Good Journalism: Good Luck Citizens, We’re On Our Own

Today’s post is from Sally Baxter, via The AIMN.

If you want a little more about her dad, the Big Baxter, read here.

I hope Sally will forgive my borrowing her truly timely post.

Australia’s rush to embrace sweeping powers to access the digital footprints of its citizenry has raised the existential age-old question: What is a journalist?

The development of the government’s data retention bill and its implications were woefully under-reported by those most obviously fitting the description until we got to the pointy end of the law-making.

One honourable exception to prove the rule was Bernard Keane at Crikey who has been writing extensively on the issue for months, if not years.

For the rest, it wasn’t until the 11th hour that journalists started showing some concern and then, predictably, it was how the new laws would impact them rather than the rest of us which caught their attention.

As Crikey’s leader column put it on Thursday, 19 March:

Well, that’s journalists looked after.

Once they discovered, almost too late, that data retention posed a significant threat to one of the core aspects of journalism, Australia’s media have spent the last 10 days up in arms about mass surveillance, after, with one or two exceptions, ignoring the issue for the last three years.

Journalists will be protected from having their metadata examined in order to identify their sources by a special warrant involving a “public interest advocate”. But what about lawyers? Where’s their protection? What about doctors? For that matter, what about ordinary Australians? The media, apparently, isn’t interested in anyone else but itself.

The journalism information warrant is a good idea. So good, it should be extended, to everyone. If the government wants our data — anyone’s data — get a damn warrant.

But if journalists are to be looked after in this brave new world, who are they and why are they special? Having won this small victory for themselves, have they conceded the war once waged on our behalf?

What is a journalist? It’s a question being asked internationally, not just in Australia, and not for the first time. The debate goes back at least to the invention of the printing press but could arguably stretch even further into history – as far as Socrates, according to Mark Pearson, a self-described ‘press freedom worrier.’

I grew up among journalists, including my father the Big Baxter, but I’ve struggled to recall a single moment when the existential question of what is a journalist was even raised.

It was someone who worked for a news organisation of course, but when Bax worked for no-one as a stringer, selling stories to whoever would take them, he was no less a journalist. If he failed to find a market for a story, was his work on it less ‘journalistic?’

In his day it was most definitely something you didn’t learn at j-school, as they call it in the US, so it wasn’t a piece of paper which made you a journalist. It was something you learned by getting beaten to a story by a gun reporter and having your words torn to pieces by a grizzled old sub.

And if you were smart you learned from how the gun reporter got his stories and what the old sub did to yours.

He was both gun reporter and grizzled old sub to your Girl Reporter when I joined him on the computer magazine he had started in the 1970s, long before the rise of the citizen journalist and the blogger.

But I believe he saw them coming. The thing which consistently excited him about technology related to its potential for ordinary people to tell their stories.

Since I must guess how Bax would define a journalist I imagine he would say that it’s someone who represents those ordinary people, who seeks answers to the questions they would ask.

Nothing in what I can remember of anything he said about journalism precludes the work of many distinguished bloggers, but they are not protected under Australia’s new laws.

In terms of specific advice to your young Girl Reporter I recall more on how to tell a story than what makes one. In my favourite lesson Bax as grizzled old sub held up a piece of my work, with something akin to disgust, and asked me, “What’s the story here?”

I struggled to explain what was right there in black and white until he stopped me and said: “Look, you’ve got to the bus stop just as the bus is pulling away with me on it. Quick. I’m leaning out the window. What’s the story?”

When I told him he flung the sheet of copy paper back at me and said, “There’s your intro. Take it away and do it again.”

In Bax’s day, freedom of the press belonged firmly to the people who could afford to own one but the freedom of journalists themselves has always been less clear-cut. In the laws of many countries – most prominently the US – there is no distinction between the rights of the journalist and that of the citizen.

In the 21st century publishing is more akin to the 17th when pamphlets and penny dreadfuls were distributed in coffee houses and on street corners. Freedom of the presses, as argued in 1644 by John Milton, rested in “… the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience” and it applied to all citizens, above all other liberties.

