Margaret Simons

Margaret Simons is the director of the “Centre for Advanced Journalism” at the University of Melbourne. Famous for her gardening columns in The Age, Simons has recently been embroiled in controversy as a judge on the Walkley Awards where it has emerged that she sought to use her position to block Cameron Stewart’s award for Operation Neath.

Simon’s wikipedia entry (why does she even have one?) claims that she has been ‘nominated’ for a Walkley award. But entries for the Walkley are self-nominated so what is special about that? She nominated herself for a Walkley award and didn’t win. Now she is jealous of Cameron Stewart.

Margaret Simons is an example of how failed journalists end up trying to teach journalism. It is yet another example of a course that should not be taught at university. She it bitter because she cannot get a job in News Limited.

If Stewart’s son wants to be a journalist, he should avoid university and get a job in a media organisation. He would learn more about balance and the craft of writing for newspapers than he would learn in 20 years at a journalism school.

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J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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44 Responses to Margaret Simons

  1. Rabz

    Margaret Simons is an example of how failed journalists end up trying to teach journalism.

    I’m sure the spudpeeler would be only too happy to confirm this ol’ truism:

    Those that can, do, those that can’t, teach.

  2. Septimus

    The ALPBC crew this morning on News Breakfast were busily pooh-poohing attacks by (shudder) The Australian on Simons and themselves.

    Btw – both Rowlands and Carvalho had the jiggles. Maybe it’s contagious.

  3. Sinclair Davidson

    Those that can, do, those that can’t, teach.

    Those who can, do research. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach teachers. Those who can’t teach teachers, administrate. Those who can’t administrate, do quality control.

  4. Septimus

    Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.

    Eh? Touch of the Rex Mossops here Sinc? ;)

  5. Pickles

    Got busted on that bloomer thing Septimus.

  6. lotocoti

    He would learn more about balance and the craft of writing for newspapers than he would learn in 20 years at a journalism school.

    A veteran of the Parly House gallery once admitted the only thing worth learning in J school was shorthand.

  7. Septimus

    Saw that Pickles. Only mild bruising for you though …treated as a case of mistaken identity. Eloquent summation by the judge ;)

  8. And Another Thing

    Totally agree. The editors and senior journalists should be training young journalists – in fact it’s part of their duty to do so.

    The way universities are going now there’s a strong chance youngsters will be politicized by the time they arrive in the newsroom. If they have the right stuff to win a cadetship the news organization will train them properly, and to take an even-handed look at the issues.

    Before fair reporting came to be seen as right-wing, when readers, listeners and viewers could trust the MSM, this was the case.

    Lecturers teach their political views as fact. It’s time for a shake-up at media schools or to take them out of the equation altogether.

  9. Christian Kerr

    The smug little cadre Meg is training up is out to destroy journalism – by its very nature a bunch of sceptical and troublemaking anti-authoritarians – by replacing the profession with proselytes of political correctness who pretend to be the real deal by offering assumptions that would have been radical in San Fran close to half a century ago.

    Viva the Cat, viva Sinc, viva Rafe, viva Samuel J, Henry and Judith, viva the Chicago School, viva the Austrians and viva capitalism and viva freedom!

  10. Toiling Mass

    A failed journalist teaching what she knows – how to be a failure as a journalist.

  11. steve from brisbane

    This blog is journalism?

    How amusing…

  12. TonyO

    steve from brisbane -

    “This blog is journalism?

    How amusing…”

    This blog lets you have your say – do you find that amusing too? I know I do….

  13. jupes

    journalism – by its very nature a bunch of sceptical and troublemaking anti-authoritarians –

    When? WHEN?

    Certainly not this century.

  14. Rabz

    This blog is journalism?

    You frigging obnoxious, odious dullard, when has this blog ever claimed to be ‘journalism’?

    This is Journalism.

    For added topicality it features a J-School Perfesser…

  15. Cold-Hands

    Got busted on that bloomer thing Septimus.

    I suspect there was a tip off from another of the Cat Ladies.

  16. hzhousewife

    A large number of we over 60′s learned shorthand in Form 4.
    So much for a journalism degree.

    If ONLY we could reintroduce précis writing to the curriculum
    - we would be spared acres of paragraphs…

  17. Marlene Nguyen

    Margret Symons is a crypto-Communist and should be added to the list of people who deserve to be “disappeared” in the name of national security* when the revolution comes; an ongoing list that appears to be distressingly absent from the Cat.

