December 28, 2005 | Graham

Another reader almost ‘fesses up.

Janet Albrechtsen appears to get some of her news from OLO. Or at least that’s what I infer from her latest article where she quotes Greg Barns.
Albrechtsen writes “Other critics include one Greg Barns, once a Liberal, then a Democrat, now politically homeless, who last week wrote that Australia had become a pigsty under Howard, the conservative ideologue. The country, he argued, needed to be rescued by some latter-day Gough Whitlam or Paul Keating. Poor Greg sits waiting for Judgment Day, when a new philosopher king will lift whatever party he then belongs to into power while the Coalition will be cast into eternal damnation.”
That seems to be a version of this article.
Given that most of our readers are centre/left, I don’t expect them to be particularly thrilled at the possibility that they might inadvertently bump into Ms Albrechtsen when they are accessing the server. And no doubt this revelation will cause pseudonyms to be probed anew on the forum, bringing out the Albrechtsen impersonators.
What it does demonstrate is that the Internet, and OLO in particular, is slowly and surely becoming mainstream.

Posted by Graham at 9:17 pm | Comments (6) |
Filed under: Media


  1. It is impossible to avoid the citizen commenteriat these days, which OLO and blogging are very much a part of. Back in October John Singleton made a speech which mirrored many of the points made in an SSR article that was linked to by Road to Surfdom.
    It makes sense, why wouldnt the professional commenteriat read, borrow and beg from the citizen commenteriat? There is a wealth of material.

    Comment by Cameron Riley — December 29, 2005 @ 11:33 pm

  2. This piece prompts me to suggest the need for one entitled “Another censor almost ‘fesses up”. Given GY’s propensity to ban posters from the ‘left’ (i.e. left of his supposedly ‘centrist’ perspective) in the OLO comments area without explanation, it is hardly surprising that scribes of Albrechtsen’s ilk would feel comfortable in sourcing her articles there.
    While GY may claim that his readership is predominantly ‘left-centre’, that is certainly not what is reflected in comments about articles that concern religion, abortion, homosexuality, the environment etc.
    Just as well there are plenty of real blogs and journals around that don’t employ such disingenuous editorial censorship.

    Comment by garra — January 1, 2006 @ 9:16 am

  3. Some one must realy let us all know if Albrechtsen ever managers to have an original thought,shes just another mouthpiece for Murdock and I buy the OZ, but manage to avoid most of the right wing nonsense it puts out,I buy it because I live in WA and if you ever read The Worst Australian you will know why,I also read a number of blogs plus the SMH so I think I can sort the sheep from the goat

    Comment by john ryan — January 3, 2006 @ 11:45 pm

  4. John,
    Interesting that you read The Australian for that reason. I suspect that it is the reason that we are well read in Queensland as well, as you can see from the summary that I did of our reader survey at
    Cameron, I think the issue is when the citizen commentariat will take over from the pros who work for the major newspapers.

    Comment by Graham Young — January 4, 2006 @ 10:21 pm

  5. Graham, Yeh I can see that point coming, dont know when though. John Quiggin reckons that ozplogistan has replaced the policy magazines (Quadrant, Monthly etc) in terms of circulation and influence. Big sites like LP probably crush the magazines in circulation (hits).
    The mass media is obviously sensitive to the citizen commenteriat as well. If I have commented in a harsh manner on an op-ed in a major newspaper. I have received emails in the past from the writer defending their article. So there is an awareness, that even if the citizen commenteriat dont shape opinion, they do have an influence on it.
    The thing that impresses me about the citizen commenteriat is that it is a pure meritocracy. Because punditry is now commodotised, infinite and permanently available in all forms and niches, the current popular bloggers have had to establish and maintain their audience through the quality of their writing. Some are choosing to do that through trollish echo-chambers, but the vast majority are doing it through quality writing, cartooning, discussion etc. Good stuff.
    The mass media landscape was a poverty in material by comparison.

    Comment by Cameron Riley — January 5, 2006 @ 10:33 pm

  6. Yes, OLO is becoming a site to access a range of political thought and theory from which journalists like Albrechtsen use as primary and secondary sources – to boost legitimacy of their own pieces.
    This symbiotic relationship between public ‘intellectual’ and web-based citizen commenteriat is beginning to evolve its own rules of referentialism.
    This relationship that is often defined by the topic and legitimacy of both the quality of writing and of the journalist at hand.
    Interestingly, Albrechtsen did not cite OLO, and she should have. Perhaps she/they are hesitant to reveal how these sources are integral to their own production of opinions?
    Interestingly, Margo Kingston’s web diary closed down recently.

    Comment by Victor — January 7, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

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