John Clarke at the ABC on modern media:
. . . JOHN CLARKE: Well we need to change our business, Bryan, we need to provide our readers with a different kind of experience.
BRYAN DAWE: And how you gonna do that?
JOHN CLARKE: Well instead of analysing the news, Bryan, and encouraging people to think very deeply about what’s going on in their world, we are gonna try and put people in touch more with the way they feel about what might perhaps be happening in the world.
BRYAN DAWE: You’re gonna create feelings within the community?
JOHN CLARKE: We’re gonna put people in touch with their feelings in a way that helps create a community.
BRYAN DAWE: So you’re gonna frighten people?
JOHN CLARKE: No, we’re not gonna frighten people. Bryan. It could be a very warm feeling. Could be a Royal wedding, for example – lovely, lovely warm, warm feeling. A kid could get a cat out of a tree.
BRYAN DAWE: And you’d report that?
JOHN CLARKE: We would report that.
BRYAN DAWE: How do you do that?
JOHN CLARKE: In a way, Bryan, that puts people in touch with the way they feel.
BRYAN DAWE: With their responses?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes.
BRYAN DAWE: And how do you know what their responses are?
JOHN CLARKE: Well we tell them what their responses are, Bryan.
BRYAN DAWE: So you frighten people about stuff?
JOHN CLARKE: No, we’re not always frightening them. But, look, I mean, we could get a famous TV chef to go out and cook in a refuge for the homeless. It could be – it’s not frightening, people, Bryan. It could be a warm feeling. . . .
BRYAN DAWE: So why are these things happening?
JOHN CLARKE: Well why do you think they’re happening?
BRYAN DAWE: Me?
JOHN CLARKE: Yeah. Call now, Bryan. Have your say. We wanna hear from you.
BRYAN DAWE: Well I don’t know why they’re happening.
JOHN CLARKE: You don’t know why they’re happening. They’re angry.
BRYAN DAWE: I’m confused.
JOHN CLARKE: You’re confused. Well how confused are you? A little bit, very or don’t get me started? I mean, ring now, Bryan. Vote. Call us.
BRYAN DAWE: I don’t wanna vote about my confusion. I want some information.
JOHN CLARKE: We’ll give you information. We’ve got plenty of information.
BRYAN DAWE: Oh, come on, your newspapers don’t offer information.
JOHN CLARKE: If you go to the bottom of our page, Bryan, and put your email address in, we’ll send you some information.
BRYAN DAWE: They’re advertisements.
JOHN CLARKE: It’s not advertisements, Bryan, it’s top-quality information. . . .
Modern news is not always, but too often, aimed at eliciting an emotional response rather than provoking thought or even just informing.
The media is a business and that’s what pays the bills.