Friday 29th of September 2023

The Sydney Morning Herald (finally) 'does' NHJ! ()

It may have taken 6 weeks for the SMH to review NHJ, but today, finally, Max Suich, founding editor of The Independent Monthly and chief editorial executive of Fairfax's Sydney and national newspapers between 1980 and 1987, weighs into the debate.

It's a mixed affair. Combining praise and criticism in equal measure, it's a full page review, the longest I've seen in the paper for some while.

Personally, I reckon Suich's missed the point of the book. He argues that 'much of this book is simple opinion asserted, dressed up as fact-based comment - just as it is so often in the newspapers and TV current affairs programs.' He does not appear to understand that the rules of journalism have changed. It is no longer sufficient to simply report on the events of the day, the old he said/she said paradigm. That may have worked in Suich's day, but not today. Those in power, business, politics or big media, have surrounded themselves with such effective spinners, that alternative ways of reporting and analysis is necessary. NHJ is one such example.

Suich seems to be saying that emotion or passion in journalism is a dangerous development. MK, and all of us here at NHJ, reckon that the state of democracy deserves some pretty intense thought and discussion - and yes, emotion. Standing up for what you believe is the central tenet of NHJ. And fighting what we believe to be right - the re-asserting of our democratic rights and establishment accountability.

If Suich reckons that maintaining (mythical) journalistic objectivity is essential, then we've got very different ideas of taking on power. Thanks for the review, Max.