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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 12 September 2008
Memo Ellen Fanning, don't cross the fine line* on our ABC
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media


What's carrots on the road got to do with good broadcasting? Alot more than the local government election ward system apparently.

So we exercise junkies learned pre 7am this morning taking snaps of the wonderous Cooks River in the dawn light listening to 702 compere Ellen Fanning standing in for big brain Adam Spencer.

But that's not really good enough is it on standard bearer ABC.

It's been a good and even great week for stand in broadcaster Ellen Fanning having been dumped along with the rest of Sunday 9 quality current affairs show.

A real talent, mature professional savvy, yet Fanning betrayed pride before a fall in judgement this morning. Earlier this week she pulled off two great and influential interviews:

1. Peter Coleman as co-author of the Costello (-ology) literature hitting the stands any day now;

2. Noreen Hay MP in breaking story about sacking of Matt Brown MP as Police Minister and all round goose.

The mis-judgement in our view was honking on (and she should watch out for that descriptor) about squashed carrots in the shadow of the 6-7 am low ratings period preferring to cut short the role of local government with a sledge.

Yes this writer has spent 4 years 1995-1999 in that milieu. Yes we are offended at the soft headed, overpaid, condescending, dismissive tone about the grassroots level of government. And I just know the hundreds and thousands employed in the same sector will agree with me. Them's ratings Lady.

The level of govt closest to the people. That do the most with least amount of money. That look their ratepayers in the eye week in and week out.

The economists and big media on the drip of multinational corporations one way or another will say it's an indulgent inefficiency. Anachronistic wards based on ridings of yesteryear for Godsake.

Only they would be wrong - when you look into the reality of grassroots politics because it's the great anchor of social cohesion along with the welfare system. When an MP or journalist at either State or Federal level - all invariably on a wage well over $100K per year and haughtily secure in that knowledge as Warren Beatty so insightfully noted in Bullmore - give the People a cold shoulder in their cosy sinecures it's Local Govt they get a hearing.


And vice versa when council loses the plot back to the other 2 levels. Governance in this country is a three string puppet, not two and we are lucky to have that depth of stability. Like the old mining propaganda advert you'd miss it if it wasn't there.

Thankfully sharp blade Fanning noted the laughably "hypothetical" nature of the recall of NSW Govt idea just because it's a Left faction premier: Hence the barracking by Opposition Iraq war champ Nelson at federal level, and sundry numbskulls keen for another Chile 1972 capital strike by big business (not least Fairfax board). Vale Allende. Such are the saving graces of Ms Fanning and indeed our ABC.

* Fine Line, 6 part sbs documentary by Ellen Fanning on the media industry made in 2000 as here http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an000028661694


Posted by editor at 9:24 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 12 September 2008 5:17 PM NZT
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Lifestyle change for Della Bosca pays off in press today
Mood:  energetic
Topic: nsw govt

What is the political price for being fat? It's pretty high would be our guess.

We predicted back on 15 May 2008 that an exercise regime for big John Della Bosca could counter intuitively be the saving of his career. Sure enough the often cruel Sydney press today are all very approving. Credit where it's due now medium size John. Here was the prediction:

15 May 2008 Della Bosca's bright political future on two wheels?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: nsw govt

Here are some stories today:

Della Bosca slim, trim and back to health - National - smh.com.au  9 Sep 2008

Smaller Della Bosca has a big role | The Daily Telegraph 9 Sep 2008

Posted by editor at 2:19 PM NZT
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Sunday Political talkies: 'climate' of high variability in Australia
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Author’s general introductory note



This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Media backgrounders



Missed the start at 8.40am


Rodney Cavalier as NSW ALP historian on Doogue Saturday breakfast abc radio national with profound round up of history of ALP with 3 labour parties in parliament in the 1940ies until Curtin, Chifley, McKell got them to unify and made NSW an ALP state for 80% of the time since. That Iemma lost the plot with that role of nurturing the party and the government both in the job description.


AM programme does round up of byelections in Mayo and Lynne and WA state election this Sunday morning – check their website for transcript in due course. Caught a bit of Julie Bishop running the line anti federal ALP vote – like new tax on domestic gas etc.


