So he argues that their new embrace of an anti-Australia Day editorial agenda is a calculated branding effort rather than anything brave. The implication is that by extension their readership is also just sloganeering.
Well… that’s the gist of his argument - there’s more fart jokes! Jordies is heavily influenced by Chomsky’s view that media agendas are often distraction fires that mainly serve to keep the ruling class in power. If you apply that lens the argument makes a lot of sense. #ChangeTheDate (see how I keep using it as a hashtag?) is an agenda that is easily grasped and also creates a convenient polarisation: Be left wing and for it or right wing and against it. It’s easily digestible and stirs something in everyone.
But let’s put aside the media theory lens and Jordies’ deep-rooted hatred of listicle media to look more closely at the various social groups and their views.
Jordies cites a stat that says “only” 54% of Indigenous Australians are in favour of a change of date, to make the point that the issue isn’t important to the cultural group that the likes of Mamamia, Buzzfeed and Pedestrian are alleging to defend. But the McNair yellowSquares national poll where Jordies found that stat also states that among Indigenous Australians, only 23% felt positive about Australia Day, 31% were negative and 30% had mixed feelings. So straight away a different picture emerges.
If you work as a strategist or in any role that requires you to convince others of a certain narrative, you will recognise the difference between trying to let data reveal its own story and cherry picking data to tell your story. Or as Pennay and Bonglorno put it in their article in The Conversation:
“In the cultural warfare over whether January 26 should be retained as Australia Day, survey results are deployed like guided missiles.”
According to their data it it is true that as of January 2019, 70% respondents agreed that the current date, January 26th “...is the best day for our national day of celebration.”
But it’s also true that that agreement varies across gender, political parties and perhaps most importantly age.