Nine News Political Editor Laurie Oakes addressed the Andrew Olle Media Lecture last night in Sydney, in which he spoke about politics, journalists and how reporting politics has changed under the 24 hour news ‘cyclone.’
“In today’s media world you have to grab your audience. Things are not as they used to be. Audiences now require grabbing. Many of those moaning about the media’s performance seem to think that the nation is crying out for more quality news programmes, heavy analysis and more current affairs programmes and articles,” he said.
“They’re dreaming. If that was the case, Four Corners would out-rate MasterChef, I’d still be doing interviews on the Sunday program and writing for The Bulletin magazine, and George Negus would probably still be on air.”
But Oakes also said the audiences are engaged in politics.
“It’s starting to be reflected in News coverage. Nine in Sydney has been running politics very prominently in the 6pm News, as a deliberate strategy. Far from being bored, people are tuning in as the ratings show. On morning and afternoon bulletins across all networks interviews with politicians are becoming almost standard fare now.”
However he also predicted that Bloggers will start to usurp the role of determining what is news.
“This prediction was going to be mine when I drafted my lecture, but I find Julian Disney has beaten me to it. So I’d better give him credit,” he said.
“The Press Council chairman says the greatest challenge is the risk that the blogosphere, with its tendency to rush to judgement and circulate scuttlebutt, will push the mainstream media into a race to the bottom.”
You can read the speech in full here.
The Andrew Olle Media Lecture airs 10:30pm Sunday on ABC1.