90c half price deal for Sunday Telegraph today in joint promotion with NRMA for father’s day. 




10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am



Press round up shows Greens strong performance in lower house seat in Mayo over saving the Murray River and Climate Change issues.


Joe Hockey – happy fathers days all round, Paul Bongiorno. General chat about electioneering with due Coalition spin. Argues anti Federal ALP vote


Blooper outtake of Lib missing a division forgot to be Pavlovian.


First adbreak with dad about public education for Teachers Federation.


Skirmishing over dental plans with footage of Min Roxon.


Panel is News Corp’s Steve Lewis and similarly Jennifer Hewitt with their The Australian.


Footage of Turnbull about something about economy/interest rates.


Second adbreak teachers advert.


Ross Garnaut report last third of the show – John Sutton national sec of CFMEU. Emissions scheme permits raise funds for welfare – moving away from coal as energy source? No hasty retreat from coal. Big export industry, good at it.  Issue is techno fixes.


Q from SL not as alarmed as Paul Howes from AWU – ans all shoulders to the wheel including big corporates. Takes a mild approach. Argues significant funding to technofixes – CCS, demonstration plants, pour resources into this and make it a winner. A lot of voices in this not criticize Paul Howes. Range of energy sources in future.


Footage of credits shows JS of CFMEU very stiff and cool. Takes two drinks of cup rather than chat in the out take. SL says nothing. It takes Paul Bongiorno to engage in social chit chat. Normally the guests chat a lot. Sutton was mild in presentation but this body language suggests serious grim attitudes otherwise?


Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Battlers, aspirationals, working families evolution of language. “working families” grab from West Wing, running line by Rudd and Barak Obama. “Working farmers” get’s a walk out.

Gillard picfac with innocent school children – standard lazy big media big politics exploitation.  Girls emancipation agenda probably valid.

Chats about Belinda Neil and Nelson and Julie Bishop on another feminist political dynamic.

Riles: Stunning week in politics, Libs by fingernails in Mayo, WA cliffhanger, NSW change of premier and cabinet blows up, Lynne big shift to Independent. Theme in all this of want change. Fed up with spin. Want action, or give heave ho or gives themselves the heave ho. Stop talking and do something. Question about pollies educate can’t do much – question own reason for their existence. Local and intimate terms. Politicians on notice – not a bad way to be.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am



LO with Kevin Swan as treasurer. Lost govt in WA, NT big hit, waiting for a whack at NSW.  Shift is on? KS stick to good policy.


Borrowings in NSW are higher so interest rate impact is higher, compared with other states not as badly affected. Disproportionate affect also more exposed in to international finance sector industry.


LO says Costa says basketcase in NSW and new premier agrees. Will you bail out?


KS speaks a bit franticly which he might think feels like energetic but might not realize that it’s the weight of his words and he might better do well to sound firm and sure rather than panicky. In times of worry he needs a high reassurance quotient.


Resubmiting luxury car tax.


Q. could you live on the pension? Says no – gave $500 bonus last year.


[clever Coca Cola advert promo “no artificial colours or flavours, never has, never will” most popular drink in the world … including with Michael Costa sugar free – he is a caffeine junkie for sure hence the mood swings.]


Great report on music for prem babies as a buy in from USA. Quite charming – human condition says the Doc.




Insiders 2: 9- 10am



Wrap about WA in hung parliamentary situation with National Party holding the key. Is it conceivable the nationals do a deal with the ALP. Grills is a young party leader. Nats won a seat of Libs, not impressed by big office or dep premier position, look at seat of Lynne lose their identity. Non negotiable point is royalty for regions – not getting the benefits. Colin Barnett due to retire big success story – first two weeks taken up with Olympics – backfired, sprinted 2 weeks to the line. On verge of premiership.


Runs deeper for Labour – a lot of blame for negative campaign. Campaign collapsed – Carpenter talked about green issues about against uranium mining and against gm crops.


In seat of Mayo – 52 to 48 against Greens without ALP running. [That’s a serious funding boost to the Greens to wisely invest.]


Interview with Rob Oakshot new federal independent now in Lynne. Leveraging tension between ALP State history and coalition rivals. His own qualities just makes it easier to go that way.


