Monday, 7 December 2009

It's difficult to blame the media when things like this happen. Here's a story about an Indonesian soldier admitting that the journalists from Channel Nine and Channel Seven who were killed at Balibo in 1979 were killed on purpose. It had three readers when I read it.

Then there's a story about Keira Knightley, the British movie star, and how women are jealous of her. The story, by glamorous UK columnist Celia Waldren (pic), had 39 readers when I read it.

Both stories featured prominently on the web page. Admittedly the Knightley story had a picture.

It's really hard to criticise news outlets for giving in to the entertainment lobby when you see this kind of reader reaction.

Then again, it's not right for websites to be endlessly chasing clicks, is it? I mean, if we ascribed equal importance to each click, there would be no higher learning, and no hope of acquiring obstruse knowledge. But if newspapers only see how sex sells faster than human rights, there's no hope for human rights.

Let's hope the ABC's new opinion site, The Drum, lives up to our high expectations. Admittedly, it seems as though there's a bit too much emphasis on in-house writers. I prefer the format of Fairfax's National Times, where occasional writers get given a fair amount of prominence.

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