Media Watch chose to shine the light on, my much-hated tag, “Mummy Bloggers” last night. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. To say I was underwhelmed would be spot on.
A group of women I adore featured on the segment, which, to be honest, was pretty lame. The women on it weren’t lame, their voices were as strong as ever, albeit a little chipmunk sounding. It was the show itself. The segment was much like a lesson in Mummy Blogging 101. Seriously Media Watch, you could have done much better than that. If you wanted to target a small number of bloggers, in a small slice of the blogging sector, then do your research.
I am pretty sure there are “Mummy Bloggers” out there who have not declared sponsored posts, who behave unethically. There are bad eggs in every industry. Why did you not dig a little deeper as you would the media industry? They wouldn’t have been hard to find. It would have made for much more compelling viewing and as a blogger I welcome analysis of the industry. Accountability is important.
Instead, the segment was badly researched, lacked depth and, for a show such as Media Watch, was basically lazy journalism. Not to mention condescending and lame. You could have presented a comprehensive report that the sector deserves, rather than the vacuous one you chose to air last night.
And in regards to the Mummy Blogger tag, as a woman I am sick of getting labelled based on my parental status or gender. I don’t like anyone calling me a Mummy except my children. I also don’t like the way the term, when spoken, is always in a bullshit “this is not a legitimate professional pursuit” way. There is always a raised eyebrow or a little smirk.
Traditional media is under threat because of an exodus of readers to other communication avenues. In response, advertising revenue is being cut, leading to mass redundancies and rationalisation of mastheads and television programming. On the flip side, there is whole other industry growing, buoyed by an injection of advertising dollars. Threatened much? And just like any industry pursued by women e.g: “cottage industry”, “chick lit” blah blah blah… the powers that be will denigrate it, compartmentalise it and try to make it less valued in the eyes of the consumer. Pisses me off.
What are your thoughts on this issue?
Bravo! Well written. I nearly had a fit when the words “frivolous” was used. No one would dare use that word with say someone like Paul Sheehan or Piers Ackerman. And they write tripe.
As always B, spot on! I was really annoyed too, I’m sick of these digs at bloggers. It seems that the media are very keen to interfere in the community, with fear mongering crap. If they understood the community a little better, they would realise that we already disclose, if you don’t, then you wont last long anyway. We already have a system and even media watch had to admit that, only I think the word the host used was civilised discussion. It is insulting to the whole community, bloggers and readers alike. xx
Totally agree Bianca! It was a very underwhelming segment featuring some of my fave bloggers. MediaWatch’s writers and researchers should be sent off to Mrs Woog’s Spanky Town along with the trolls 😉 xxx
Great post babe. And LOOK! I’m COMMENTING!!!!!! x
It is interesting to hear about the thought you have put into the different episode of Media Watch you would make if you were making a different episode of Media Watch. I too would love to consume of this thoughtful, in depth interrogation, so please feel free point it out wherever it is/whenever it becomes available.
On the other hand, I am confounded by your determination to rush past your quite accurate description of the aired episode as “a lesson in Mummy Blogging 101” as if the lesson was unwarranted or improper. I certainly felt like the item pretty respectfully announced “here’s this thing that, increasingly, matters”. It’s pretty much there in the ABC Charter to make shows that don’t cater to everyone. If mummy blogging’s not news to you, it wasn’t meant for you, and there will be another episode next week.
Apart from the claim that some people have frivolous preoccupations (clearly ridiculous), I struggle to see where the condescension lay. It reads to me as a balanced DESCRIPTION of a segment of the blogosphere that is going to become increasingly interesting to powerful interests, with a few indications that it will warrant critical attention. Aside from the usual problems inherent in trying to generalise (and label) “mummy bloggers” this seems eminently uncontroversial.
Those are my thoughts on the issue. Thanks for asking.
I think the show would have benefited from taking a broader focus instead of resorting to the old “mummy blogging” tag. The term is patronising and it was always going to be hard avoiding condescension territory while referring to it. You only had to follow the media watch hash tag on twitter to appreciate the negative discourse it encouraged. Oh god not mummy bloggers, urgh!