Press roundup – Annabel Crabb with heart on her chest (chunky jewellery – so nice) round up pic Sunday Times WA – pics re hung parliament Carpenter v Barnett happy. Sunday Mail winners are Lib and Greens. Mal Farr says incompetent campaigning of Libs. Brian Toohey – NSW politics sensible to sack Costa and Reba Meagher but how to address economy etc.


Brendan Nelson – minor party give a fright in Mayo? Nelson avoids question most cynically talks about WA. No Labor candidates and no preferences, Family First 11% with renegade Bob Day up from 4%.


Sledges Rees and Tebbutt as same production team as Carr and Iemma but wrong faction so not so plausible, also mispronounces Rees as in peace not please. Irony is lost of Mr 12-17% giving ‘the worst govt in Australia’ advice. Nelson calls for constitutional changes to bring on election – typical born to rule alarm at left wing leadership. Discusses Belinda Neal.


Everyperson – sail blokes from NT. Harsh on federal libs. A lot of work up there.


Paul Kelly soliloquy, says NSW turmoil was party breaking the govt – ‘crisis in goverannce’ pure big business narrative spiteful about failure to privatize and gorge on public assets of a natural monopoly. Says it will damage the economy and public will suffer – doubt it just big shareholders and overpaid executives.


Chat about byelections – Toohey urges Barnaby Joyce be made leader asap.

AC describes “amazing”  presser by Costa breach of confidences once out of cabinet.


Farr reckons petition of parliament immediate recall. No confidence motion be put and govt win on the numbers. Nathan Rees biography discussed. Belinda Neal anger management etc.


Talking pics “our David” referring to David Rowe – genius. Lots on shootin candidate Palin and Putin too.


Palin similar to Obama compelling personal stories and great advocacy ability.


Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/ 

Posted by editor at 12:12 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 September 2008 7:50 PM NZT
Saturday, 6 September 2008
6 year old child delivers NSW premiership to Nathan Rees and saves Marrickville air?
Mood:  rushed
Topic: nsw govt

Well whaddaya know? The weather reminded of a big blow on another "momentous day" for NSW politics branded on our brain - Friday 13th Sept 1994 but that's another story.

Yesterday it was this, surely scooping all other press, if not electronic media as we caught the train at Martin Place after a judgement at the Land & Environment Court was adjourned - and notice the cruel soccer head reference by those cards at News Corp.

Some initial take outs of the weekend morning press and our own musings starting with this a month ago we said at the time involved 'huge implications' - but do they listen?!:

Deputy Premier Tebbutt only returned when risk of ventilation stacks spreading smog (and cancer) in her electorate of Marrickville was ruled out 4 weeks ago. She departed cabinet solidarity 18 months ago ostensibly and no doubt to nurture her 6 year old child Nathan, but the timing of her return is just too coincidental: With the demise of the M4 East truck tunnel from Port Botany to Rozelle (near the big fire on Victoria Rd today actually) so also has been her participation again in NSW Cabinet. Careful what you wish for Morris 'it will be great to have her back' Iemma!

For this we say based in Marrickville - well done Ms Tebbutt, well done young son Nathan.

And it's only the ascension of Ms Tebbutt courtesy of ex Deputy John Watkins jumping (as one wag said ship leaves sinking rat) which has tipped the hand of ex premier Morris Iemma (the 'rat' running opinion piece in strike breaker edition of the SMH) in a broader reshuffle, that in turn caused a jack up and Iemma's own departure. Then another spill and cabinet reshuffle. Yep that's a hurricane of Gustav proportions.

And the kids in Morris's own family are at least in part the explanation and beneficiary of his willingness to go that way too. The kids in fact rule.

It's turning into a script for a Hollywood movie like Deep Impact here made in 1998 where a politican quits, ambitious journo smells a scandal only to find he wants to spend time with his kids before the cataclysm - for which we might well read dangerous climate change on the same day Garnaut releases his next installment on where to for Australia. Is that tough guy Iemma in this story?

Interesting to hear new Premier Nathan Rees (pronounced as in 'fleece', not as in 'ease') calls himself " a greenie in the broad" on Stateline last night.

