The writing has been on the wall for at least a decade. The hallowed cartooning traditions of the 20th century cannot continue without facing up to fundamental changes in the industry. Although the New York Times decision doesn’t spell the end of cartooning as we know it, this may very well be a tipping point for the global cartooning industry.
There are dictators and autocrats who are breathing a little easier today. The intolerant, the narrow-minded, the scared, the defensive, the haters of freedom and particularly freedom of speech, are watching us lay to rest the man who never left them alone.
The debate centres on a bill that would introduce Australia's most restrictive rules on reporting on juvenile offenders, including punishments of up to a year in jail for journalists who enter a juvenile court or publish details of any case.
Attitudes towards news media and consumption behaviour in Canada pose a sort of conundrum. In general, Canadians have a positive view of journalism and relatively high trust in media, but on the other hand, they are little inclined to pay for digital news sources.
Australian news consumers access news less often and have lower interest in it compared to citizens in many other countries. At the same time, Australians are more likely to think the news media are doing a good job keeping them up to date and explaining what’s happening.
Much as robots have transformed entire swaths of the manufacturing economy, artificial intelligence and automation are now changing information work, letting humans offload cognitive labor to computers. In journalism, for instance, data mining systems alert reporters to potential news stories, while newsbots offer new ways for audiences to explore information. Automated writing systems generate financial, sports and elections coverage.
Comparing the way two western democracies (the United States and Australia) protect – and undermine – investigative reporting raises important questions about journalism’s role in democracy.
From fictitious organizations posting polarizing messages on Facebook to robustly researched news stories being labelled “fake,” the pervasive power and importance of the media are clear.
The idea of the news media as the Fourth Estate has a chequered history. It began life as a term of abuse for the scurillous and ill-principled scribes of the press gallery at the Palace of Westminister. Conservative Anglo-Irish MP Edmund Burke coined the phrase as a way of mocking the gentlemen of the press. However, in the intervening centuries, the Fourth Estate has come to mean taking a principled position to – as Australian Democrats senator Don Chipp would have put it – “keep the bastards honest”.
A few days ago, Waleed Aly asked a not-so-rhetorical question in The Sydney Morning Herald. He wondered how many Australians were worried about the fact that the Australian Federal Police had spent a good portion of this week raiding the offices and homes of journalists who’ve published stories clearly in the public intere