Monday, 8th October 2012

SOMETHING NEW

When 2GB suspended advertising from Alan Jones' show, its flagship program, it signalled something major and new in the national public debate.

The forces marshalled via Twitter and Facebook have paralysed one of the nation's most powerful broadcasters, flummoxed commentators and left politicians and the 'legacy' media spinning.

What is new is not the outrage or the sheer volume of comment that built up, but the way public sentiment was harnessed. No-one will accuse the social media of being inconsequential any longer, because the online campaigners against Alan Jones found a way of focusing the consumer power of the public.

Conservatives, shocked by the shift, now see themselves as victims of a new form of mob rule, calling it bullying and censorship. But signing petitions and calling for boycotts are neither of these things. They are examples of freedom of expression, plain and simple; it's just that their message is loud, clear and crushingly effective compared to previous expressions of public disgust.

Whether consumer energy will be harnessed only in the service of progressive political causes, however, is another question entirely.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Cyber Backlash Forces Jones To Take Commercial Break

"Macquarie Radio Network has taken the unprecedented step of suspending advertising on its top-rating Alan Jones breakfast show in response to the social media backlash faced by its advertisers. While several high-profile companies such as Woolworths, Challenger and Telstra pulled advertising after it was reported that Mr Jones had told a Young Liberals dinner that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father 'died of shame', social media campaigns through Facebook and Twitter continued to target the network’s remaining advertisers." (Also: The Startling Hypocrisy of Alan Jones)

Stand By For A Fresh Round Of Personal Attacks From Both Sides Of The House

"The climate of personal attack is set to intensify with the government unperturbed by Margie Abbott's defence of her husband against claims of misogyny. Equally, the opposition is trying to turn the tables on the government, accusing it of rank hypocrisy for supporting the 'vile misogynist' Peter Slipper."

ALP Seeks Tighter China Ties In New Bob Carr Plan

"Labor is pursuing a dramatic upgrading of Australia's relationship with China that would put diplomatic ties between Canberra and Beijing on a similar footing to relations with the US, Japan and Indonesia. Foreign Minister Bob Carr revealed yesterday that he had sent the head of his department, Dennis Richardson, to Beijing last month to propose the new arrangements, which would include an annual leaders' summit."

Washer Calls For Wheat Bill Deal

"West Australian Liberal backbencher Mal Washer has condemned the 'agrarian socialists' in the Nationals for making life difficult for the Liberals on the controversial issue of wheat deregulation. As the Coalition deals with its internal fracture over the government's bill to complete deregulation of the export industry, due to be debated this week, Dr Washer said: 'I would have thought the Liberal Party would have supported more deregulation. But we are dealing with agrarian socialists'.

How The Aboriginal Vote Won The NT election

"It had been assumed the Aboriginal vote was rusted on to the ALP. Yet it was Aboriginal voters in the bush who threw out the government that had ignored them, delivering victory to the Country Liberal Party. This extraordinary outcome  challenges mainstream perceptions of the marginal power of the Aboriginal vote. The voter turnout across the Territory was an unusually high 77%; three in ten Territorians are Aboriginal. Clearly, they wanted to make their votes count."

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