Home > Australian politics, Media > A new media strategy

A new media strategy

It’s pretty obvious to everyone by now that the Government’s media strategy (if they actually have one) is not working at all.

From what I can see their strategy seems to be to not ruffle feathers even when provoked…anything to avoid the dreaded “gotcha” moment.  Of course this has the effect of the goldfish-brained media trying even harder for the gotcha, ending up in a death spiral of irrelevance and rampant sensationalism.  Even though the public are starting to see this media behaviour for what it is and starting a slow burn of resentment towards them, I don’t think this is happening fast enough to turn things around for the Government.  I thnik now is the time for them to get proactive and start pushing back harder against the feral media.  After all, they are not going to get a fair go no matter what they do, so why not show some spirit that the public will appreciate…no-one has respect for anyone who lies there and takes a kicking when they could fight back.

Here are some of my suggestions:

1.   When having press conferences about legislation and policy, refuse to answer any questions not related the subject.  How many times have we seen a PC dominated by inane questions about the latest non-troversy with no-one doing there job and asking about the matter of substance.

2.   In conjunction with this hold a weekly/twice weekly open slather press conferences where everything is on the table…this way there are specific forums for pertinent information to get out and then a place for the gossip and rumour mongers to have their fun.

3.   Don’t accept spurious lines of questioning from journos.  If their premise is wrong, tell them and don’t answer.  Refer them to places where they can get the correct information.  They are used to politicians bowing and scraping and letting them get away with shit in their dread to avoid a gotcha…if they push back the public will appreciate it more.

4.   Don’t engage with Abbott or the Opposition in the press.   They are not worth the carbon dioxide expelled when talking about them.  If the press raised things they have said, comment with “that’s interesting” and then point them towards the correct facts.  the less said about them the better.  It means Abbott will be driven to do more and more stunts to get attention, showing him to be the clown he really is.

5.  Bring some of the Question Time spark into the public arena.  On a day to day basis the Government totally pwns the Opposition in Question Time, leaving them to resort to kindergarten style insults and the inevitable censure motion that’s doomed to fail.  the public loves a bit of spark far more than the colourless droning that is currently visible.

6.  Have your own cameras during interviews.  It’s a bit petty I know, but if you have your own record you have a counter to dodgy editing.  It also means they can go to town on journos with impunity.  If they slice up the footage in a misleading manner, all they do is post the full interview on YouTube or other places and say “here’s what actually happened”.  This has the added bonus of tarnishing the media’s reputation even further, hopefully drawing back towards the light.

7.  Social media is the future.  The Government do a really good job with social media, in particular Twitter.  Some of the tweets from the House are downright hilarious, showing more of the personality of the pollies and this can only be a good thing.  More of Albo and Ed Husic tweeting their thoughts and observations can only be a big plus, however the straight policy announcements can’t be too dry…they need a bit of flavour.


Well that’s my thoughts.  I know it’s only a pipe dream, mainly because I think the Government’s media advisers are stuck in the 20th century and wouldn’t have a clue what the general public think any more, but it’s time for the Government to realise that the media is not their friend and is not a friend of the Australian public.  They need to work through or around them to get their message out…the media certainly won’t help them.

  1. Duncan
    February 17, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    I think their strategy is just playing the long game, they don’t have to hold an election nor do they have to vote to change leaders.
    The coalition can huff and puff all they want, it’s not going to happen.

    If the storm in a teacup of Kevin-will he won’t he Rudd, has to die a slow death then so be it.
    Labour know by now that the press won’t accept their answers trueful or otherwise regarding leadership speculation, so I think they are just waiting for it to blow over.

    They can flog the dead horse (“leadership challenge” story) for as long as they want, its still not going to get up and carry the Coalition into parliment, sooner or later they have to present an alternative.
    Barring a large economic downturn or a large injection of talent into the Coalition frontbench, I think the government still has a good chance (regardless of the current polls), of getting in next election.

  2. The Walrus
    February 20, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    “……….They can flog the dead horse (“leadership challenge” story) for as long as they want, its still not going to get up ……………….”


    Not get up ya reckon……………….LOL

    Its just got up and bolted out of the barn…………

    You poor dears, watching your wretched government in its death throes.