We like that Rees has done hard manual work yet also has an honours degree in English Literature. Nice combo.

We are indeed impressed at the political version of a 12 foot rock climbing dyno move going to the top job - avoiding some really scary potentially lethal bare rock face in between (!).

Eh, like what? Well if you are lucky or unlucky enough to spend alot of time looking at the management and enforcement of water licences in NSW (only a handful of proscecutions for licence breaches over 10,000s of licenses) as we have been as per this letter below from the now Premier himself, then you will know it's "diabolical":


Suffice to say our polite detailed response was a policy can of worms about systemic unlicensed water use by any number of sand miners etc in the age of dangerous climate change such that the Minister cannot easily hide behind a 2005  LEC decision regarding a poorly advised litigant.

Indeed only last Thursday Sept 4 in Kettle/Coca Cola Amatil v Gosford City Council, Diamond (intervenor) one Margaret Pontifix - secretary of Mangrove Mountain District Community Group and local landholder, retired science teacher in the local area for 40 years - gave sworn evidence in open court implicating an (unnamed) officer of Rees department DWE soliciting a bribe for an increase in water allocation. We have the officer's name. We have the details. It will surely end in tears.

Quite apart from this brewing situation Premier Rees, now ex minister for desalination plants, is going to need any number of those dyno moves: People don't forget Nathan, only journos do:

Overall we wish him luck too. It's not worth much but we give it. Politics is such a gamble as this amusing graphic illustrates with another message altogether:

Here is new Premier Rees fronting the critics over desalination at a public lecture at UTS Sept 2007, sharing the platform in quite a coincidence with ... his main rival now, Mr OFarrell, leader of the Opposition. Surreal huh?

In terms of Premier Nathan 'who the hell is he' Rees according to the polls I reckon any politician would be happy to be mistaken for either a footballer in a sports obsessed country, or a weather man - reliable, helpful, trustworthy, possibly a bit plain.

As for Minister Burney in seat of Canterbury adjacent to Morris Iemma's Lakemba one gets an impression from the vision last night she is in need of another powerful ally in the white knuckle ride that is NSW politics. She was reported as looking shell shocked. Fair enough too.

Note also Rodney Cavalier as NSW ALP historian on Doogue Saturday breakfast abc radio national 6th Sept with profound round up of history of ALP: 3 labour parties in parliament in the 1940ies until Curtin, Chifley, McKell got them to unify and made NSW an ALP state for 80% of the time since. That Iemma lost the plot by not realising that role of nurturing the party and the government both in the job description.



Posted by editor at 2:31 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 7 September 2008 10:55 AM NZT
Fairfax ethics take a walk says business bod Green in censored opinion
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: independent media

[Via Stephen Mayne's Mayne Report - http://www.maynereport.com/

Fairfax should reinstate Walkley funding

By John M Green
September 5, 2008

This is the text of an opinion piece that former Macquarie Banker John Green submitted to The AFR and The SMH about Fairfax's decision to axe its Walkley sponsorship. Green has since stepped in to fill the breach.

Shareholders of Fairfax Media may nod cautiously at its restructure plan. But they should shake their heads with dismay that the national media group is axing its support for the prestigious Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

The Walkleys are to Australian journalism what the Pulitzers are to American journalism and the Oscars are to their movies. For journalists, a Walkley is recognition by their industry peers they've attained the pinnacle of excellence in a particular journalistic field. What's crucial and special about the Walkleys is they are bestowed by the industry not by any one self-promoting proprietor.

In place of continuing to support the Walkleys, Fairfax management propose to launch in-house excellence awards. This is both good and bad.

What's good is that Fairfax wishes to recognise and applaud excellence among its own people. Their rival, News Limited, already does that for its people. But in-house awards can't get close to matching the stature or impact—the thrill—of a widely respected honour from industry peers. Thus, News Limited also supports the Walkleys.

What's bad is the symbolism when the country's oldest national media group apparently believes it can, without consequences, casually dismiss a national media institution that is widely recognised as representing the high water mark of Australian media excellence. It is unlikely Fairfax intends to weaken the Walkleys, but its action is likely to bear that outcome.

If Kevin Rudd announced the Australian Government had axed its support for the Order of Australia, but still wished it well, what would we think?