Today, in Australia, that liberty does not extend to all. Asked how he defined a journalist, attorney-general George Brandis was clear the term did not include bloggers although he conceded that ultimately the definition would rest with the courts.

Most bloggers are happy to splash about in the warm waters of free expression with our carefully considered and well-argued opinions. Deep Throat will not be dropping us a DM anytime soon.

But there are also bloggers who are doing the serious work of journalism and reporting on issues with more clarity and dedication than many of their accredited cousins.

Deep end or shallow, Australia’s data retention laws are a reminder that if you’re going to swim in the publishing pool at least know where the hidden objects lie.

The arguments for free expression today are remarkably similar to Milton’s. He resisted the licensing of journalism. As citizens, so should we. Even more so when our journalists won’t.

Further reading:

Press freedom, social media and the citizen – Mark Pearson’s 2013 UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Lecture includes an excellent examination of John Milton and his argument for freedom of the presses.

How do you define journalism? Five questions about Abbott’s metadata deal – Paul Farrell, The Guardian 17 March 2015

No protection for bloggers from metadata laws rules George Brandis – Jared Owens, The Australian 17 March 2015 (paywall)

Online Privacy: A Basic Guide – Rob Marsh, the Australian Independent Media Network 25 March 2015

At the mercy of the state – Jennifer Wilson, No Place for Sheep 25 March 2015

Mandatory metadata retention becomes law as Coalition and Labor combine – Daniel Hurst, The Guardian 27 March 2015

302 thoughts on “Good Journalism: Good Luck Citizens, We’re On Our Own

  1. Leone,

    Your comments are very wise.

    Unfortunately – still – so many seem to be flying blind.

  2. PuffyTMD, looks like you have an idea of what your workshop will look like … eventually *big grin* Those wooden trucks look absolutely bonza, not only to push around, but to play ON too!

    Oh to have/be a clever grandparent like that!

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. I’ve always disliked Good Friday and this is no exception – our hot water service has just a few minutes ago spilled its guts!

    No union thugs with THIS one!
    Ping! There goes another barnacle.
    Mark Kenny says Abbott is still on thin ice and as the budget looms he’ll need to be ultra careful.
    Who would have thought it? Our decrepit copper network once again shows its deficiency as we move forward.
    More from Adele Ferguson on the life insurance industry.
    The 28 worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    Who is pulling Abbott’s strings? The church, monarchy, big corporations?,7544
    “View from the Street” tells of The Parrot giving new orders to Abbott.
    Stephen Koukoulas says we are about to pull out of the pessimism.
    Will Abbott clamp down on these racial hatred rallies?,7546
    Alan Moir seems to have summed up Iraq pretty well.

    Mark Knight looks at penalty rates.

  4. BK

    Oh dear, well you’ll just have to go back to a bucket wash, like we did when we were kids. Hope you’re not having any visitors, that will make things a bit awkward.

  5. gravel
    On Sunday we have 12 for lunch – but they are all immediate family.
    I’m just about to head off to the CFS station to purloin the hot water urn for the weekend. Fortunately yesterday morning we saw the initiation of the death throes and got a plumber to order a heat pump water service. This morning the leak had reached the point that it was pressurising the outer casing and distorting it to the point of failing one spot I isolated it from water pressure and electricity.
    What a bummer!

  6. BK

    Lucky you did or you’d be without power as well if they had connected. 12 for lunch, at least they won’t want a shower, there is something to be grateful for.

  7. Netflix –
    Australia’s rotting copper network is just not good enough for Netflix. The hodge-podge of rotting century old copper wires and cobbled-on bits of fibre all held together with plastic tape is barely good enough for telephones, Netflix has brought it to its knees and it’s not going to get any better.

    Don’t believe me?

