Journalists should not reveal

I remember three things from one of my journalism tutors at uni – only babies are due, never sign a petition, and never tell anyone who you vote for.

It’s the latter rule I thought of in the lead up and on the day of this year’s federal election.

Some of my friends who work in the media were freely sharing their views on social media and actively encouraging others not to vote for a particular party.

I don’t write political news stories anymore so it probably doesn’t matter too much who knows how I vote but I always have that tutor’s voice in the back of my head.

In a recent issue of InsideStory, Dennis Altman argued political commentators should declare their positions.

While I agree with his point that some sections of the Murdoch press discarded any pretence of balanced reporting, I don’t believe we should abandon working towards fair and bias-free journalism.

We should be rallying against biased coverage – or at least trying to ensure there is enough media diversity so these voices are just one of many.

Why should we know the political leanings of Karl Stefanovic, Leigh Sales, Sandra Sully, or David Speers? Surely its better they remain impartial with the viewer none the wiser about whom they voted for at the ballet box.

Do we really want to end up like the American media where news anchors are required to declare their ‘side’ and be forever be held accountable?

By making their allegiances (if they even have them) public, this becomes the issue rather than the one they’re trying to report.

What do you think? Should political commentators reveal who they vote for?


How to host a swap party

What do you do with those clothes you can’t quite bring yourself to take to the op shop but know you’ll never wear? Host a swap party that’s what.

Here are a few steps to ensure you don’t drown in a pile of clothes.

1. The invitation


Invite people who are likely to have a stash of good clothes in their wardrobe or who aren’t averse to wearing second-hand garments. You want to strike a balance between inviting enough so there is a range of clothes to choose from but not too many that it will take five hours to get through the pile. Give people at least a few weeks’ notice so they can gather up a stash.

2. Sorting

As the guests arrive with their loot sort the clothes into piles – skirts, shorts, trousers, dresses etc. This keeps things orderly and anonymous – you don’t want people feeling embarrassed if no one wants their t-shirt with the cat on it.

3. Show and tell

Get volunteers to help ‘model’ the clothes. Don’t worry there needn’t be any strutting down the catwalk – just hold up each item and tell the ‘buyers’ the brand and size. First person to put their hand up wins the prize. Make sure you have a spare room and a mirror so people can try the clothes on.

4. Second time through

Once all the clothes have been divvied up the rejects go into a pile. Then the scavengers can go through and pick out any items they weren’t sure of the first time around. The aim of the game is to see the clothes go to a new home.

5. Op shop trip

But once the pile has been exhausted and nobody wants the neon green mesh tank top, the items left are destined for the op shop of choice. It’s the job of the host to make the drop off.

6. Don’t forget cake!

Swap parties are always a good excuse to get people (ok girlfriends) together to enjoy some afternoon tea, or even an evening of wine and cheese.

Hipsterville – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Knitted objects, graffiti, rare record stores, vintage markets and a decent brew thanks to Blue Bottle Coffee make Williamsburg, Brooklyn a pleasure to visit. Once home to upwardly mobile immigrants it’s now so popular the hipsters have priced themselves out of the area and are heading south to neighbourhoods such as Bedford-Stuyvesant or back to East Village in Manhattan.


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