    *I favour Argentinian-style disappearance: thrown from a helicopter well out to sea and at a decent hight (and with the wrists bound).

  18. Septimus

    I suspect there was a tip off from another of the Cat Ladies.

    As Arkady Renko said in ‘Gorky Park’:

    “I suspect everyone.”

  19. Entropy

    Hmm, seems like a death thtreat of troll like proportions.

  20. Leigh Lowe

    I’m sure the spudpeeler would be only too happy to confirm this ol’ truism:

    Those that can, do, those that can’t, teach.

    Numbers taught spud peeling?

  21. Leigh Lowe

    This blog is journalism?

    How amusing…

    Well, no S fo Brains.
    It is the various and varied opinions of individuals, and those opinions are often blissfully unadulterated by facts.
    However, unlike the AB frickin C and Fewfacts, it doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
    It does not present the opinions of those who post as irrefutable fact, and does not censor those who disagree with the proprietors or the majority …. no matter how tedious or banal they may be.
    And that is something you should be grateful for.

  22. Leigh Lowe

    by replacing the profession with proselytes of political correctness who pretend to be the real deal by offering assumptions that would have been radical in San Fran close to half a century ago

    Spot on Christian.
    I actually believe Meg and her fellow travellers were never really part of the hippie era, something they regret deeply and are trying to redress in their dotage.

  23. Spitfire

    Speaking of “journalism”, the Left’s toilet paper of record, The Age, must be giggling with delight while soaking under showers of chardonnay. News is that luvvie Leigh Sales has been cleared of bias by public money thieves ACMA in relation to her interview of Tony Abbott a few months back.

    The probe into 7.30 was sparked by two complaints. One claimed that Sales’ treatment of Mr Abbott ”was very bad … she made it obvious that she does not like him”.
    Another stated that Sales’ ”personal left-wing views are showing through … I also believe the ABC is responsible for a great deal of left-wing bias”.
    In response, the ABC told ACMA that Sales had used a ”devil’s advocate” style and that it did ”not believe that posing testing questions to an interviewee and then allowing them to respond to those questions is biased or bad-mannered. It is, in fact, a recognised standard of objective journalism”.

    A devil’s advocate style? Must be the same devil’s advocate style the esteemed Margaret Simons uses when purporting to teach journalism. No wonder nobody with a brain takes the Left’s ideas seriously anymore. If they ever did.

  24. Toiling Mass

    Mad Meg.

    The execrable Ms Simons would be that frantic hill-feature to the left.

  25. SteveC

    As you went to the trouble to look up the rules for Walkleys, you could have tried just a little bit harder and seen that your snipe about “self-nomination” was unjustified.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/general/full-list-of-walkley-award-finalists/2007/10/17/1192300855727.html

  26. SteveC

    Those who can, do research. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t…etc.

    So who does the blogging :)

  27. Tom

    Everyone who nominates for a Walkley nominates themselves, Dogshit’s Best Friend. If Simons wrote that she’d been “nominated” for a Walkley, she is in fact a tool as, as SamuelJ observes, she had to nominate herself. Being a Walkley Award finalist is hardly an elite field – it’s a union award and no-one who is not a union member ever wins it, even though it’s technically open to non-members to avoid accusations that it is a closed shop. Apart from the fact that you’re only purpose here is to troll, you’re a smartarse busybody.

  28. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    In response, the ABC told ACMA that Sales had used a ”devil’s advocate” style

    An extraordinary response, and typical of the sort of evasion of journalistic responsibility that is taught in ‘journalism’ schools.

    The devil’s advocate takes a deliberately contrary position and is thus a part of the argumentation, not an impartial interviewer.

    Ms. Sales has shown absolutely no inclination to take such a devil’s advocate position with regard to interviewing politicians of the left. Quite the opposite.

    She throws them meaty leftie bones to chew on.

    To any fair-minded person, her ‘interview’ with Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament, was a debasement of her professional role.

    Ms. Simons of course would award a High Distinction.

  29. Tom

    As SamuelJ wrote in that earlier post: “Newspaper editors should advertise that a journalism degree will reduce the prospect of employment as a journalist.” Editors complain that journalism schools are churning out pretenders who are not actually interested in journalism, but want to be “writers” (that’s raiiittaas, with a Brighton accent). Now that leftwing political activists like Simons are running the journalism schools, newspapers are being fed smartarse pretenders.