    My son and I were talking about this last night. I mentioned Netflix was available on my Playstation, if I wanted it, so I could watch it on the big screen without having to upgrade equipment or run cables. He just sighed and rolled his eyes. ‘Not you too. Mum’.
    IT is his job, and his education department office has been deluged all week with calls about unusually slow internet access. It’s Netflix. Our system barely copes with the usual traffic. The huge added demand from new Netflix users has all but crashed it.

    What we need is a whiz-bang new system that will give us all far more capacity than we will need, no matter what we hook up to our home connections and………damn you Turnbull!

  8. Leone

    The Libs set out to save Foxtel and neuter all other companies for their bum buddy Murdoch. This shows they achieved their purpose. No such thing as broadband in Australia now.

  9. Watching the child cage story closely. Tipping that the sensationalism may eventually subside into a closer look at the needs of autism spectrum students. My OH has two Masters Degrees in Autism and special education; says that the “cage” word is being used quite pejoratively in this report. I can show you a school nearby with a pool fence 3m high around the whole Multi Catagorical Class facility, why not come and two a story on that.
    These kids are often so overwhelmed by the sensory inputs of the classroom situation and other similarly affected students , that they actively seek places of safety and recluse, I can see the fenced of area of the classroom(that would be the better description) as a positive for the individual and something they would happily welcome if it meant getting away from their torment.
    The alternative for some of these kids is to climb into cupboards, boxes, under desks or simply “blow”, and believe me, when these kids ‘blow’ no pool fenced enclosure is going to be adequate for restraint. So forget the idea of locking up a student, this is more likely a place of escape and safety for the student.

  10. I don’t think killing the NBN was about Foxtel at all – that’s just a side benefit. Foxtel’s current market is about 30% of Australian households. A loss of that market was not going to make much of a dent in Rupert’s huge income. Remember, Murdoch owns 50% of Foxtel, Telstra – and its Australian mum-and-dad shareholders – own the other half.

    The NBN was never about allowing more Australians to be able to download TV shows. Abbott’s much-mocked comment –
    “Do we really want to invest $50 billion of hard earned taxpayers money in what is essentially a video entertainment system”
    – and his other comments trashing the need for the NBN actually revealed a lot about the government’s agenda.
    Abbott said what he and his party wanted us to think, the MSM pushed it all at us and voters fell for it.

    The myth about killing the NBN so Foxtel could thrive is hiding the true reasons for getting rid of it. It’s much more complicated and goes to the heart of Liberal policy. What the Liberals wanted to do was stop the other uses of the NBN.

    The NBN, in its original form, would have revolutionised health care. It was worth building it for the healthcare aspect alone, and the savings to the taxpayers by using the NBN to provide health care – billions of dollars – would have paid for the whole Labor-planned roll-out. This explains it all –

    Somewhere along the line all those billions currently being spent mean huge profits for assorted health care providers. Far more profits than the measly millions Rupert makes from his half-share of Foxtel.

    Getting the picture now? Good. There’s more.

    Trashing the NBN will stop the provision of better education facilities. There’s this explanation of the benefits, written in 2012.

    Ultimately, then, the NBN is all about people; not about technology. It is about being able to train, inspire and educate students of whatever age to work together as never before. And it is about devising solutions to real challenges in an interdisciplinary way.

    The role of public and educational libraries will be a crucial too. If the word “portal” means anything, it means democratic access to that wider digital world; libraries are placed centre-stage in that process.

    Meanwhile, every university and TAFE in the nation should be considering the establishment of digitally-enabled secondary schools on their campuses
    The Liberals and the IPA won’t have a bar of any of that. They want less education, not more. Less opportunities for education = dumber voters = more votes for the Libs. The Liberals – and the IPA – want a nation of serfs working for very low pay, not well educated people who expect decent pay in return for their work. As the current move to cut penalty rates and do away with awards show us, all the Libs can see is lower pay = more profits for business owners. They are too dumb to understand that higher pay = more disposable income = more consumer spending = higher profits all round.

    There are many other benefits too – the development of 3D printing opens up a whole new world for manufacturing everything from chess pieces to prosthetic limbs to parts for space rockets. There’s this, again from 2012. Things have moved on a lot more since then, but lack of high-speed broadband will hold us back.

