The Media Files

A new monthly podcast featuring discussion between media researchers, experts and working journalists on the big issues in the media landscape today. Produced in collaboration with The Conversation.

Episodes

  • Media Files: ACCC seeks to clip wings of tech giants like Facebook and Google but international effort is required

    30mins 03secs

    In a landmark report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has urged the federal government to fix the uneven market power of digital companies like Facebook and Google that make it almost impossible for traditional media companies to compete for advertising and audiences.

    The Digital Platforms Inquiry report, released in late July, lists 23 recommendations that cover all aspects of how and where we get our news. The ACCC’s proposed changes span competition law, consumer protections, media regulation and privacy laws.

    Today, the Media Files team talks to a media owner and journalism expert to look closely at what the ACCC has suggested needs to change so media businesses remain economically viable and able to produce reliable news in all parts of Australia.

    Media Files’ guests are media academic and journalist Margaret Simonsfrom Monash University and Ross McPherson, editor-in-chief of the McPherson Media Group, publisher of 14 newspapers in regional Victoria and New South Wales.

  • Media Files: Washington Post weather editor Jason Samenow on how weather coverage is evolving – and building audience growth

    21mins 55secs

    When he founded the blog CapitalWeather.com 15 years ago in Washington DC, Jason Samenow was working for the US government as a climate change analyst. A full-time media career was probably the last thing on his mind.

    But the blog – which became known as the Capital Weather Gang – gained traction, and was gradually absorbed by The Washington Post.

    These days, Samenow is chief meteorologist and weather editor for the Post, where his work is driving audience growth and engagement.

  • Media Files: Australians’ trust in news media is falling as concern over ‘fake news’ grows

    25mins 44secs

    On today’s episode, we hear from Caroline Fisher, an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Canberra and lead author of the 2019 Australian edition of the the Digital News Report.

    The annual report has found that public trust in the news media is falling. It also finds that Australians are worried about “fake news”. Perhaps as a result, we access news less often and have lower interest in it compared to citizens in many other countries. Yet, when it comes to keeping us up to date, we think the news media passes the test.

    It’s the fifth year of the report, which comes from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. There are 38 countries involved and it’s an annual snapshot of media: how they’re using it and what they think of it.

    You can hear the full interview and details of the report here on Media Files.

  • Media Files: Louise Milligan on Cardinal Pell and redactions in the Royal Commission’s report

    30mins 10secs

    Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against child sexual assault convictions kicks off this week, but when that’s over Pell still has another reckoning to face: the unredacted findings of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

    When the royal commission handed down its massive report in late 2017, several sections were redacted until after any legal proceedings against Cardinal Pell were concluded.

    In this episode of Media Files, Matthew Ricketson talks with ABC investgative reporter Louise Milligan – author of Cardinal: the rise and fall of George Pell – about the issues and incidents the royal commission investigated.

  • Media Files: Facebook’s Mia Garlick on #Ausvotes2019 and how Australian MPs use social media

    24mins 28secs

    As we enter the final straight of the Australian election campaign, we ask you: how much of your information about the issues and the candidates comes from social media?

    Today’s Media Files podcast examines the role of social media in election campaigns, including the spread of “fake news” and foreign political interference.

    Joining us is Facebook’s policy director Mia Garlick to help us understand the scale of traffic on social media.

  • Investigative journalist Adele Ferguson on the ‘disappointing’ banking royal commission and how she works with whistleblowers

    22min 41sec

    Today on Media Files, it’s journalism versus the big banks. We’re hearing from Adele Ferguson, the celebrated journalist who many credit as the driving force behind the banking royal commission.

    Adele Ferguson is a reporter with the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age and a columnist for the Australian Financial Review. Over many years, her reporting has exposed the way financial institutions have flouted the rules and how regulators like the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have consistently failed to hold financial institutions to account.

    Producers: Andy Hazel and Gavin Nebauer

    Theme music: Susie Wilkins.

  • Pell trial reporters, a judge and a media lawyer on why the suppression order debate is far from over

    43 mins 39 secs

    When Judge Peter Kidd sentenced Cardinal George Pell last week, it was broadcast live on radio and television. It was a stark contrast to the preceding trial, which was subject to a suppression order that prevented any coverage of the proceedings.

    Today on Media Files we look at the suppression order that prevented the Australian media reporting the case, even when the verdict was widely known and was being circulated on social media and on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

    On the day of the Pell sentence the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism brought together several experts with wide-ranging experiences of suppression orders to discuss how they affect the public’s right to know and whether the laws should be reformed.

    The panellists are:

    Associate Professor Jason Bosland, Co-Director of the Centre for Media and Communications Law at Melbourne Law School, where he teaches media and communications law. His primary research interests lie in media law, including defamation and privacy, open justice and the media, contempt of court and freedom of speech.

    Melissa Davey, Melbourne bureau chief for The Guardian. She is an experienced news journalist who previously worked as a reporter for Fairfax newspapers, including The Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun Herald. She sat through every day of the George Pell trial.

    Lucie Morris-Marr, a reporter who, like Melissa, sat through the entire Pell proceedings. She worked at the Daily Mail, London, Marie Claire Australia and the Herald Sun in Melbourne before covering the Pell trial for the New Daily. She is the author of a book on Pell entitled Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell.

    Frank Vincent AO QC, who served 16 years as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria followed by a further eight years as a judge of the Court of Appeal. He was Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Victorian Adult Parole Board, a position he occupied for 17 years. In 2017 he conducted a review of court suppression orders and the Open Courts Act 2013.

    The forum was chaired by Dr Denis Muller of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne.

