Wednesday December 12, 2018 cracks monthly audience over 10m for the first time

The rankings for news publishers from Nielsen Digital Content Ratings for November 2018 again lists as the #1 publisher.

What is special about the result for is that this is the first time the publisher has pushed its monthly audience above 10m after being close to the milestone previously.

For the month of November,’s unique audience was 10,282,698, well ahead of in second place with 8.38m.

There was little change in the overall rankings. The top seven was repeated this month, with The Age moving from #9 to #8, swapping places with Fairfax Digital Regional Network.

The Herald Sun has moved into the top 10 at #10, with The Daily Telegraph dropping out.

The biggest improvers in terms of audience were Daily Mail Australia and The Age, with audiences for both lifting over 1m.

Nine merging digital publishers Pedestrian.TV & Allure Media

The Nine Entertainment Co-owned Pedestrian.TV and Allure Media are merging to form a publishing company targeting Gen Z and Millennial audiences.

The move comes just one day after the new look Nine media group started trading on the ASX after completing the merger with Fairfax Media last Friday.

Pedestrian.TV will integrate Allure Media’s publishing assets including leading digital brands Business Insider Australia, Gizmodo, Kotaku and POPSUGAR into the Pedestrian group.

The two publishers reached over 2.998 million Australians in October 2018, with 1.227 million in the hard-to-reach under 35 demographic.

The combined Pedestrian Group will be run by its founders, Chris Wirasinha and Oscar Martin.

Chris Wirasinha and Oscar Martin

“The past 13 years have been a wild ride for Pedestrian and we’re pumped to welcome Allure Media into the family to create a clear publishing leader for marketers wanting to target young Aussies,” said Wirasinha.

“The Allure brands provide global insights combined with highly targeted and loyal local audiences around premium categories including business, technology, gaming, entertainment, fashion and beauty.

“The combination of the brands alongside Pedestrian’s existing commercial relationships that include Tinder and Big Flick Energy, and our new TV partnership with 9Go!, will give advertisers unprecedented opportunities to reach more Millennials and Gen Zers than ever before.”

As part of the changes Allure Media’s existing operations will be restructured, with Allure CEO Jason Scott leaving as the two businesses combine operations. This change has led to a number of redundancies within Allure Media, the majority within support functions across the business.

Staff in the combined business will be co-located in Pedestrian.TV’s new Surry Hills offices from January 2019.

Venntifact partnership: 10 pushes further ahead with data strategy

Network 10 has announced a partnership with data technology agency Venntifact as it prepares to launch its data-driven advertising solutions in the first quarter of 2019.

Venntifact is a data agency that enables businesses to develop effective data propositions. This includes the creation of data strategies, and the design of effective operating models to help businesses build the teams and processes to deliver powerful, data-driven experiences at scale.

The Venntifact partnership adds a depth of technical experience to Network 10 as it continues to build its data capabilities as part of bringing its sales team back in-house.

Network 10’s general manager of data, insights and analytics Gareth Tomlin said: “Network 10 is rich in audience data – from our broadcast viewers to our digital visitors, our video users to our marketing and social audiences. There is huge potential for us to build valuable insights and strategies that create effective experiences for advertisers and audiences. We’ve made a great start with building our data team and our partnership with Venntifact puts us in a fantastic position to accelerate our data proposition and capability and be ready to go from the first quarter of 2019.”

Venntifact’s director of technology Joey Nguyen said: “As the media landscape consolidates, it is critical to utilise data intelligently and deliver effective advertising to audiences in ways that do not impact the viewer experience. Network 10 has an incredibly engaged audience, rich sets of data, and will now have market-leading technology and data infrastructure. We’re excited to work with them to deliver targeted solutions for advertisers and personalised experiences for viewers.”

Network 10’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser said: “We have big ambitions to be industry leaders in data-driven advertising solutions. We have the audience scale and now, with the support of Venntifact, we can build the capabilities to bring the precision. We’re serious about data and we will continue to partner with experts in the field to help us reach new heights.”

