was it business as usual and welfare on tap? — Andrew Laming (@AndrewLamingMP) January […]

The Greens face in Bowman: @burgewords reports

The first time I became aware of Penny Allman-Payne was from a flyer on the Coochiemudlo Island Progress Association noticeboard at the jetty on my way to the mainland. This teacher, lawyer, and Greens candidate for Bowman was coming to my island. I couldn’t make it to that meeting, but Penny agreed to meet me recently at a cafe in her home town of Cleveland, where she quickly identified a specific challenge faced by candidates in the smaller parties: being visible to voters. “If you’re not an incumbent with access to large sections of the electorate in a range of ways, or you’re not an ex state member who has […]

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, […]