As a company director, it's not my practice to speak out about the internal decisions of other firms. As a business commentator, I avoid writing on specific corporate circumstances. But this case is special.

Whether Fairfax's decision to wave off the Walkleys arises from short-sightedness or a simple mistake is irrelevant. The decision is wrong. And Fairfax would be applauded for reversing it. I have written to the Fairfax board to urge them to do that.

Meanwhile, to shore up the Walkleys void left by Fairfax, my family has stepped in to replace Fairfax's funding. The award we are sponsoring is Newspaper Feature Writing.

Fairfax has previously sponsored the International Journalism Award, awarded in honour of the late Robert Haupt & Peter Smark. We intentionally chose not to sponsor that award to encourage Fairfax to reinstate its own support for it.

We're backing the Walkleys through our family's new book publishing venture, Pantera Press, which we're aiming to launch in 2009 and where we have a ‘profits for philanthropy' motivation.

Fairfax, properly, has a shareholder profit objective. Using shareholder funds to continue supporting the Walkleys and the vitality of the media industry is entirely consistent with that.


Radio interviews

Listen to John Green's September 4 discussion with Deborah Cameron on 702 ABC Sydney and check out The World Today's story as well.

And here is the
press release which triggered the media interest.

* John M. Green is a company director and a writer, and was formerly an investment banker and a lawyer.

Posted by editor at 2:21 PM NZT
Friday, 5 September 2008
Pageview stats August 2008 for SAM micro news - 1 day late
Mood:  energetic
Topic: independent media

Under construction - full contextual post later on, refer previous months under same subject tag at right hand side "independent media". Trend at or just above 25K per month reader figures.


Posted by editor at 9:37 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 5 September 2008 9:41 AM NZT
Should Jeff Angel resign along with Michael Costa, NSW Treasurer?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: nsw govt


Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 09:12:59 +1000
To: letters@smh.com.au
From: harriett swift
Subject: If that's an achievement, I'd hate to see a failure

So Jeff Angel (SMH 3 September 08) is claiming “stopping woodchipping of south-east forests” as number 3 of his “top five” achievements.
I have news for him. Nobody, not even Jeff Angel has stopped the woodchipping of the south east forests. It’s booming.
Last year the Eden chipmill boasted that it had exported a record 1 million tonnes of woodchips.
NSW taxpayers subsidise this industry to the tune of $3.5 million a year.
CO2 emissions from the logging to supply the chipmill are massive, the most recent estimate more than 18 million tonnes per year. If Jeff Angel thinks he stopped this, I would like to invite him to the far south coast. I can show him 160 log trucks a day taking loads to the chipmill. I can show him clearfelled forests that once stored over 640 tonnes of carbon per hectare, providing shelter and nurture to forest dwelling animals. I can show him rivers silted up with sand after their catchments have been logged. And I show him a pile of woodchips at the Eden chipmill as high as a 7 storey building. All you need to do is open your eyes, Jeff. If that’s an “achievement”, I’d hate to see a failure.
Yours sincerely
Harriett Swift

Harriett Swift PO Box 915 Bega NSW 2550 Australia 02 64923267 0414908997



Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 6:06 AM
Subject: Angel needs to consider his position Re: [chipstop] stop press: Jeff Angel has stopped the woodchipping of SE forests

Dear folks,

The back story to this moderate and flattering profile piece with picture story airbrushing the 20 year logging guarrantees and record levels of woodchipping in the south east (I am regularly adding to the crikey.com.au comment strings these days given the 1,500 arrests more than Franklin Dam campaign, mainly run by TWS 1988-91and some by SEFA) is about this:

- Angel collaborated with the Unsworth Inquiry into privatisation of public energy. He was repudiated by Dr John Kaye of the Greens and Green Party mid 2008 over failure to address climate change political economy implications of that. Just as Michael Costa will surely resign there is a fair argument Angel should also resign for having fatally compromised his position and TEC over independent analysis of energy privatisation (?).

- Suffice to say the right wing editorialists at SMH and owners, not least former federal Liberal Party treasurer Ron Walker on their board etc, are aggressively in favour of privatisation of the energy generators - a natural monopoly in large part.

