NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"In ways we've only dreamed of"? Do the NBN ads comply with the guidelines?

Here are the government ads.

Here's what the guidelines say:

20. Campaign materials should enable the recipients of the information to distinguish between facts, comment, opinion and analysis.

21. Where information is presented as a fact, it should be accurate and verifiable. When making a factual comparison, the material should not attempt to mislead the recipient about the situation with which the comparison is made and it should state explicitly the basis for the comparison.

Here's what the ads say:

"It will boost our economy"

"It will touch our lives from the way we work to the way we play, and in ways we only dream of."

Here's how they got it past the committee.

Have a go. Try to distinguish between facts, comment, opinion and analysis:

Small beer I suppose, compared to the cost of the project.

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