If you’re like me, you compulsively consume news media. Today, the promotions for the Budget 2011 ran constantly – promising of all things, analysis from leading journalists.
I defy the notion that any kind of serious analysis can happen in such a short time – less than a day, in fact, only a few hours.
The ridiculous 24/7 media cycle demands “instant analysis” – a contradiction in terms – which simply serves to trivilise any kind of real analysis and in my view actually damages our ability to conduct an informed debate.
Tonight we see the farcical media circus of Wayne Swan being interviewed just moments after delivering his speech in Parliament on the 7:30 Report. Tomorrow, the papers will be filled with the “details” – in fact, pre-packed “factoids” (and I mean factoid with its negative connotations).
Most of the so-called “serious” commentary leading up to the Budget was focused on the media side-show: questions about whether or not the Government had a “narrative” (or whether it’s narrative was “breaking through”). Occasionally, the Liberal Party talking points would be uncritically repeated by those “reporting” on the budget.
This budget commentary exemplifies – as the mining tax commentary and carbon price commentary did – the utter irrelevance and collective failure of the Canberra Press Gallery and the rest of the echo-chamber.