  30. Sinclair Davidson

    Who is Rex Mossops?

    So who does the blogging

    LOL – okay, we’ll pay that one.

  31. lotocoti

    you could have tried just a little bit harder…

    Any chance you could elucidate the point of that link in your riposte?

  32. Tom

    Areff, Holmes is a disgrace, sticking up for someone who likes to think she is a leading journalism who behaved abominably in sliming a very good working journalist and refusing to acknowledge she got the story dreadfully wrong.

    Says the gnome: “… the bottom line is this: the issues Dr Simons raises are legitimate. As a senior journalism academic, she has every right to raise them, and she has done so in a reasoned and reasonable way.”

    Simons is a hack and a disgrace and should be a nobody. As the late great NT News sub Bob Marshall would have said: “She knows fuck all about fuck all.” Having worked with her, I heartily agree.

  33. .

    If I keep on getting Sinclair and that bald, evil, fascist gnome mixed up, it’s because they look alike, especially around the head.

  34. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Tom, when I left home and school at 14 I went straight out to work and my employer, who was making a hopeless mess out of writing something, gave it to me to do. So I started doing all of his letters and PR stuff and moved from job to job (via word-of-mouth from kind employers) and then to a very good professional writing job writing more stuff, under the tutelage of two old, experienced and very hard-bitten journalists, one male, one female.

    I don’t think they make them like that any more. Pity. They were tough, fair and very handy with the red pen. They encouraged me to higher education as they thought I would do well at university, which I did.

    Avoided ‘studying’ journalism or reading ‘English’ though, thank the good lord. Both would have made me miserable and cramped my style. :)

  35. Septimus

    Who is Rex Mossops?

    Rex Mossop

    Former dual international footballer and Australian media personality, very well known for his tautologies.

    Your ‘Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.’ struck me as being somewhat tautological, hence my comment ‘Touch of the Rex Mossops here Sinc?’

    Heh :)

  36. areff

    Tom, when CVs used to cross my desk, J-school meant an automatic relegation to the bottom of the pile. Monash recently advertised for a journalism lecturer; the one thing the ad didn’t request was newsroom experience.

    If someone like, say, Wendy Bacon is listed as a job applicant’s professor, the only sane reaction would be to file the application in the trash basket.

    The real irony is that, for all the savants’ talk of ethics and professional standards, they churn out thousands of grads every year, of which only a handful will actually land jobs in their chosen field.

    “Hey, treat me with respect — I have a journalism degree. And by the way, do you want fries with that?”

  37. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Forgot to mention that I put my age up two years in order to get my first job.

    I don’t do that anymore. :)

    Nor do I need to work, ‘tanks to the HIA and his concern for me; he encourages me to ‘write’, but mostly I just blog on and play with da kids.

    The old journo said never start to write seriously until you are sure you have something to say, Lizzie. He was very scathing about young people who breathlessly wanted to be ‘writers’. Interestingly, I never did. I preferred reading as there was so much reading to be done. I also knew I did not want to be a journalist. Science grabbed me and held me in its thrall for a while.

    Well, I do now have something to say (and no, SfB, it is not about me), so maybe I’ll put down the books and start. Soonish, anyway.

    Know thyself, Ms. B. Procrastination is my forte.

    I’ll still see you all here next year, but maybe less.

  38. Gab

    Lizzie, all I’m hearing from you is excuses. Write that book. :)

  39. Tom

    Your impeccable instincts are correct, Lizzie: write that book when it demands to be written and not a moment before. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

  40. lotocoti

    very well known for his tautologies.

    And more:
    “Nobody likes to be pulled off by the ref. at half time.” remains a personal favourite.
    Mrs Moose always sat at the back of the commentary box, quietly crocheting.

  41. Areff: 21-dec @10.08:
    In a past life I sponsored the student newspaper at (what I think is a) mid-tier Australian university.

    To the amazement of the students, I could flick through an issue and pick the articles written by journalism students.

    “They’re not that much better than the rest!” a journalism student (cough) told me one day, preening & faking modesty.

    I then pointed out that all articles by journalism students had little continuity of (a) writing style, and (b) message flow, between paragraphs, indicating “cut & paste”, rather than originally written article.

    I’d been getting it 100% right for almost a year when I revealed this magic trick.

    Two things happened:
    1/. No journalism student spoke to me again, pointedly they never again patronised the shop I worked in, and
    2/. The writing style of journalism students did not change.

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