One journalist felt the need to tweet that she was concerned about the implications of bloggers’ children’s privacy before she’d even watched the show. I’ve heard and read far more about the offspring of comedians, celebrities, Facebook users and some Journos/writers – just as an aside.
Fashion, tech, auto, beauty are just a number of other niches that accept sponsored posts and advertising – but for some reason the media doesn’t seem to have a sordid fascination with those genres and I’m not entirely sure why.
When the programme finished last night, I sat back for some navel gazing unsure of how I felt. I think Carli is on to something in her comment about this fascination with ‘mummy bloggers’. Where was problogger? Where were the health, fashion, tech, political bloggers? It’s almost like it’s dawning on people that *gosh* maybe when a woman gives birth to a baby she doesn’t necessarily leave her brain behind in the delivery room with the placenta? And this is the thing that gets me with this whole ‘mummy blogging’ thing. Sure there is a mixed bag of bloggers in this country (as there are journalists, lawyers, teachers etc) but I’ve met some who could put some of the highest paid copywriters, creative gurus or digital ‘experts’ that I’ve worked with to shame. So while I’m still unsure how I felt about the programme (apart from those bloody voice-overs) part of me feels that maybe a small step in the right direction is better than none? And now I must go back to humming ‘Funky Town’…
I too didnt have a problem with the episode. >>> I certainly felt like the item pretty respectfully announced “here’s this thing that, increasingly, matters”>>> I agree with this completely. I read many blogs and dont have a problem with their labels…. mummy blog…. political blog…..foodie blog….etc. Its a label not an insult. If the majority of the posts on a blog are about family and children – it will be tagged as a mummy blog, same as a blog that has a majority of posts about recipes and cooking and food shopping would be a food blog – just a label. I didnt see it as a dig or as a putdown or as an insult. Just my respectful 2c worth
I just watched it then and *yawn* it was hardly ground breaking stuff was it? Being a relatively newbie to the bloggersphere I thought it may be insightful, it wasn’t. It was good to see bloggers I respect being profiled through I honestly thought Eden would sound a little different ; ) PS – my name is not mummy either to anyone but my daughter, especially anyone looking as condescending as MrMediaWatch – Emily xx
I found it incredibly condescending too. I really hated the implication (well, not implication – he said it outright) that the things “MummyBloggers” post about are frivolous. Now yes, of course – some things are. There’s plenty of fluff in the industry, as I’m sure there are in a lot of places in the real world. But to say that’s all? To imply that’s ALL there is to women who blog?
THAT’s the bit that bothered me the most.
You are spot on about how the media is changing and evolving – it’s quite exciting times to be in the media industry don’t you think? I also dislike the term ‘mummy blogger’. Perhaps we could think of another one? Next blog perhaps? 🙂
Hi There Bianca and all your readers,
I found my way here via the story on this issue on Essential Baby via http://www.smh.com.au. I watched the show on Monday night, as I do every Monday, and it looked to me as though they were engaging in a form of typical intra-cultural mud-flinging. By that I mean each group of enthusiasts, like musicians or car owners or whatever, tend to find someone who they deem “less worthy” than themselves to pick on. It’s been happening for years but this, I believe was a blatant example of it.
Musicians in bands: guitarists pick on the drummer or the singer because they can’t play “real” instruments
Music fans: Triple J listeners will deride anyone who listens to One Direction
Car fans: Holden fans deride Ford fans, and vice versa.
Surfers: stand-up board riders hate bodyboard riders and so on
I believe that Media Watch, who consider themselves bastions and keepers of journalism standards, have found a new target, lesser than themselves obviously, in the form of the (I apologise for using the term) “mummy blogger”. I’m not suggesting they’re are correct, or indeed any of the above groups are correct, but it does show a high degree of arrogance and ignorance on behalf of Media Watch’s researchers.
It wasn’t one of their better episodes.
An interesting point you raise re kids’ privacy, Carli. Some media would try to have you believe it’s better to have highly paid stranger hang out of a tree or chase a (celebrity)parent down the road for an unauthorised photo of their child, than for a (blogging) parent to post one themselves. Hmmm.