Tonight I found myself in a very foreign situation. Thanks to my university lectures, I had been given a free ticket to the annual Andrew Olle Media Lecture.
Andrew Olle was an investigative journalist who died suddenly of a brain tumour. A trust was set up in his name, and a scholarship followed.
Each year a highly acclaimed journalist gives a lecture on media, investigative journalism, and a whole bunch of home truths. This year notoriously fearless investigative journalist, Kate McClymont gave the speech.
She spoke with humour, humility, and insight. Kate suggested that journalists, “know the difference between what the public are interested in and what is in the publics interest.”
This spoke out to me above anything else simply because of the literal state of today’s media.
We are lucky in Australia. No matter what media source you analyse, you’ll find that we don’t have one media source that presses an agenda that relies on the humiliation of the gods. For the time being, our media holds sacred the home lives of politicians, media talking heads, and to an extent, celebrities.
This is something that we need to maintain. It is just as important as free press, and free speech. I’m not talking about secrecy, I’m talking about privacy.
If a politician is shagging a secret girlfriend, why do we need to know? Is it impacting their job? Are they doing anything illegal? Is anyone in danger? When all of these questions are answered we can then assess whether or not the story should be publish.
If the media goes down this trashy road of tabloid, sexy stories, then the news will become devalued. And when the news becomes devalued it becomes useless.
Kate McClymont is keeping the news accessible, relevant, ground breaking, and truth seeking.