The recently announced re-structures by legacy news services Fairfax and News Limited were seen to be a necessary adjustment to shrinking advertising revenues and the increasing shift from consumers toward digital content. Some say they acted too late to adjust to the changing landscape of print journalism, others claim that the newspaper is already a dinosaur and will be extinct in the not-too-distant future.

I admit, we now live in a digital age (what a fucking lame term) and there will be some unfortunate job losses ahead. The events of the last several weeks in Australia are a spooky rendition of recent cuts in the American legacy news services, as evidenced in the great documentary ‘Page One‘. As these titans begin their slow decline, they are rapidly being replaced by sites such as Gawker and news.com.au. These sites generally have ‘trending’ topics, the top 10 stories for the day or something similar. More often than not, there’s not a ‘real’ story in sight. (Gawker’s top story today was Tom Cruise’s break-up with Katie Holmes).

Crystallising this apparent shift toward content low, image-heavy journalism are television shows like ‘The Project’ on Channel 10. Steered by ‘funny men’ Dave Hughes and that other cunt, Charlie Pickering, with input from ‘journalist’ (she read the news on Nova radio for a period – does that qualify? Answer; no it fucking doesn’t!) Carrie Bickmore, this production is absolutely fucking appalling. Each story runs for no more than 2 minutes, gives the broad overview of each issue with a well-hidden liberal slant, and moves on. Slick graphics ensure that the impression of content is given, while 30 second interviews with experts on each subject add weight to their argument.

I watched a whole episode of The Project once. I scrubbed and scrubbed in the shower afterwards, but even though I’d broken the skin in some areas, the feeling that I’d been covertly fucked did not wash off easily.

The fact that Dave Hughes and Charlie Pickering are at the helm of this turd-lorry is even more infuriating; why these pricks? Does society now need its hand held by a few ‘men of laughter’ as they guide us through the big ol’ scary World and all She delivers on a daily basis? I guess that I can understand Hughes’ appeal to the shows’ target demographic (despite the fact that I’d rather insert molten-hot magma into my Jap’s eye with a dropper pipette than go to one of his stand-up shows) but the selection of Pickering is baffling…

The man truly is a media-whoring fucktard. With his expertly groomed beard and a hair-do so precisely parted that a priest must have been involved at some point, there has never been a more punchable face in all of television.

The inclusion of George Negus into their line-up a while back signalled to me that all is truly lost. Once a man of principle and a veritable colossus of the newsroom, Negus must have caved to their fat pay cheques and vague promises of editorial control. He looked like an old rocker stoked up on Quaaludes playing gigs to half sold-out RSLs because he didn’t invest wisely in his hey-day.

What’s the alternative you ask? Fuck, give me my news in black and white, in print & on television. I want some ancient old cunt with a timeless baritone telling me about the escalating situation in Afghanistan. Show me the decapitated militants in the back-alley, cross to the foreign correspondent dodging gunfire from the insurgents. Don’t hold my hand and tell me it’s okay, you bunch of condescending fucks.

/end communication

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