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"Newsman" by Mal Walden

I’ve started reading THE NEWSMAN by Mal Walden.  I’m not much of a book reader these days, preferring magazine articles or online posts.  It’s just that books are long and can take weeks or months to complete reading.  Often I will either loose interest in a book over time, or forget parts of the story I’d read a month earlier and just give up.  Despite this, I was still motivated to order this part Auto Biography, part History of News Broadcasting in Melbourne.

Growing up as a teenager in the 1980’s, I remember Mal Walden reading the nightly TV news.  I specifically recall the emotions as he told Melbourne that four of his colleagues had been killed in the 1982 Channel Seven News helicopter crash.  Whenever I see or hear anything from, or about, Mal Walden, I think about how he held it together to deliver that horrible story before throwing to a commercial break.

As well as reading about Mal’s experiences, I’m looking forward to reading about the progress of the media industry and technology over 60 years.  I’ve had the book for two days now and have just finished Chapter 1. I’ve already been saddened, laughed and very surprised to learn that Channel 9 had a deal in 1963 to use the Sydney-Melbourne coaxial cable to share news stories, while Channel 7 where forced to send stories interstate by air or road.

I’ll write an update when I’ve finished reading the book.

Classified as a Memoir, THE NEWSMAN – SIXTY YEARS OF TELEVISION by Mal Walden, is published by Brolga Publishing.
My copy of the book was ordered online from Booktopia.

UPDATE; December 2016

I’ve finished reading Mal Walden’s THE NEWSMAN.  I was surprised, it was really hard to put down.  Laughing one  minute, crying the next, as I re-lived news stories from my childhood, while learning about the human element behind the scenes.

If you grew up in Melbourne during the 70’s and 80’s (or even earlier), with a modest interest in news and current affairs, then I highly recommend this book!

Classified as a Memoir, THE NEWSMAN – SIXTY YEARS OF TELEVISION by Mal Walden, is published by Brolga Publishing.
My copy of the book was ordered online from Booktopia.

Politicians aren’t always truthful

This might not be a newsflash, but politicians don’t always tell us the truth.  Sometimes they might be ignorant of an issue and ad-lib to a journalist’s question.  Other times they might make an honest statement, or election promise, but due to changing circumstances turns out to be no longer the truth.  Then there’s the times politicians blatantly lie, spinning untruths to get their own way.

The Gawker website recently wrote that CNN have used onscreen graphics to highlight the lies of US Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump.  Good on them I reckon!  Media organisations shouldn’t be afraid to tell the public when someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes.  To keep these public figures in check takes a lot of archive and research resources, but I believe it to be a vital responsibility of news organisations to ensure we now the truth.

CNN screenshot, graphic says Trump telling a lie.

CNN screenshot, graphics highlight Trump untruths

Here in Australia we are in the middle of a federal election campaign, so the politicians are tripping over themselves to get in-front of a camera or microphone to promote themselves and their political party.  I find it terribly frustrating that all we often hear from these candidates is woffle, they get air time or newspaper space without saying too much at all.

In my suburb of Pakenham (in Melbourne’s outer east) we’ve recently got NBN broadband, so the politicians have been quick to spruik the benefits of higher speed internet to local business and residents.  The Minister for Communications, Mitch Field, was at a photo opportunity this week, but what he was quoted as saying to the local newspaper shows he was either pulling figures and phrases out of thin air, or he is technically ignorant of some basic parameters of this major communications infrastructure project.  Ignorant comments may not be deliberate lies, but can still be misleading untruths,  Assuming the minister has been quoted correctly, this is unacceptable from the Minister of Communications.

Reading the paper – on paper

I did something different today, I read the newspaper.  Ok, so that’s not so different, but rather than getting my news online, today I picked up a copy of the Melbourne Herald Sun for free from the local aquatic centre, where my daughter was having her swimming lesson, and actually enjoyed turning the pages, folding it in half to better hold and place on my lap.  When I looked up at my daughter, it didn’t go black and require unlocking, there was no annoying pop-up notifications, the actual paper was just there to browse in-between watching the swimming.

When swimming was finished, I simply tucked the newspaper under my arm, just like the old days, and off we went.  Once we were home, I didn’t sit in-front of a screen, I sat at the kitchen table with a coffee and read the paper, looking at every page.  I read articles that I would never read online, I even looked at the adds (who knew there was a car brand called Haval, from China, and they were having a stock-take sale!)  That newspaper has now been put aside to be used underneath the kids painting, or perhaps wrap up a broken glass.

The problem with the digital editions of most major newspapers these days, is that you need to subscribe (including the Herald Sun) for most major stories.  You cant just pick up a copy from somewhere, you cant even just buy a single edition or article, so I tend to normally go to free online news sites like The New Daily or  Sometimes though it’s nice to read the paper, on paper, and then just tuck it under your arm.