Network 10’s new advertising sales function will leverage CBS systems and technology. The partnership with Venntifact follows the announcement of 10’s partnership with Tealium, a leader in real-time customer data solutions.

Venntifact counts brands such as Xero and Virgin Australia among its current clients. Venntifact is a Tealium Certified Partner in Australia, helping brands take control of their data, and deliver personalised experiences at scale.

Top Photo: Gareth Tomlin, Network 10 (left) with the Venntifact directors

Nat Geo Wild premiering Sea Dog TV’s Rottnest Quokka doco

The mysterious Quokka, dubbed the happiest animal on earth, is the star of Sea Dog TV’s latest and unique wildlife film Rottnest Island Kingdom of the Quokka.

The documentary is narrated by Logie award winning actor William McInnes and produced by four-time Emmy Award nominee Leighton De Barros and Jodie De Barros, and written and directed by Leighton De Barros and Jonathan Rowdon from WA’s Sea Dog TV International.

The world premiere screening is on Nat Geo Wild Australia, Sundays from December 16 and 23 at 8:30pm AEST (Foxtel and Fetch plus the National Geographic App).

Leighton De Barros has over 28 years’ experience in the television industry, specialising in documentary filmmaking as producer, director, writer and cinematographer. He has won more than 15 industry awards, been nominated for four Emmy awards and worked on a host of films broadcast on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, CBS America, Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic Channel, ABC TV, Arte France, TVNZ, NHK, Channel 5 and the BBC.

Jodie De Barros began her career in documentary filmmaking in 2007 when she established Sea Dog TV International with partner Leighton De Barros.

As joint CEO, Jodie executive produces, produces and manages the production accounting on all of the Sea Dog TV’s projects.

She has produced many films broadcast by ABC, Nine Network Australia, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, NHK, Smithsonian Channel, Channel 5, TVNZ, Arte France and SWR/Arte Germany.

Jodie also produced Super Predator, the highest rating program for Discovery US’s Shark Week in 2015. She has also worked as an independent production consultant for the Producer Offset Unit of Screen Australia.

Leighton told Mediaweek four years ago he was filming whales off Rottnest Island and stopped on the island for a break. He suggested to the environment manager on the island he would like to do a film on the wildlife on Rottnest Island, Carnac Island and Penguin Island – showing the unique and different animals that inhabit each land mass. The subsequent series was filmed and produced over the following three years. For the first time the entire life-cycle of the Quokka has been captured on film and will be shown to the world.


“William McInnes narrated the series and has done a wonderful job,” said Leighton. “While living and working in Western Australia he spent some time on the island.

“The film is the first of its kind to explore the islands’ wildlife in such detail and capture behaviour never filmed before. The series will screen to an international audience over the coming year.”

Leighton told Mediaweek about some of the production company’s other titles:

Bushfire Wars – December 2018 – was the highest rating factual program on the night across the Foxtel platform and highest rating show for National Geographic Australia in the last two years.

Dolphin Dynasty, Wildlife Rescue & Forensics, Super Predator, Birthplace of the Giants, Hello Birdy, On a Wing and a Prayer, Whale Patrol and Shark Bay are some of our other projects.”

Leighton also worked on the first 14 seasons of the US reality series Survivor for CBS America. He has also worked on David Attenborough wildlife series for the BBC.

Leighton noted the production sector in WA is very active:

“The documentary and feature film industry is very vibrant in Perth with a number of high rating TV documentary series running on national and international networks. The feature film sector is extremely busy too with a handful of features in production currently. Simon Baker’s Breath – recently filmed in WA – won gongs at the recent AACTA awards.”

As to what is next from Sea Dog TV, Leighton said: “We have a film on snakes that has been commissioned by National Geographic Wild that will be shooting in 2019. We are also producing a theatrical documentary on the incredible life-story of quadriplegic film-maker Jaimen Hudson and we are producing a blue-chip, live orchestral theatrical film, titled Wild Western Australia that will be narrated by A-list Australian Hollywood talent.”

The Urban List rebrands – dropping 'The' from its name

Youth media brand The Urban List revealed its new brand identity, dropping the prefix to become Urban List.