    It just wasn’t supposed to all end like this was it……………..LOL

    • Duncan
      February 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      What exactly is different to Friday? Kevin Rudd isn’t in the country, thats about it?

    • February 21, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      So who’s telling us about the spill…is it “unnamed sources”, is it “Rudd supporters”, is it “Gillard backers”? Actually it’s the same media who have been pushing this for the past six months.
      If it happens it’s going to happen solely to shut the media up…after all it’s what they’ve been working so hard for since the election. Never mind reporting actual news…let’s just print gossip.

      • reb
        February 23, 2012 at 7:51 AM

        So the leadership spill is all just “media speculation” eh Massive..? 😉

  3. February 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    reb :

    So the leadership spill is all just “media speculation” eh Massive..? ;)

    The fact that Rudd was stupid/egotistical enough to feed the trolls doesn’t preclude the fact that if the media hadn’t been beating this up for the past 12 months it wouldn’t have happened.

    • reb
      February 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      “The fact that Rudd was stupid/egotistical enough to feed the trolls”

      “The trolls?”

      Is that what you’re calling the media these days…???

      • February 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        Yep…without a doubt.

        they have been running the leadership spill “story” solidly for 18 months with no evidence apart from the “unnamed sources”. Even when nothing was going to happen they persisted and dialled up the rhetoric. Finally someone blinked and engaged them in the manner they expected.
        Sounds like textbook trolling to me.
        You should know this…you get enough of it on the Gutter. 🙂

  4. King Rat
    February 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    ”The fact that Kevin’s been openly campaigning for the leadership has been the worst kept secret in Canberra,”

    -Environment Minister Tony Burke 7.30 Report

    ROFLMAO and pointing my finger at YOU !

    • February 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Well I don’t live in Canberra so I wouldn’t know.
      And anything reported by the media without named sources is to be ignored.

      Sure I gave Rudd the benefit of the doubt, but after his effort last night no longer. It is all about him and not the country. He’s the ALP Abbott.

  5. Tom of Melbourne
    March 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Heavens, I can’t even comment on you comment to my comment…so –
    Since when is it necessary for journalists to attribute every source? Where is that in any code of conduct?

    Post a link to provide an authoritative source for your proposal that journalists reveal every whistleblower, every private source.

    Journalists wrote stories about the hypocrisy of our politicians, they’d say one thing in public and something else privately.

    Informing the public of this behaviour is in the public interest. You just find it politically inconvenient.

    It’s “just not sensible”
    My point is that FWA has clearly made a finding of a case to answer. This has been my contention. I’ve never relied on a police investigation or any outcome of it.

    Your verballing me, and you’ve done this before.

    It seems that I was right and you were wrong!
    Hate Media – 4
    Massive Spray – 0

    • March 15, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      Tom, Tom Tom….yet again you keep putting up these assertions that have zero relationship to reality.

      Not once did I state that journalists must provide their sources.
      What I said was that if the sources weren’t prepared to go on the record then anything they say should be regarded as gossip and speculation.
      Try to get it right.

      Who cares what FWA have found. In this situation there is a current police investigation occurring and nothing else should happen until this has completed. There is a certain process that should be followed without political interference…you know like your mate George Brandis trying to get 2 state police departments to investigate it on his say so.
      I know your mob are desperate to skate into government without doing the hard yards of an election but it’s looking less and less likely that this will happen.

      It seems that I was right and you were wrong!

      Once again you are completely incorrect. Sorry.

      • Tom
        March 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

        MS, on the previous thread, now closed to comments, you said ”If they are not prepared to put their names or faces to it, then it is just gossip.

        Clearly the press reporting of-
        • Gillard about to walk away from her commitment to Wilkie,
        • Rudd agitating for the leadership
        • Rudd leaking in 2010
        …weren’t cases of “gossip”, it was factual reporting.
        So if those backgrounding the press, for whatever purpose, wish to remain off the record, what’s your problem?

        Would you deny the right of the public to be informed about those issues?

  6. March 19, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    …weren’t cases of “gossip”, it was factual reporting.

    Without evidence or confirmation it is just speculation. Standard rule of journalism is to get more than one source for confirmation…backgrounding by one source is just speculation until confirmed.

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