Calling Aussie media – do a positive story on social computing

The Facebook is bad for business story I blogged about earlier has really got me annoyed. As such, I’m calling out News Ltd. and the journos associated with the story.

I challenge them to do a success story piece on social computing, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 in Australia. I’m more than up for talking to them, as I imagine are people like Laurel Papworth, Cam Reilly, Bronwen Clune and Marty Wells.

Andrew West has the byline in the SMH and Dina Rosendorff at News Limited for the exact same story told with slightly different words. Makes me think it’s pretty much a regurgitated press release from Richard Cullen of SurfControl Technologies which seems to be the core source for the story.

So, here it is – Andrew, Dina or any other journalist working for News Limited or any other media house; I’m more than happy to give you my time to discuss social computing benefits and successes. And with the okay of my peers, I’m happy to point you in their direction for the same.

8 Replies to “Calling Aussie media – do a positive story on social computing”

  1. Hate to burst your bubble of rage, Steve, but maybe you’ll have cooled down by now anyway…

    The article leads with the story and then balances it with at least equal content regarding the benefits and use cases. Why are you so upset about that? ran a lead story about how cool Facebook is a while back – and posted a mass photo of employees who use it regularly on the homepage. They (we) have a Facebook group – which is linked to in the article and has a screenshot displayed. Membership is actively promoted!

    I work there but I have no involvement in the editorial production. But I do think you’re crazy to be upset by the way covers Facebook

    Naturally, none of this constitutes any kind of official statement from my employer, or even an expression of anyone’s opinion but my own

  2. Lachlan, Dina’s version is more balanced than the SMH version. That said, and I’m speaking as a tertiary trained journo here, the story was incredibly lazy on both their parts – regurgitated press release crap without any real effort to provide balance or real insight.

    It’s this approach that dominates Australian media reporting on social computing generally – take the most outrageous or fear-laden claims of massive dollar losses, time-wasting, pedophiles, stalkers and the like and report it as real news without adequate research. If these reporters want to do justice to their bylines, they’d be reporting an equal number of well-researched stories on the successes of bands using MySpace, businesses saving huge losses of knowledge through social computing use, engagement of geographically dispersed communities and the like.

    Even the follow-up story in yesterday’s AFR was half-hearted. It got around five column inches on the right side of page three, still mostly discussing the spurious $5Bn figure. Ross Dawson’s comments were reduced to a sentence in the last paragraph.

    My take, and I think that of several others including Laurel Papworth, is that unless a social computing story involves bad news, it’s given little more than lip service by the Australian media. Compare Australian reportage to that in the US and Europe. Hell, I’ve even been quoted in US media on Australian politicians using Myspace.

    If News is encouraging the use of social computing in its business, it should probably be doing that policy justice by reporting good news (particularly for business and education) around the tools rather than building concern around staged issues like the story this week and the stupid teens posting harassing videos on YouTube. Or at the very least, balancing their reporting with positives around these tools.

    I think the Australian media perspective is a significant factor in the very slow uptake of these tools by Australian business. I’d love to be proven wrong and would be more than happy to recant my position if I was.

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