- So this profile piece with book sales and fundraising potential is about propping up Jeff and his 700 membership to effectively sideline the far bigger and more democratic Green Party, and admittedly far more left wing, and similarly anyone else (e.g. ChipStop, EEG). As the ALP Right do ask as per Fiona McCrossin when I was house sharing in 2006 (Fiona being Jeff's proxy on SEFA and successor SERCA) "What is the green movement going to do after Jeff retires?". In other words, like Peter Garrett, who can they make deals with.

Take note all young activists - as Jason Bourne would say - "this is real". It is really happening and it's how real politics is done in NSW as per Lake Cowal, Timbara, SE Forests, Catherine Bay, Biodiversity 'Banking'. Etc.

- The other subtext by reference to his volunteering from 1973 - ordinarily an impressive commitment over a career and lifetime - is to air brush the actual founder, leader up until 1996 and fiesty, passionately independent Milo Dunphy , son of famous Miles Dunphy, teetotal visionary. Now Milo was hardly a perfect person, but he was the real deal and alot better than most. Like so many company founders he found "the business" taken over from under him and that's what TEC is today, an ALP satellite - greenish ALP I concede - like Peter Garrett.

Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin, founder ecology action australia, www.SydneyAlternativeMedia.com/blog, solicitor in NSW
PS I helped [seek accountability for] Coca Cola's ....in the Land & Environment Court hearings in the last 2 days. .......judgement reserved. Commissers Tim Moore and Taylor presiding. ....

#3 To: chipstop@green.net.au
Date: Tuesday, 2 September, 2008, 4:18 PM

Hi campaigners
This is interesting news. Jeff Angel claims to have stopped the woodchipping of the south east forests. How could we have not noticed that it's stopped? He obviously has a much better perspective on these things from Macquarie street.
See bits in red.


Angel's top five

- Introduction of lead-free petrol

- Saving the rainforests

- Stopping woodchipping of south-east forests

- Recycling instead of sending to landfill

- Debating climate change and emissions trading
Reaching for the environmental tipping point


# 4
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] stop press: Jeff Angel has stopped the woodchipping of SE forests
Bizarre...surely its a typo?! Has anyone asked him?

Australia ,

Mob: 0439559814

Posted by editor at 8:09 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 5 September 2008 9:44 AM NZT
Sunday, 31 August 2008
Sunday tv political talkies: Rudd's authority as PM under "challenge"
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt

[under construction, pics to follow]



Author’s general introductory note


This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Media backgrounders


[this segement under construction]


Business Sunday good interview  today on coal seam gas and general energy market on carbon constrained sector of the future including gas fired base load infrastructure. Guy is from QGC, which might be the one Hedley Thomas now works for: Richard Cottee. For example until Chinese economy comes back to 6% annual growth thinks suppliers of oil and gas will have trouble keeping up with demand overall and prices will trend up for both.


Lisa Carty breaks the strike in Fairfax with a feature story about so called lefty Meredith Burgmann – who by definition helps her with the strike breaking. How truly revealing of sell out Meredith and her journalism mates.



10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am



Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.


Press round up significantly ignores Fairfax press front pagers.


Dep PM Gillard about education shake ups. Voice like power drill set to slow bore (!). Looking fitter – exercise regime, cheekbones a bit more defined, and tanned from a winter jaunt to the northern hemisphere?


Fairfax strike – concern? Reads a lot worried about quality and diversity. Anything that would lead to the quality or diversity in our media market is a worry. Never a dispute not solved by talking – rule to remember with Industrial Relations hat on.


MEAA say management no talk just dumped on them – bad faith on their part? Howard model was a no talk model – changes will include a legal rule that good faith discussions have to be discussed.


Out take to first adbreak – Treasurer Swan descending to sledges in Q time. Is this good politics really? Political advert in break – missed it damn and blast.


Panel Gemma Daley Bloomberg – short pithy questions eg on slow IR introduction, Brian Toohey – Obrien-esque type question, not as good or useful question but serious policy area on education shake up. Toohey pushes the line on modeling merit.


Out take 2nd adbreak cartoon about Costello boosting his MUP published book out soon spoof on Australian Idol.


