Old newshound investigates digital news

I think I already knew that 80% of Australians were dependent on digital news. Last week I was asked to give a talk at a business breakfast on ‘The past and future of newspapers’.?It was a bit of a revelation, drawing on historical data and reflecting on my experience as a regional journalist in the early 1980s. At the time, the old technology (Linotype, lithography, telex, hand subbing) was making way for the computer revolution….

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Time for advance care directives

Today I thought it wise to mostly bypass the relentless onslaught of negative news about Covid-19. Instead, let’s talk about Advance Care Directives, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders and organ donation. I can’t imagine anyone under 50 who has given these topics a moment’s thought, but read on. Twenty years from now you’ll say to your partner – ‘Remember that piece Bob wrote about DNRs? Maybe the time has come?’ The topic arose as the…

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What the left hand doesn’t know

Last week, Friday the 13th, I intended to write about International Left Handers’ Day. Apparently it’s been a thing since 1976 – a clever way of making ?people aware of this difference, at least once a year. Clearly the organisers of International Left Handers’ Day do not suffer from ?Triskaidekaphobia, a fear of Friday the 13th. Phobias are an irrational fear of one or more of hundreds of strange things that induce panic attacks in…

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Angst in the time of Covid

Amid reports of doubters who (still) believe Covid is fake news, this week we examine the history of public protest and vaccine hesitancy in times of contagion. Those 3,000 or so people who mingled on Sydney’s streets a while back, protesting against the Covid lockdown, protesting about vaccines – it’s nothing new. In the early 19th?century, Joe Public was getting riled up by the spread of cholera and the seemingly poor response by doctors and…

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