9 thoughts on “The Interpreter

  1. Thats really good news. I enjoy listening to the Lowy Institute’s podcasts and it will be good to have a blog completely devoted to Australian foreign policy and global politics.

    Thanks for sharing that Andrew.

    Has the CIS thought of setting up a podcast for its lectures?


  2. From the look of the current content, it looks interesting. What I don’t get is the lack of a comments facility. Being able to “email the editor” is not the same as being able to follow debates through comments.


  3. John – There is an audio and video section on the CIS website, though only a few things there at this point. I think it will expand.


  4. As editor of The Interpreter, I feel obliged to offer some explanation on comments policy. The primary reason we have disabled comments threads is the administrative overhead. We eventually hope to reach a very wide audience, yet there are no plans to have anyone but me working on the blog full time. Comment threads take time I don’t have.

    There are also legal and reputational concerns. Media Watch has revealed a number of instances of major media outlets inadvertently hosting racist comments in their blogs and forums. Of course, if you are vigilant, such stuff can be easily removed, but again, its a question of time.

    And if we did host potentially defamatory or offensive material, as a prominent think tank we are a tempting target for a company or interest group that wants to test what are, at present, largely unchartered legal waters.

    Last, I note that a number of bloggers – Andrew Sullivan for instance – use an ‘Email of the day’ feature rather than open comments threads. It’s a more ‘old media’ model, but that quite suits us. The Interpreter is not a ‘citizen journalism’ effort, but a forum for professionals.


  5. The Interpreter is not a ‘citizen journalism’ effort, but a forum for professionals.

    What Boris said, not really a blog.


  6. Lowy could probably afford to hire someone to take care of the comments. Maybe Jason Soon is the hardest working man in comments moderation in Australia today with a keen eye for racist backchat given the right wing orientation of catallaxy. He works from home and would love to convert more of his skill to plastic surfcash.

    Lowy could also afford to donate some money to spirit of soccer where kids with landmine injuries in Cambodia are encouraged to play soccer.

    Particularly, considering Lowy sponsors Australian soccer for the beergut generation and emerged from a genocidal situation himself.

    “No comments” smacks of Ivy League arrogance rather than Pacific Arny innovation. It takes 5 minutes to delete anything that goes one step beyond at the end of each day.


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