Senator Russell Trood , tough fit looking big old guy, Opposition Foreign Affairs Committee of some kind, Qld Liberals which puts him in the moderate camps. Talks a good game – mild, persuasive personal style. Journos warm to him – this guy is a bit of a gem. Understated wit about leadership issues for Costello. Hit the time barrier just as they were starting warm up and chats continue in the fade out to credits. This guy Trood should get more profile by the Big Media.



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Heee’s back. As are federal mps. Everywhere Rudd man or is that Dud man according to the Opposition. Barnaby runs the satire for PM actually in Australia. New trick Ruddometer – “challenges” x 22 at the national press club.


Good return piece funny punchline PM in mad baseball cap. Agenda this week chats with Andrew and Sam – agrees “huge challenges” re economy, domestic controls. “Australia not an island”. Worst downturn in Europe since 2nd world war.





9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


LO has Minister Albanese  - missed the start from 8.40am. Some kind of consultation process, discussion paper from Rod Edington, tame business leader in Rudd coterie.


LO looking pretty healthy, keep going Grand Old Man.


NSW power issue, Q any less secure or reliable in the future for lack of privatization. AA says reduced model includes land for new plants. Surprised Liberals opposed? Says national electricity market means not as important anymore to be publicly owned [so called national market, not really]. Says cliché of Liberals always supported implies not out of conviction.


Re Costa going? No individual is greater than the Party. Wants unity and move away from recriminations.


How alarmed about Qantas oxygen tank explosion? Praises staff but yes could happen again.


Cross back to Michael Usher at 8.49am who  introduces health benefits of red wine (vale quality Sunday show investigative journalism).






Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Miss lead in footage attacking Govt on something, Barry Cassidy refers to me tooism of Opposition on range of domestic policies finding it hard to attack Govt on anything. More ructions with unions, state alp govt and within his own party.


Press roundup - Panel Karen Middleton polls down to wire in WA. Bolt on Costello book - $55 per copy, 50K copies print run. Latham book 20K print run, 50K all up in the end. Milne on Baird as leadership contender in NSW says Opposition made themselves the issue. [don’t buy it myself].


Studio guest is Tony Abbott – refers to [nightwatchman] Nelson doing a good job, Costello is good talent should stay. Witty reference to praising all leadership contenders.


Lots of moral double talk about state of indigenous affairs, then dares to talk about “difficult road” and “high road” to progress in Iraq. Unreconstructed over invasion. Not many Australian politicians who can share credit for a million dead innocent people as the Coalition MPs under Howard are here. It takes more than 3 weeks in remote Nth Queensland community to reolve that moral guilt. Cheap talk Tony.


Everyperson segment hairdressers.


Chat about WA election vibes, education shake up vibes. Chat about talent and character of Rudd as PM who ‘hits the ground reviewing’ not running.


Paul Kelly soliloquy – agrees Rudd’s “authority” is under attack and he needs some wins.


Chat about US politics. Chat about Costello leadership form. Milne reckons Howard will be vindicated if he squibs again. That’s a very telling point and almost guarantees a Costello ascension.


Amusing footage of Gillard as deputy PM on Costello menu – spineless prawns, chicken main, jelly dessert.


Mike Bowers talking pictures with Bruce Petty with


Rowe cartoon building on the wall of screens (from Dark Knight?]. The guy is a visual genius.


Condescending gush from panel about Nelson “tenacious” – Nightwatchmen Man.


Blooper by PM Rudd re ‘Australia not an island’ deliberately taken out of context by gotcha big media playing shallow games again, softening blooper by Greens Senator Hansen Young from SA – but she does have an excellent voice, time to sharpen up that agile mind with discipline and focus.


Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/ 


Posted by editor at 12:16 PM NZT
Saturday, 30 August 2008
Memo advertisers on signs of journo strike in today's Sydney Morning Herald 30 August 2008
Mood:  blue
Topic: big media

It's the second day of a 3 day strike by Sydney's Fairfax journalists.

The weekend edition which is normally a chunky paper by anyone's measure has just as many adverts as one might expect judging by the weight.

But the signs of the venerable SMH evolving into a glorified Trading Post are there.

