My overall contention is that from Mark Latham to Grogsgate, from Tony’s speedos to Julia’s treasonous lack\ud of handbags, Australian political journalism hasn’t exactly wowed us with the quality of its coverage these past\ud months – with ample help, it should be noted, from the two sides of politics and the respective small target\ud strategies themselves. Tim Dunlop has gone as far as to suggest that during the election we’ve seen politics\ud and the media locked in a death spiral (http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/35594.html) – an observation we\ud might want to take up in the panel discussion – but even without the dramatic language the overall tendency\ud has been that of a race to the bottom in the quality of political discourse in this country, with very few\ud exceptions. And as a result, trust in journalism – the professional esteem in which journalists are held by their\ud audiences – has been steadily declining for some time. Australian journalists are hardly alone in this, of course:\ud this decline is a dynamic which has been observed in many other nations, too
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