What makes good online journalism?

Recently Mark Bahnisch of blogsite Larvatus Prodeo said he "...would be interested in what LP folks think makes an excellent piece of online writing in journalistic form...a set of criteria distinctive to feature writing or reportage produced specifically for the online medium rather than print..”

In responding to that request, I took the view that good journalism, whether in print or online, had many features in common.  So I compiled a list for online journalism, but many of the items are just as applicable to print journalism.  This is my list, enlarged on reflection.

Readers’ additions would be welcome, as well as comments about how well The Political Sword meets the listed criteria. More...

Mummy, I’m bored

Like kids at the end of the school holidays, some of our journalists are bored stiff.  They want some excitement to make their dull life a little more bearable.  The Press Gallery sits in Parliament, hangs around the precinct looking for doorstops, dwelling on the occasional press conference.  It’s a pity the news is so depressing; it’s not much fun reporting financial doom and gloom or making sense for their readers of the mind-numbing climate change debate.  So any light relief is seized upon like a kid offered a bag of potato chips.

So it was a heaven-sent gift when Tony Abbott, bored and frustrated himself, said on Fox News that Kevin Rudd was a ‘toxic bore’.  Now don’t ask what ‘toxic’ is supposed to mean, but we do understand ‘bore’.  Tony, for the want of anything better to do with his time, or in the absence of any sensible comment on the problems besetting this nation, decided that slinging that insult over the airwaves would be good sport, and certain to attract a headline, something he craves desperately. More...

The Turnbull ETS wild card

 This week’s Newspoll must be a worry for the Coalition, showing as it does the same 2PP of 58/42 as the poll in early February.  Since that poll the Opposition has made a display of what it believed was economic responsibility by opposing the fiscal stimulus package, a move it hoped might bolster its economic credibility.  However it prudently acknowledged that it ‘might take a hit in the polls’ for opposing a Government move that would likely be popular with the people.  The fact that today’s poll was no worse for the Coalition has predictably been interpreted by some of its members as reassuring, especially after last week’s party dissonance.

But there seems to be something else happening.  After the Newspoll of December 5-7 where the 2PP was 59/41 in contrast to figures around 55/45 for months, there was the suggestion that that poll was aberrant, as occasionally an individual poll can be.  That feeling was reinforced when the next one came in at 54/46, a return to the Newspoll ‘norm’.  Since then though two polls have been at 58/42, so three of the last four Newspolls, taken over the last three months, have been around that figure.  Does this mean that the trend is towards a resetting of the Newspoll norm to around 58/42?   Other polls over the last month or two give even poorer results for the Coalition: Essential Research this week was 62/38 and Morgan 59.5/40.5.  Possum’s Pollytrack shows 59/41 and his All Poll Average 58.6/41.4.  They are all in the same ball park, despite varying methodologies. More...

Malcolm Turnbull’s intelligence

There seems to be little disagreement, even amongst his detractors, that Malcolm Turnbull is highly intelligent.  It almost goes without saying.

Yet how can someone with his purported intelligence do such dumb things all through last week?  Is it because intelligence is not a homogenous attribute?  Is it because one can be intelligent in some areas and the opposite in others? More...