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Monday, 09 May 2022 06:58

Nine's leaders' debate just a badly organised shouting match Featured

Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison during Sunday's debate. Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison during Sunday's debate. Courtesy Channel Nine

At the start of Sunday's so-called Great Debate between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, moderator Sarah Abo claimed that the host, Nine Entertainment, was the country's biggest media organisation.

By the end of the roughly 75-minute affair, one was left wondering whether this was all the outfit could organise. Nobody was left covered in any glory, least of all the company hosting what turned out to be, for the most part, a shouting match. It was a terrible debate, just a waste of time. It was anything but great.

Online voting is about the most unreliable way of gauging the winner or loser of any contest. Yet, Nine chose to have an online poll to decide the winner, which obviously had been put up in one hell of a hurry. One just couldn't vote using the poll, for a good part of the debate.

As can be seen from the video in this article, the number of votes kept changing. Despite the fact that Nine is heavily biased towards the government, this was no conspiracy; it was a major stuff-up.

There is no point in having grown men shouting at each other during a debate, with a moderator who adds to the confusion by trying to shout over them and get them to shut up. Add to that the fact that this debate was held in week five of a six-week debate; it had to provide something out of the ordinary to hold a viewer's attention.

It also does not help if questions are asked by a panel which is clearly not prepared to drill in and hold the feet of the two men contesting the debate to the fire.

Of the three panellists, only Deborah Knight showed some spirit and tried to break through the conventional bland, insipid questioning that has been on display for four weeks.

The two male panellists, David Crowe, political editor of the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, and Chris Uhlmann, political editor of Channel Nine, appeared to be unprepared to really drill down and ask hard questions.

It was really a very lazy display by Nine and should disqualify it from holding any future election debates.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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