Greg Jericho wrote a brilliant essay for this quarter’s Meanjin journal. He discusses the destructive need for journalists to appear neutral, impacts of the 24-hour news cycle and social media, extremism, and how journalists have failed to deliver meaningful climate change action.

But it’s this point about the dreadful Australian metadata retention scheme I hadn’t considered, emphasis added:

The same thing occurred more recently with [former Australian Attorney General] George Brandis and his ‘car crash’ interview with David Speers on metadata. Brandis did eventually get to a correct explanation of the concept, but it was a terribly bumbling answer. And yes, I know, you have to hold them to account. Fine. So Brandis had a car-crash interview, Speers won a Walkley. The metadata legislation passed without any problem whatsoever.

I see people opine on Twitter that journalists don’t deliver hard hitting questions and gotchas when they get the chance. But when you have people in charge who don’t care and continue to act without impunity, it doesn’t seem to matter.