Advertisers might need to consider some departures less obvious to the untrained eye explaining the rather limited reading fodder in this weekend's edition:

1. The lead section of the broadsheet starting at page 1 is devoid of current material from local staff writers. The lead is the Barak Obama ascension in US politics which ordinarily would be a top story regardless - by Herald correspondents overseas. Otherwise look to every local story and it's the newswire cookie cutter AAP authorship - even when there is a byline.

For what is known as the A1 advertiser demographic - cashed up professionals who also listen/watch the ABC etc - they will be noticing the loss of an edge in the content as this reader does. More seriously they will increasingly realise they will need to go to The Australian, Crikey.com.au, various other serious political, business sources not just out of preference but out of political economic survival - one must know who and what is going on around one in the inevitable power dynamics of society.  Nor does one have to agree with the slant of the journo or paper as long as it is timely and sufficiently probitive to be tempted elsewhere.

2. Page 1 story "How Iemma kept Labor in the dark" with spill over to page 4 literally has no byline. It could be written by the CEO for all we know. The same story points to "Editorial - Page 26" .... but there is none relating to this topic. There is however on page 27 a free political rhetoric by Premier Iemma, which is so boring and tedious as to be meaningless: If Iemma says 'let's be clear' or 'it's clear' one more time then we can be sure it's not clear at all.

3. Unlike the Daily Telegraph which ironically takes the same editorial line as the SMH on keeping/selling public energy assets the News Corp paper actually runs the majority opposition of the public in the letters page. At the SMH today they somehow conspire to mostly ignore the 60-80% who oppose the sell off. Talk about overt bias.

4. Following point 1, the brave posture on p2 "Papers unaffected by Fairfax strike" is courageous indeed. Affected - yes, slow yet real  impact would be our prediction. It's true the adverts have their skeleton to hangoff but the lungs are collapsing and the heart is racing toward cardiac arrest.

5. Most of the top writers are missing from the paper. Gittins as business editor, Ramsey, Carlton, Wilkinson are absent as well as regular reporters in their specialist areas so they lift a book extract instead in the case of Edmund Tadros.

6. The paper also covers with pre filed stories which lack a timing imperative from people like Richard Glover, Elizabeth Farrelly and Paola Totaro but one imagines these will be unlikely to file to break this or any future strike. Miranda Devine has a story but whether a strike breaker is unclear. It's lucky genuine experts in US politics like Bruce Wolpe in senior management are available to pad out content during this latest hot US election cycle.

6A. The paper also covers with tv adverts on Sydney commercial tv Friday night for free CD 100 years of photography with the weekend edition, a bribe to keep up circulation, must cost a bit?

7. Those who particularly like the Mike Carlton gossip will be satiated by the right wing violence fantasies implicit in the tough guy (pig shooters, bank robber) stories in Good Weekend colour supplement. Yes we did read them with guilty pleasure but only because it was the only thing left.

Much more general media background in Sunday Political Talkies piece tomorrow (and days following if we are slow to complete that segment as usual).


Posted by editor at 5:30 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 31 August 2008 10:54 AM NZT
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
NSW Liberal MPs to revisit $1B privatisation of public plantations, as per Public Accounts Committee?
Mood:  bright
Topic: nsw govt

Like all media big, small and micro as here we have been covering the NSW public energy assets debate:

Wednesday, 9 January 2008
We noticed this on the weekend from PIAC:


If the Liberal Party like the National Party oppose the fire sale of this natural monopoly, in a financial farce like the 1994 State Bank asset sale turned out to be, then here is another opportunity that does genuinely deserve asset privatisation outside normal govt responsibility:

We continue to suggest that wiser financial path forward for this ALP-Iemma Govt is to follow the bipartisan Public Account Committee report of 1991 to separate out the finances of the plantation versus native forest sector. Then sell the former for about $1 billion as a big boost to the public revenue for infrastructure and breaking a loss making native forest industry on the public teat to the tune of we estimate $100M per year either as

1. locked up capital in an essentially private sector activity or

2. lost revenue squandered on native forest subsidies for free roading, bureaucracy etc

Referencing for this submission is here:

Friday, 4 January 2008

Posted by editor at 11:29 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2008 5:55 PM NZT

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