Doom scrolling vs Good News Week

Today we’ll be talking about ‘doom scrolling’ and our addiction to negative news, even though we know how bad it is for the psyche. Despite complaining about the doom and gloom fed to us through the media, we can’t quite get enough of it. Psychological studies have shown that people’s brains have a bias towards negative or sensational news. So even today, in the time of CovidNSW – The Rising, we leap upon the latest…

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Don’t verb that noun, my friend

It doesn’t take much to cause members of the Ancient Order for the Preservation of Proper English (AOPPE) to fly off the handle. A misplaced modifier, a literal, verb confusion, homophonic confusion (a pear of undies) or noun-verbing will do it every time. There are old phrases akin to ‘fly off the handle’ (to lose one’s temper), in Tony Maniaty’s memoir of a half-Greek kid growing up in 1950s Brisbane. Maniaty employs sayings of the day…

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The Listener and The Discerning Reader

One of my research assistants asked this week if I wanted his back issues of The Listener. I’m now regretting my luke-warm response, given that it is barely two months since the owner, Bauer Media, closed down New Zealand’s 81-year-old current affairs magazine. German-owned Bauer Media had been trying to sell its magazines in Australasia for a while. Things came to a head with COVID-19, as magazines were not considered “essential” under NZ’s strict level…

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Fifty years of Cabinet secrets and media leaks

The Australian Federal Police ‘raids’ on the ABC and a lone News Ltd journalist have been taken to signal a new era of scrutiny when confidential government files are leaked to the media. The media has gone overboard on the ‘journalism is not a crime’ front. As a former journo, I have adopted the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Facebook frame in solidarity. But it is interesting to learn that that on June 5,…

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