    So let’s stop carrying on about the NBN being trashed just for Murdoch. it goes much further than that. It goes to the heart of the Liberal Party’s plans for this country.

  11. Lord of the Fridge
    Exactly. It’s good to see some reason and understanding on this. I don’t care what Their ABC said about it, as usual those not involved at all are being told only one over-sensationalised part of the story. Anyone who has had to deal with a kid with autism or other similar problems in a classroom – as I have – will understand the need for a safe place.

    I understand completely what someone has been trying to achieve for the poor kid who is now the centre of a media storm. The whole thing is a scandal – not because of the alleged ‘cage’ but because of what has been done to an innocent child and a family by stickybeaks and do-gooders who should all be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    And those new support staff? You have to wonder how many times the principal had asked for them and had been refused, or had asked for funding and been refused.

  12. Tullarook…Tullarook!…Now why does that name ring a bell?…was there something crook going on there?

  13. Started getting a running lecture on “decorum and taste” while at the breakfast table this morning…in between mouthfuls of hot-cross’s…
    I said if taste was the issue, i’ll have to change my style of dress..and at the moment, i have to dress to suit the manner of work i am mucking out the stables..or jacking up the car to do some mechanics..only when i sit at the computer do I ” dress to siut” in a different manner..(I spoke hoitilly!).
    How do you dress when you sit at the computer that is different from now? I was asked..
    The computer study is a warm room, so I dress accordingly…I snobbishly replied…
    The OH. absorbed this information silently, but i could see cold-cynicism creep into her narrowed eyes..
    Oh!, is that why you “go commando”…so your balls don’t overheat!…??
    Well, knock me down with a feather!!..and – I – was the one needing lessons in decorum!!…they breed the women tough in Aussie!!

  14. It being Good Friday and hence a time of reflection and the partaking of all things celebratory of good works etc. I am going to tell a story that happened back in the late fifties (last century!) as told to me by an aged Nun many years ago, who had some connection to the incident. While the story I tell, dramatized as it is, is a true story, the ending as I portray it, is , unfortunately a different one than the reality…but let us not lower our expectations, but aspire, like the ‘Sister Cecilia’ toward higher goals.

    Sweet Innocence:

    The knock was gentle and unobtrusive, indeed it had to be repeated before Mother Superior was taken from her reverie gaze out of the window over onto the cool spread of lawn out the back of the building. She turned to glance over her shoulder.
    “Come in,” she called. A diminutive nun entered, aged around sixty years, her white hair shining against her white scrubbed face. Her cheeks glowed with two cheery pink blushes.
    “Ah!. .. Charity,” the little nun greeted “A pleasant morning isn’t it?”
    “Yes Sister…thanks be to the lord Jesus Christ in all his benevolent mercy,” Mother Superior answered in reply.
    “Yes…yes…to be sure….Well now, Charity…you sent for me?”
    “Yes…It’s about the choir.”
    “Ah!” The little nun brightened up, for the school choir was her “special baby,” her pride and joy, and it would be said that several girls from her tutorage had risen to sing in the state orchestra! Proud, she was of her “little choir,” her “little nightingales.”
    “Yes Sister Cecilia, the choir.” Mother Superior addressed the little nun with her formal title and this warned her of an imminent lecture or something. The little nun clasped her hands together as she always did when concentrating. Mother Superior turned from the window and sat briskly down at her desk. The little nun stood on the other side, waiting. “Now, Father Collins and I sat and listened to the choir last Sunday at the morning service..
    “Oh Charit…Mother Superior , weren’t they just divine, the sweet innocents, I do believe they sung their little hearts out last Sunday….”
    “About Caroline Halsbury…” Mother Superior interjected.
    “And Caroline Halsbury…” the little nun put her fingertips to one of her cheery cheeks and rolled her eyes to the ceiling… “that girl has the voice of an angel….if ever there was soprano material…”
    “Sister Cecilia!!” Mother Superior cried impatiently.
    “Yes?” the little nun answered, wide eyed.
    “Be so kind as to stop prattling when I am trying to tell you something….goodness knows it isn’t easy what I have to say without the running commentary…”
    “Well, I do apologise, Charity, but I am rather fond of my girls,” the little nun fidgeted. “That may be so, Sister, and both Father Collins and myself agree that they sounded beautiful….charming….” She paused and toyed with a pen on her desk. “Not withstanding all that however, we were also of an opinion that their appearance is also of the utmost importance, almost, (since they represent the college in appearance as well as voice), almost as important as their singing…which brings us to Caroline
    Halsbury….” She paused expectantly, the little nun looked puzzled.
    “I…I don’t see the point, Mother Superior.
    “Oh Cecilia, really!” Mother Superior leapt up impatiently from the desk and rolling her hands together strode once again to the window. There was an embarrassed moment when both nuns remained silent.
    “Well, really, Sister Cecilia….its…its, well, that birthmark right across her face!” she blurted out finally.
    “Birthmark?” the little nun seemed fazed.
    “Yes, bother it, the birthmark!…that Port-wine stain..that livid blot across the entire left side of her face…surely you’re not blind Sister?” Mother Superior turned from the window, her fists clenched in frustration so the knuckles were white, she had hoped it would go smoother than this.
    “Why of course I know it’s there, it is rather unfortunate for the child, I dare say, she’ll have to live it down her whole life…”
    “…She’ll have to leave the choir!”
    There was a moments stunned silence in the room, a shaft of sunlight burst onto the red velvet piano chair and two yellow- tailed finches alighted friskily on a branch of flowering golden wattle outside the window and sending sprays of dew onto the lawn. The little nun stood with her mouth open, hands raised in front of her, the cheery spots now faded from her cheeks.
    “Leave the choir?…but why?…just because of her birthmark?… Oh Charity, I implore you…”
    “It’s very, very distracting having to sit and look upon it, Cecilia, both Father Collins and I agree on it and I might add I overheard Mrs Herreen remark the same sentiments to Mr Herreen. Its just too distracting and it upsets the….the harmonious balance between the hymns and that glow of…of…well as you said yourself…’sweet innocence.’
    The little nun’s temper was quickly rising and the pale blushes on her cheeks now became crimson.
    “Are we then to set a precedent of judging books by their covers, Mother Superior?”
    “Oh, Lord bless us Sister, the whole world judges books by their covers, and men by the cut of their clothes! The choir is a showpiece for the college and as such should be above criticism in both performance and appearance! The girls in the choir should be the pick of the school, we’ll leave Nature supply their beauty, their voice training only is in your hands, Sister…you understand?” This tirade left the little nun speechless and sad, she remained silently standing with her head bowed. “So…” continued Mother Superior after letting that sink in, “unless something can be done to hide it, she’ll… unfortunately…have to vacate her place in the choir.” Mother Superior’s voice softened a little at the last. “Will not make-up cover it?” she inquired.
    “Both her mother and herself have tried, but it has to be so heavy it becomes obvious in itself,” the little nun remarked quietly, fatalistically. Mother Superior pinched her lips together in exasperation of the whole ugly incident, none the less she pressed on.
    “Well… that’s how it stands then Sister, if you cannot come to a satisfactory cosmetic solution by this Sunday, I’m afraid she’ll have to resign from the choir….That will be all for now,” Mother Superior said in a stern dismissal and watched furrow-browed as the little nun left the room. Sister Cecilia left the office seething with anger.
    “How cruel,” she hissed, “how thoughtless,” she cried to herself, “who were these people to see only the substance of the thing and not the spirit? Who were they to judge the body and ignore the soul? How thoughtless, how odious, how cruel!”
    All week she pondered and puzzled on the problem, made all the more difficult in that Caroline Halsbury was one of the main singers in the front line of the choir. At times the little nun would, in the middle of a meal or even at an afternoon service, be seen to mumble to herself or shake her head quickly as in dismissing an option, all to the inquiring glances of those near her. She had not told Caroline Halsbury of Mother Superior’s instruction nor had she told any of the other girls in the choir. She had hoped something would come to mind that would make all the unpleasantness unnecessary. But to no avail and here it was Saturday afternoon. Again her temper flared as she sorted the hymns for the Sunday Mass.
    “Bother and bother them!” she said angrily as she slapped the music sheets down on the organ. She glanced up to the altar in a blush of shame for her temper. “I’d like to show them, Lord, put them in their place, oh no, not for me, blow it, but for Caroline.” Suddenly an idea flashed through her mind like a bolt of lightning.
    “Why….why of course…how very….very right.” She quickly gave a sign of the cross to the statue of Jesus up on the left side of the altar, the statue of Jesus with the striking red sash draped across his sacred heart!

