What was it we saw on Channel 9 Sydney news on Friday night?
Was that a live cross from one of Australia’s most respected news presenters to one of Australia’s finest journalists – or a tag-team public relations exercise for Qantas?
The report that led the bulletin started professionally enough. Grim statistics from Qantas chief Alan Joyce of the massive turbulence the national carrier faces in a post-COVID-19 aviation world.
Six thousand Qantas jobs to go across the board. A further 16,000 to be stood down indefinitely and in grave danger if Jobkeeper payments end in September. A hundred planes mothballed.
So the Glass House wonders why newsreader Peter Overton and reporter Damian Ryan appeared so keen to give Joyce and Qantas a soft touch down at the end of the grim tale.
Overton: “Damian, 6000 jobs are going but it could have been worse?”
Ryan: “Yeah, Pete, I understand that a couple of days ago they were looking at getting rid of 10,000 until a change of heart.”
Ryan also understood it could be “several months before we have the 6000 names to go with those drastic figures”.
It all makes you want to bend down and shake Joyce’s hand, doesn’t it. What a champion of the working class! How did he save those extra 4000? Took a cut in his annual salary?
What the Glass House needs to understand is how Ryan came to his understanding of Joyce’s compassion?
In the old days, a reporter might have felt the professional need to throw a “company insider” or “a usually reliable industry source” into the mix if indeed it was an off-the-record aside by Joyce or one of his media team flaks to show how things could have been worse.
But here’s another idea from The Bug. If no-one at Qantas was prepared to own that comment, then why use it?
Missing the mark
While we’re considering the question of questions, here’s another.
Yesterday our glorious national broadshit The Australian gave solid coverage to the latest developments in the high-profile trial of the alleged “Claremont killer” in Perth. It was a big enough story to secure a spot at the bottom of the paper’s front page (below).
It was such a big story that it spilled over to page 6 where members of our media analysis team experienced an uneasy feeling when turning the page to finish reading the compelling yarn (below).
What was it that gave rise to that feeling. Was it something that’s missing from the story. Who knows. Can you work it out.
Presses fall silent on nation’s media landscape
Today will be the last Saturday printed edition for many famous rural and regional mastheads.
Some hundred or so newspapers that have proudly served their communities for many, many decades will be online editions only. Some will fold completely.
Over coming days, The Bug‘s Glass House will share with you some of the bullshit these final editions will be spouting as they try to convince advertisers how everything is going to be hunky dory as they flog their products and services only via an online presence.