  • Episode #7: From Trump to Brexit, The Guardian’s Kath Viner on the big media stories of 2018

    32min

    Today we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest issues of 2018 with special guest Kath Viner, editor-in-chief of The Guardian.

    As the media grappled this year with how to cover Donald Trump and his “alternative facts”, Viner says it may be time for the media to pay less attention to what he says.

    “Surely the thing to do is report on what is actually happening. So less on what Trump is saying but actually what his administration is doing,” Viner said.

    “We don’t hear about what he’s doing because we’re too busy commenting on what he’s saying.”

    We also talked about how newsrooms are funding journalism and particularly investigative journalism, in an era when journalists are increasingly vilified and even physically attacked or killed.

    Viner also identified what she saw as the major challenges ahead.

    “I think the other big challenge for next year is how we deal with the rise of the far right and how we report on it without inflaming it or over-exaggerating it,” she said.

    Media Files is produced by a team of academics who have spent decades working in and reporting on the media industry. They’re passionate about sharing their understanding of the media landscape, especially how journalists operate, how media policy is changing, and how commercial manoeuvres and digital disruption are affecting the kinds of media and journalism we consume.

    Media Files will be out every month, with occasional off-schedule episodes released when we’ve got fresh analysis we can’t wait to share with you. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you find your podcasts. And while you’re there, please rate and review us – it really helps others to find us.

    Producer: Andy Hazel.

    Theme music: Susie Wilkins.

  • Episode #6: Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy and former MP David Feeney on the digital disruption of media and politics

    45 mins

    Today on Media Files, a podcast about the major issues in the media, we’re taking a close look at the role of the news media in politics. As the Wentworth by-election looms, we’re asking: is digital disruption changing the rules of journalism and politics in Australia? It is easy to miss how disorienting it can be to work in the always-on-at-fire-hydrant-strength world of political journalism these…

    Media Files is produced by a team of academics who have spent decades working in and reporting on the media industry. They’re passionate about sharing their understanding of the media landscape, especially how journalists operate, how media policy is changing, and how commercial manoeuvres and digital disruption are affecting the kinds of media and journalism we consume.

    Media Files will be out every month, with occasional off-schedule episodes released when we’ve got fresh analysis we can’t wait to share with you. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you find your podcasts. And while you’re there, please rate and review us – it really helps others to find us.

    Producer: Andy Hazel.

    Theme music: Susie Wilkins.

  • Episode #5: What does the future newsroom look like?

    28 mins

    Today on Media Files, a podcast about the major themes and issues in the media, we’re looking at the future newsroom. We often hear about the doom and gloom of established media companies as they shed staff and revenues, but is there hope for journalism and a new style of digital newsroom? We ask of the man with an ambitious mission to launch 100 media start-ups in three years: what does the future…

    Media Files is produced by a team of academics who have spent decades working in and reporting on the media industry. They’re passionate about sharing their understanding of the media landscape, especially how journalists operate, how media policy is changing, and how commercial manoeuvres and digital disruption are affecting the kinds of media and journalism we consume.

    Media Files will be out every month, with occasional off-schedule episodes released when we’ve got fresh analysis we can’t wait to share with you. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you find your podcasts. And while you’re there, please rate and review us – it really helps others to find us.

    Producer: Andy Hazel.

    Theme music: Susie Wilkins

  • Episode #4: ABC boss Michelle Guthrie sacked, but the board won’t say why

    20min 30secs

    The major question following the sacking of ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is why? Why did the ABC board move so decisively and why now?

    Was it just about tension between her and the corporation chair, Justin Milne, or was it about strategic direction for the national broadcaster?

    In this special edition of Media Files, Monash University’s Margaret Simons and former ABC staff-elected director Matt Peacock talk to Matthew Ricketson and Andrew Dodd about what it might mean for the ABC – particularly in the lead up to a federal election.

    Media Files is produced by a team of journalists and academics who have spent decades working in and reporting on the media industry. They’re passionate about sharing their understanding of the media landscape, especially how journalists operate, how media policy is changing, and how commercial manoeuvres and digital disruption are affecting the kinds of media and journalism we consume.

    Media Files will be out every month, with occasional off-schedule episodes released when we’ve got fresh analysis we can’t wait to share with you. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you find your podcasts. And while you’re there, please rate and review us – it really helps others to find us.

    Producer: Andy Hazel.

    Theme music: Susie Wilkins.

  • Episode #3: On the Serena Williams cartoon – and how the UK phone hacking scandal led to a media crackdown in South Africa

    33min 23secs

    Mark Knight’s cartoon in The Herald Sun has become a global topic of condemnation and debate because of its negative portrayal of American tennis player Serena Williams. It was widely described as racist.

    The news of the cartoon broke last week while we were both at a conference in South Africa. We decided to show the cartoon to some local academics with expertise in the study of media, race and gender to gauge their reactions because few places have dealt with issues of racism more comprehensively than South Africa.

    Listen in to this episode to hear the responses of Dr Shepherd Mpofu of the University of Limpopo and Dr Julie Reid and Dr Rofhiwa Mukhudwana of the Department of Communication Science at the University of South Africa.

    Media Files is produced by a team of journalists and academics who have spent decades working in and reporting on the media industry. They’re passionate about sharing their understanding of the media landscape, especially how journalists operate, how media policy is changing, and how commercial manoeuvres and digital disruption are affecting the kinds of media and journalism we consume.

    Media Files will be out every month, with occasional off-schedule episodes released when we’ve got fresh analysis we can’t wait to share with you. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you find your podcasts. And while you’re there, please rate and review us – it really helps others to find us.

    Producer: Andy Hazel.

    Theme music: Susie Wilkins.