In his Quarterly Essay “Trivial Pursuit: Leadership and the End of the Reform Era”, political journalist George Megalogenis examines the restless pace and timid tone of contemporary Australian politics.
Discussing his essay with former Labor politician Lindsay Tanner – in a sometimes disarming reversal of roles – Megalogenis elaborates on his thesis of ‘impatience’ and rapid succession. While Tanner explores the influence of complacency and comfort in Australia’s timid political climate, as well as the change in commercial television’s current affairs reporting, Megalogenis muses on how new media has always affected the tone of its forebears.
He suggests that a complex change has affected both governance and media which has much to do with each adopting the other’s tactics, as well as a marked shift in the attention span and distraction of citizens.
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