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Where will you get your news?

June 30, 2017

ExclusiveThere were reports this week of not one but two more journalists leaving the Australian technology media scene and moving into marketing communications roles – Nick Ross to Filtered Media and Chris Player joining Seccom Global. While it’s long been a conventional career path for some journalists to move into corporate content and communications jobs, the rate at which it is happening now seems to be escalating, and it doesn’t look like all of these journalists’ posts are being replaced by new blood. It’s no wonder graduates like Paul Maland are pessimistic about their future in the industry.

All of this is not really news to most of us – people have been talking about the uncertain future of traditional media for years – and discussed at length again just this week in the AFR with Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti.

Peretti makes a point in the AFR article that trust in the media has been eroded – because people are thinking that “legacy media companies” are “hiding stuff” from us. But what are the alternatives? Where else do we go for the objective or independent “truth” on what’s happening in the world?

Back at Australian Federal Budget time (early May this year) I was thinking about this. Of course, the major print and online publications all had extensive reports on the Budget, but I thought this was a good time to get a sense of how much “journalism” is now taking place in the corporate world, so I scanned all the big financial services company websites. Many of them had teams of writers producing their own budget reports and analysis – I’ve extracted some screenshots below as examples from AMP, ANZ, CBA and NAB.

Budget_Screens

On the face of it these corporate versions of “Federal Budget 2017” coverage look like they are doing the same job as the newspapers. But what is actually happening? Are people now relying on their bank or their superannuation fund for financial news they can trust? And is that the same across other industry sectors too?

I still like to get my news from “independent” sources, but I don’t know what other people are thinking …

 

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