    The choir sang out beautifully from the first note of Mrs Gilchrist’s deft touch on the church organ at the Sunday Mass, their collective voices harmonised as sweet as a chorus of nightingales from the darkened cloistral choral stalls so that many a parishioner in the congregation sighed for the glory of those sweet voices.
    “Sweet innocence,” Father Collins remarked with a nod of his head to Mother Superior. “Sister Cecilia has certainly achieved top note with those girls,” he remarked, then; “and did you have success with that little suggestion we put forward, Mother?”
    “I believe so,” Mother Superior answered, “though it is rather dark there in the choir box, but I’m certain she would not disobey my instructions and I was quite clear as to what they were, I can assure you, Father.”
    “I say, Charity,” Father Collins leant down to her ear, “it would be an extra fillip for the college if those angelic girls could be seen more clearly by the congregation while they are singing. Mother Superior looked at him, nodded her head and smiled. “How true, Father, and I think I can arrange that.” she motioned with her finger for a little girl to come to her. “Go quietly to that doorway over there, and you see that row of switches there next to it, yes? Then turn on the one farthest from the door….you understand?….good, now off you go,” and she edged the girl on her way. “The light for the choir stalls,” she informed Father Collins.
    The young girl paused at the switches and turned a querying glance to Mother Superior. Mother Superior raised her eyebrows and gave a curt nod of her head and the young girl threw the switch. An excited but muffled cry rippled through the congregation as all glanced to the illuminated choir stalls, not the least from Mother Superior who couldn’t suppress a cry of horror, for there, singing with such sweet harmony were a dozen girls, the pride of Cornellia College, every one of them disfigured with a crimson splash of a “birthmark” covering the left side of their faces, every “birthmark” exactly like the one occurring naturally on Caroline Halsbury’s face! Sister Cecilia, who was conducting the choir with her back to the congregation, now turned and gave a nod of respect to Mother Superior and Father Collins, the same crimson mark penciled vividly over her left cheek.

  15. Yes, that is the sad thing..out here in the Mallee, the original proposition for the NBN. would have meant many more people from distant locales could’ve joined in local govt’ through ‘real-time” connectivity via fast broadband right into the council meetings as they happenned without travelling the huge distances that currently preclude anyone but the local “old-boys brigade” from “harvesting votes ” via the service / footy / community clubs in the big regional centres.
    Those with kids and no child-care, those with disabilities, those without reliable transport could have become ‘included” …but that is all gone now…bastard ; Turnbull-shitartist!

  16. TLBD, somewhat saner, and I guess partly recognising the support needed in schools for helping and educating these students. I still maintain that the fenced area is still probably a valid approach to a situation unique to a student in the schools care. The shock-horror approach is unhelpful but if the situation is to have any positive outcomes it will be the focus on autism spectrum as an educational issue. The ABC is just helping the ‘authorities’ back down from the initial heavy handed approach. The Principal has been badly treated and would not have put the structure in place without support from at least the classroom teacher, an assistant principal or two and likely the parents. Through is always the first casualty.

