Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rudd Vs The Media

Christian Kerr, formerly of Crikey, is doing some fine politics vs media analysis at The Australian, and nails PM Rudd for his purposeful denial of access by journalists and television crews :

Television crews had gathered outside the venue to get footage of the PM entering and so journalists could ask a question or two. John Howard was usually up to it. If he wanted to talk, he'd stop. It gave all the media a line from the PM on the issues of the day and vital background shots for the newsrooms to use.

But Rudd didn't appear. Instead, he came in the back door. What's more, he came through an area where media are not permitted to film or ask questions. That didn't stop some media trying, and failing.

Adam Collins, one of the PM's junior media minders, told them to move on and not to ask questions. Security appeared, followed by a senior member of the PM's media team, Fiona Sugden.

She brokered a compromise. The media could stay and film, but not ask questions. It was just another skirmish in the war between Rudd's press office and the media, a war that has seen one of the Canberra gallery's most senior journalists forced to act as an errand boy.

It's a bad look for democracy.