Here are the highlights from its rebrand announcement:

Over seven years, Urban List reports it has attracted the largest youth audience of any Australian publisher along with a social following of 1.5 million; a crowd drawn from its reportage on urban culture: from local things to do, to global trends influencing design, entertainment, health and travel.

“Urban culture has always been at our core and our understanding of the way the youth market engages with the city and its influence has been key to our growth,” said Susannah George, founder and CEO.

“Of course, when you’re as obsessed as we are with what’s happening in urban culture, connecting audiences and brands to and through it, you need to shake things up to keep fresh. This is that seven year shake up: an ID and stance that re-energises the team, opens new opportunities for audiences and partners, and sets the tone for the future.”

The rebrand launches today through an above the line campaign, “Urban Culture Is:”, which celebrates like-minded creatives who are driving the culture of our cities. The campaign will appear across digital and out of home over the coming months.

“We’re excited to launch our brand platform with the next wave of talent coming through the ranks in Australia’s urban culture scene,” said Jason Stella, Urban List’s head of marketing and experience.

“This campaign – Urban Culture Is: – is a call-out to all urban creators, to join us as we help shape the culture of our cities. We have big plans, and next year will see us extend the platform into a consumer event program, connecting our audience with world-first cultural moments and experiences.”

APN Outdoor to operate all advertising managed by Perth Airport

APN Outdoor, now part of JCDecaux, has announced it has signed an important new agreement with Perth Airport, rounding out its existing contract covering internal advertising in all four terminals, as well as external billboards approaching and within the Perth Airport precinct.

APN Outdoor currently holds the rights to all external advertising at the Airport, along with internal advertising in T1 International, T1 Domestic, T2 and T3 terminals. The expansion of APN Outdoor’s agreement with Perth Airport follows the landmark five-and-a-half year agreement with Sydney Airport, which extended its advertising assets across all domestic and international terminals, plus external billboards.

APN Outdoor will take on the rights to advertise in T4, where Qantas Group operates its domestic services, on 31 January 2019, marking the first time Perth Airport has worked with one advertising provider across all its terminals. As part of the new agreement, existing advertising assets will be refreshed throughout the terminal.

JCDecaux chief operating officer Andrew Hines said: “We are very excited to extend our partnership with Australia’s western hub, providing a fantastic opportunity for marketers and agencies to connect with the growing number of passengers travelling through the airport each year. It is the fastest growing airport, with passenger numbers tripling in the past 10 years and is part of our commitment to further invest in the Perth market.”

Perth Airport chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett said: “Currently we see 13.6 million people travel through our airport each year, which is predicted to grow to 20 million by 2026. We have recently completed an extensive $1 billion redevelopment program that has transformed the customer experience at Perth Airport. We look forward to working with JCDecaux on developing the customer journey even further.”

TV Ratings Analysis: December 11

• Little Big Shots US and Mrs Brown’s double win for Seven
• Nine finally gets to end of season two of Family Food Fight

By James Manning


Home And Away hovered close to 600,000 for a second successive night.

A US episode of Little Big Shots hosted by Steve Harvey then did 427,000.

Two episodes of a Seven favourite, Mrs Brown’s Boys, followed with 415,000 and 396,000.


A Current Affair started its new week on 773,000 and dropped to 652,000 last night.

The final of Family Food Fight finally arrived in the second week of summer survey with 447,000 watching the Giles sisters win $100,000.

Two episodes of The Big Bang Theory then did 502,000 and 427,000.


The Project narrowly had the channel’s biggest audience with 402,000 watching Jeff Goldblum from Los Angeles.

An episode of Ambulance UK was close behind with 399,000.

The US drama FBI was on 290,000 followed by NCIS: Los Angeles on 212,000.


At 8pm Simply Nigella did 346,000.

The final of My Family And The Galapagos followed with 284,000 and then most of them stayed on for The Real Camilla: Duchess Of Cornwall.


Some stunning scenery from Yosemite National Park was the highlight from Great American Railroad Journeys. The episode did 257,000.