  17. Good post, Leone. The NBN would have transformed health especially and educational access. They would have been huge gains for disadvantaged sectors, as well as threats to those lobbies extracting wealth from them. We’ve seen a simple example of the latter with the under-the-table scholarship to Abbott’s daughter.

    It is part of why I felt the vicious personal campaigns against Gillard, Windsor and Oakeshott so badly. They, along with many others, understood the opportunity was the greatest since the telegraph and the railways. It would help to overcome Australia’s most enduring problem distance and access.

    I rather think Murdoch was paranoid about it because he could see the threat it posed to his controlling information. His empire depended a lot on politicians fearing him.

  18. Thanks BK for your news summary – hope you can cadge showers while hot water service is out of action.
    BB gave a summary of how HR pressures people to leave to minimise the amount of redundancy payouts – so true and often leaving life long mental scars on their targeted victims.
    Leone thanks for your wise analysis complete with links to the topic of the hour.
    Jaycee thanks for that very fitting story about Sister Cecelia.

  19. I still feel very strongly that children shouldn’t be endangered in the classroom from bullies or from uncontrollable children whether they be a’holes or suffer severe behavioural problems.

    I am not sure integrated education is the best thing for profoundly blind or profoundly deaf kids. It’s all too easy to scrimp on the specialist training they require. A normal school can have a 95% literacy rate whilst not teaching the blind kid how to read because the 19 sighted kids can read

  20. Probably the do gooders who complained about the fenced area in the classroom wanted the autistic boy removed from the school

  21. Jaycee, Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to type out that wonderful story for our enjoyment and edification. It was an Easter message of good value and good cheer. Thanks, mate.

  22. Thanks, Billie and Brian…..on a more sombre note…have any of you others felt the kind of deep horror that I have felt over that Germanwings crash?…It has or rather is..haunting me…perhaps it is the vivid descriptions of the pilot trying to break the door down and the horrific realisation of the passengers just before impact…I think it will take some time before I can let this one go..really weird city!

  23. I suppose these days of mobile-phone technology, we will see more ‘as it happens’ scenarios…I remember many years ago while on holiday in Italy, the evening news showing a real-life filmed moment when a commercial airliner crashed into the sea somewhere there…We never saw these things in Aust’ news…it was quite a shocking visual thing.
    I guess it may be something we will have to get used to…that or turn the tele off!
    I tell you what…I have to leave the room on some occasions when one of those crime dramas go in for the close-up on a killing or an autopsy…talk about ‘snuff-porn” !…uurgh!

  24. Jeesus!…Fiona…that’s a weird looking device!…though I suppose if the damn thing works..why not?
    It did remind me when we were kids, of throwing a kapok mattress over one of the other siblings and us all lumping and dumping ourselves on top and the kid underneath going ; “oof, oof ..urff..”…it was fun..if i recall…

  25. Fiona, in my line of work I find Temple Grandin’s work doubles relevant because of her understanding of her own condition and her application of it to animal care. The more I work with animals and children (actors and actresses please take note) the more they seem to share significant behavior similarities. An emotionally disturbed child will respond well usually to the techniques I would use in getting a new animal to work with humans. The fear emotion is hugely powerful, as is anxiety in animals.

  26. Lord of the Fridge,

    What I found especially interesting is how Temple Grandin extrapolated from the way some cattle calmed down when in a chute to her need for a way of reducing her own hypersensitivity.

    She is a highly intelligent and humane individual.

  27. We can blame the voter themselves for lack of NBN- Libs and Nationals spelt their plans for the NBN out

  28. Jaycee

    It is a vest that ‘hugs’ the dog, a slight pressure that many people have said calms their dogs. The RSPCA recommends them.

    Abbott needs one ,eyebrows to toes.


    also see a blast from the past

  30. ” It is a vest that ‘hugs’ the dog, a slight pressure that many people have said calms their dogs. The RSPCA recommends them.

    Abbott needs one ,eyebrows to toes.”
    He already has is called the MSM….it delivers only a slight pressure and then feeds him rewards.

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