Tim Longhurst's Blog

You’ve got 30 minutes to tell the news… Here’s my break-down…

November 17th, 2006 · No Comments

In a 30 minute TV news bulletin in Australia, about 7 minutes is set aside for commercials and of what’s left over, half is spent talking about sport.

So, a few weeks ago, I made my own Prime-Time TV news schedule, where I outlined how I’d roughly apportion time on TIM NEWS… Here’s the break-down…

GLOBAL (ie. affecting the globe): 5 minutes
INTER-NATIONAL (ie. between nations): 5 minutes
NATIONAL: 4 minutes
INTER-STATE: 3 minutes
STATE: 5 minutes
FINANCE: 3 minutes
SPORT: 3 minutes
WEATHER: 2 minutes

The focus shifts from the global to the local, before presenting finance, sport and weather.

This exercise was kind of interesting because it forced me to think about what TV news is good for and who watches it. Being a ‘Gen Y’, I hardly watch TV at all. I get most of my news online, but millions of people tune in at 6pm to watch the local news, so it’s not like the entire format of TV news is redundant because I don’t watch it.

Personally, I’m inclined to think that finance and weather are all better handled via the web and even print because so much data is involved, but I guess I can’t assume everyone has access to the web or newspapers, so I gave them a few minutes at the end.

I gave sport 10% of the bulletin, which is still a little high, but it’s a significant compromise from the status quo.

The outline above tells you something about my world-view and priorities. They’ll probably change over time, but for now, I’d watch that news. In Australia, the closest to my proposed format is SBS World News Australia.

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Category: Media Mayhem

Animal torture is inappropriate – these ads are fantastic

October 28th, 2006 · No Comments

porkWhat would you describe as inappropriate? Cutting off a small pig’s tail, or running an advertisement to inform consumers about the treatment of factory-farmed pigs?

Well if you’d say that torture is inappropriate and a confronting campaign educating consumers about that torture was appropriate, you’d be digusted to learn that some magazines refused to print such advertisements. You might even decide to call the publishers and ask why:

Marie Claire [PHONE: (02) 9464 3300]
Delicious [PHONE: (02) 9353 6666]
Good Weekend [PHONE: (02) 02 9282 2197]

So how controversial are the ads? Well, Womans Day and the Australian Womens Weekly are running them, so I think it’s fair to say they aren’t exactly off the charts when it comes to controversy.

Thanks to Julian Lee and the Sydney Morning Herald for running this story.

Congratulations to animal rights campaigners Voiceless for having the nous to run the campaign.

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Category: culture jamming

The March to Iraq – MoJo tracks the spin

October 25th, 2006 · No Comments

liebylieIraq is such a mess these days. As the Bush administration appear to be trying to spin their way out of a quagmire, Mother Jones has published an interactive timeline of how they got there. The timeline highlights the ‘bad intelligence’, ‘misinformation’, ‘faulty intelligence’ and lies that made the Iraq invasion so hard to swallow. It’s a dense account, but a cursory click here or there is all you really need to be reminded that the ‘fog of war’ really stinks. more: lie by lie

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Category: Peace between people

Future of Journalism

August 2nd, 2006 · No Comments

NewAssignment.net is an experiment in a new funding model for journalism. Craig Newmark, whose website, craigslist.org has been accused of hailing the end of newspapers, has set aside $10k to fund the experiment.

Read all about it: NewAssignment.net

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Category: Communication and connection

Examples of Fake News

April 6th, 2006 · No Comments

fakenews.jpg36 examples of fake news have been posted online as part of a report into Video News Releases (VNRs).

The site, which was launched this week allows you to first watch the video news package created by a PR firm, then, watch in dismay as the same content appears in a news story – without any warning or disclosure that the content is shot by a PR firm, not a news organisation.

We tune into the news because many of us want to be informed citizens – ideally informed by independent journalists rather than corporations with an agenda. I’m not aware of any examples of fake news being broadcast in Australia, but if you know of any, I’d like to know about it.

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Category: Media Mayhem