It was Michael Portillo night on the channel with Portillo’s Great Estates following on 173,000

Week 50 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.5% 7 18.6% 9 18.3% 10  11.5% SBS One 6.2%
ABC 2 3.0% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 4.2% 10 Bold 3.9% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 2.8% GEM 3.0% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 1.7%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 3.2%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 16.8%   27.0%   28.7%   17.8%   9.7%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.3% 7 21.0% 9 13.8% WIN 10.9% SBS One 5.0%
ABC 2 3.0% 7TWO 6.0% GO! 4.1% WIN Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.8% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 2.8% Food Net 1.9%
ABC NEWS 1.9% 7flix 1.0% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 1.0% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 16.0%   32.8%   24.4%   18.2%   8.6%


83.9% 16.1%


  1. Seven News Seven 892,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 877,000
  3. Nine News Nine 799,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 767,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 652,000
  6. ABC News ABC 642,000
  7. 7.30 ABC 624,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 584,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 512,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory Nine 502,000
  11. Family Food Fight Nine 447,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 427,000
  13. Little Big Shots U.S. Seven 427,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 425,000
  15. Mrs. Brown’s Boys Seven 415,000
  16. The Project 7pm 10 402,000
  17. Ambulance Uk (R) 10 399,000
  18. Mrs. Brown’s Boys-Ep.2 Seven 396,000
  19. 10 News First 10 350,000
  20. Simply Nigella (R) ABC 346,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Big Bang Theory Nine 112,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 106,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 101,000
  4. Seven News Seven 101,000
  5. Ambulance Uk (R) 10 96,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Big Bang Theory Nine 213,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 203,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 181,000
  4. Nine News Nine 178,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 176,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Big Bang Theory Nine 275,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 248,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 242,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 234,000
  5. Nine News Nine 232,000
  1. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 186,000
  2. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  3. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  4. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  5. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  6. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  7. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  8. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  9. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  10. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  12. Waffle The Wonder Dog PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  13. Fixer Upper 9Life 125,000
  14. American Ninja Warrior 9GO! 116,000
  15. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  16. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 111,000
  17. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  18. Peg + Cat AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  19. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 106,000
  20. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 62,000
  2. Arrow FOX8 45,000
  3. The Simpsons FOX8 42,000
  4. NCIS TVH!TS 41,000
  5. PML Overtime Sky News Live 41,000
  6. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 39,000
  7. Live: WWE Raw FOX8 39,000
  8. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 39,000
  9. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 38,000
  10. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 38,000
  11. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 38,000
  12. Outlander FOX SHOWCASE 37,000
  13. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  14. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 36,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 32,000
  16. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 32,000
  17. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 32,000
  18. Vanderpump Rules ARENA 32,000
  19. Shimmer And Shine Nick Jr. 31,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 31,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Nine guts Fairfax websites after merger, with dozens laid off

Business Insider Australia and sister websites previously owned by Fairfax Media have been gutted by Nine as part of the merger, with more than half of the 50 staff made redundant, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

At least a dozen of the 26 staff who lost their jobs on Tuesday were journalists who produced Business Insider, technology site Gizmodo, entertainment and fashion site PopSugar and gaming site Kotaku. The other job losses came from sales, finance and other support functions.

Sources said five journalists were let go from PopSugar alone.

[Read the original]

Tech leaders, digital giants push back against ACCC 'over-reach'

Some of Australia’s top tech industry figures have criticised the competition regulator’s plans to rein in Google and Facebook as unworkable and excessive, as the digital behemoths prepare to hit back hard against plans for a new government body to scrutinise their activities, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s John McDuling and Jennifer Duke.

Daniel Petre, who was a top executive at Microsoft under its billionaire founder Bill Gates and ran a tech investment fund for the Packer family, described the proposal for a new authority to monitor Google and Facebook’s conduct as “incredibly weird” and “hysterical”.

“I didn’t think it was particularly well informed…the stuff that was promoted was a bit hysterical,” he said. “If you look at the competition aspect, nobody is forced to advertise on Google and Facebook.”

