In Part One of what now is a series, I outlined what I thought an Abbott Australia might look like. In this post, I will speculate what the journalism landscape will be like after the Abbott victory on September 7.
Firstly, at News Corp papers, one can imagine Col Allan being something like this:
And the political writers being like this at first:
One can imagine they would happy that their job is done and that “this mob” is kicked out. Long term, however, one can’t imagine that they would be presenting Abbott in an entirely positive light the entire time, much like the Courier Mail in Brisbane with the Newman Government. There will probably be, however, an air of this for many of those journalists in News Corp:
Especially those not involved in the commentary side of the newspapers, who will probably provide a largely uncritical pathway for an Abbott Government, especially those at the Australian (other than Peter van Onselen) who have been stridently partisan during the period of the minority government. That is hardly surprising when former Liberal Party staffers are a part of the writing staff. In addition to them, there’s the commentariat in the capital city News Corp papers, who enjoy writing partisan stuff like this:
What of the others? I can imagine down at Independent Australia and their coterie of Labor megaphones, it would be a combination of:
And getting mad at the internet for not “allowing” the message to get out there to blot out the MSM:
They will be moving to full “gotcha” mode, looking for moments and scandals to bring down the Government for the entire 3 years of the first term – replete with crowd sourced funding for their continuous campaign. And really, good luck to them – there’s nothing wrong with partisan ratbag publications seeking to do such work. I suspect they will have some material to work with soon enough.
The ABC, meanwhile, will be going back to their careful, watchful mode as Senator Abetz will have some power and an office to sit in, waiting for explanations from Mark Scott.
The ABC should not have to worry, though, as their activities have been pretty impartial these past three years – well, impartial to all but the most partisan commentator, such as Chris Kenny, who has been a little bit like this for the past three years about “their ABC”:
The same thing can be said at Fairfax, where their struggles will be for relevance and keeping an audience – especially if they keep employing Paul Sheehan.
Meanwhile, their online competition, the Guardian can feel as though they will have an audience ready to read their analysis and deconstructions of the Abbott Government and their mistakes. Even if their journalists might feel a bit like this about having to get up each morning to be at a Peter Dutton or Scott Morrison press conference:
Ultimately, what a number of journalists will be waiting for is the verbal equivalent of various Abbott Coalition Ministers doing this (I would guess for many Christopher Pyne would top that list):
Personally, I can visualise my reaction already to any appearance of Abbott on the TV over the next three years or so.