“This notion of we need to understand your algorithms is incredibly weird,” Petre said. “Did the ACCC go after the TV networks over their pricing?”

“If you look at free-to-air TV, that was an oligopoly. Where was the concern about three players carving up billions of dollars in ad revenue, about them raising ad rates every year? Was that not a concern because they were Australian companies?”

[Read the original]

WPP advertising group to cut 3,500 jobs in £300m restructuring

WPP is to cut 3,500 jobs worldwide and shut or merge almost 200 offices as the embattled advertising group seeks to restructure after a torrid year that included the exit of its founder and chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, reports The Guardian’s Mark Sweney.

The restructuring, which will be revealed in full at a lengthy analyst and investor presentation on Tuesday, will include shutting 80 offices globally and combining operations of a further 100 in locations where business is slow.

The company is to cut 3,500 of its 134,000 global workforce but would not say how many roles or offices would be affected in the UK. It has 400 ad businesses in more than 3,000 offices in 112 countries.

The company said so far this year it has disposed of 16 non-core investments, such data business Globant and a stake in the ad tech operation AppNexus, raising £704m to reduce debt. WPP continues to hold stakes in businesses including Vice Media.

[Read the original]

Google CEO Sundar Pichai to be grilled on privacy policies

Google’s chief executive will be forced to defend his company’s privacy policies to a hostile congressional committee in Washington today (AEDT), amid growing global anger over the company’s treatment of privacy and political content, reports The Australian’s Cameron Stewart.

In prepared remarks ahead of his testimony to the house judiciary committee, Pichai did not concede company privacy policies had been inadequate.

“Protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission,” he will tell the house judiciary committee.

“We have invested an enormous amount of work over the years to bring choice, transparency and control to our users.

“These values are built into every product we make.”

He will say Google, which like Facebook and other tech giants has traditionally opposed government regulatory oversight, was now willing to support US government efforts to legislate greater government controls over the industry.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Greens ‘bias’ alleged on ABC radio’s RN Breakfast

The ABC’s flagship radio program faces accusations of Greens bias after it was revealed that RN Breakfast hosted double the number of interviews with Australian Greens senators this year compared with Labor senators and crossbenchers, reports The Australian’s Richard Ferguson.

An ABC submission to a Senate estimates hearing shows Labor senators were interviewed on Fran Kelly’s program 11 times from November last year up to October, compared with 24 Greens senator interviews.

An ABC spokeswoman dismissed the conservative crossbenchers’ concerns, saying the RN Breakfast figures were “out of context”.

Labor Senate leader Penny Wong dismissed the lack of opportunities given to her Senate caucus colleagues on RN Breakfast, instead praising the ABC radio program. “RN Breakfast is never an easy interview. I respect its commitment to debating serious issues of policy by holding both and members and senators to account,” she said.

[Read the original]

ABC, Herald add new defence in Craig McLachlan defamation case

The ABC and The Sydney Morning Herald have been given the green light to argue actor Craig McLachlan is a sexual predator who indecently assaulted and sexually harassed female colleagues in the workplace, in an eleventh-hour change to the media outlets’ defence to his defamation claim, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michaela Whitbourn.

The addition of a contextual truth defence would allow the media outlets to raise allegations from women who worked with McLachlan on the television show The Doctor Blake Mysteries, in addition to the Rocky Horror Show allegations.

In a win for the media outlets on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum allowed the Herald and the ABC to amend their defence to include a new contextual meaning that McLachlan is “a sexual predator in that he has indecently assaulted and sexually harassed female colleagues in the workplace”.

[Read the original]

Social media outpaces print newspapers in the US as a news source

Social media sites have surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans: One-in-five US adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%) for the first time since Pew Research Centre began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers.

Social media’s small edge over print emerged after years of steady declines in newspaper circulation and modest increases in the portion of Americans who use social media, according to a Pew Research Centre survey conducted earlier this year.

Overall, television is still the most popular platform for news consumption – even though its use has declined since 2016. News websites are the next most common source, followed by radio, and finally social media sites and print newspapers. And when looking at online news use combined – the percentage of Americans who get news often from either news websites or social media – the web has closed in on television as a source for news (43% of adults get news often from news websites or social media, compared with 49% for television).

[More details about the research here]


Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody the most-streamed song, says Universal

Boosted by the recent success of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen’s iconic song of the same name is aging gracefully – to say the least, reports Billboard.

Universal Music Group (UMG) announced the song is officially the most-streamed track from the 20th century, achieving more than 1.6 billion global streams.

That qualification also makes it the most-streamed classic rock song of all time, edging out Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’Mine and November Rain and a-ha’s Take On Me in both categories. The ranking considers all registered streams on global on-demand streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and others, as well as streams from official song or video streams on YouTube.

Queen guitarist and founding member Brian May said in a statement, “So the river of rock music has metamorphosed into streams! Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!”

[Read the original]

Cameron Adams: The John Farnham joke I’m sick of hearing

There’s something you can now add to death and taxes. That is the fact that when John Farnham announces a new concert some rocket scientist will post the comment online “Isn’t this his 20th comeback tour?” or “So much for his retirement!” as if they’re the first to make the hilarious gag, comments News Corp’s Cameron Adams.

Last Saturday night, as Farnham walked off stage after thrilling 12,000 fans at his sold out A Day on the Green show at Rochford Wines, one Instagram hero took precious time out from their own compelling evening to note “Still doing shows after telling everyone he’d retired I see.”


For starters, that mythical “final” tour was actually his “The Last Time” tour of 2002, named after the album, which took its name from the Rolling Stones song he covered. You’d imagine Farnham wished he could pick another song to christen that tour with now. His plan was to stop playing the national arena circuit after each album – an incredible problem to have – and do things differently. Not actually retire, just not do full scale national tours.

This summer alone, between his headline shows at A Day on the Green and Red Hot Summer Tours, John Farnham will play to over 110,000 fans across Australia. That’s impressive for any act, let alone one who turns 70 next year and has been doing this since 1967.

[Read the original]


Time’s Person of the Year: Killed and imprisoned journalists

Time magazine has announced its Person of the Year award and revealed the special magazine covers featuring them:

This year we are recognising four journalists and one news organisation who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment: Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette newspaper of Annapolis, Md.

They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world – as of Dec. 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018 – who risk all to tell the story of our time.

On the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, two young reporters sit in a prison said to be “the darkest hellhole in Burma.” Millennials, we would call them in America—Wa Lone is 32 years old; Kyaw Soe Oo is 28. The genesis of their arrest, one year ago on Dec. 12, is their reporting for the Reuters news service that later exposed a mass execution of 10 Rohingya Muslims, part of a violent campaign against the minority group by Myanmar’s military. “I never expected he would be arrested,” says Kyaw Soe Oo’s wife Chit Su Win. “I was more concerned about him getting shot.”

It has long been the first move in the authoritarian playbook: controlling the flow of information and debate that is freedom’s lifeblood. And in 2018, the playbook worked. Today, democracy around the world faces its biggest crisis in decades, its foundations undermined by invective from on high and toxins from below, by new technologies that power ancient impulses, by a poisonous cocktail of strongmen and weakening institutions. From Russia to Riyadh to Silicon Valley, manipulation and abuse of truth is the common thread in so many of this year’s major headlines, an insidious and growing threat to freedom.

As Facebook faced an overdue reckoning on how to control the driverless car of social media, hazards to traditional sources of information continued to mount. On Nov. 28, owners of more than 400 media outlets in Hungary “donated” control to a pro-government conglomerate created by allies of its nativist Prime Minister. This spring, two journalists in India, the world’s largest democracy, were killed in separate, deliberate hit-and-run attacks in the span of 24 hours. In June, a subject of a local newspaper’s coverage was accused of having marched into its Maryland newsroom and killing five staffers. This fall, CNN has twice had to evacuate its New York offices because of bomb threats.

In its highest forms, influence – the measure that has for nine decades been the focus of Time’s Person of the Year – derives from courage. Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments.

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