Before his new Australian tour mid-year, Cosentino has been busy in rehearsals. He reminded Mediaweek during an interview it has actually been three years since he did a live touring show in Australia.
By James Manning
The reason for his absence from concert arenas is two-fold. Firstly it takes a long time to develop a new show full of new elements. Secondly he’s built a sizeable fanbase across Asia and has been touring and making TV shows for that market too.
The most recent live shows in Asia have included stops in Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.
Before his mid-year Live Nation tour, Cosentino is doing a busy yet short season at Dreamworld across the Easter holiday period where he is doing 33 30-minute shows, two shows a day. “It is completely different to the live tour,” he told Mediaweek.
As to creating content for his major new Anything Is Possible tour, Cosentino said: “It takes a long time to come up with new material. Each piece in our show takes a minimum of three months to put together. It is a lot of work to put a 90-minute show together.”
In each half of his new show, Cosentino has six new pieces. “To do that I need to develop an idea, sketch it up, then fabricate it [build it]. Then you try it out and modify what doesn’t work and start again. That is just the mechanics. Then you have to think about the presentation, what is the story we can build around each piece. Then you think about the kind of music to accompany it and then what sort of lighting and costuming works.
“Then you have to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until it is flawless. And that might just be for two and a half minutes.”
So where does an illusionist practice all that? “We have a purpose built facility where we have a stage that is 15 by 11 metres with proper lighting, curtains and sound equipment.
“We replicate the whole show as how we present it in front of audiences.”
Cosentino films the rehearsed pieces to watch back and then work on any improvements. “The show consists of illusions, close up magic and escapes plus interaction with the audiences.”
As to judging what his audiences want to see and then measuring reaction once he is on tour, Cosentino said that can be tough.
“After doing this for so many years and in so many countries, including many where they don’t speak English, I have a feel for what works and what engages audiences.
“But you genuinely don’t really know until you put it out there. As a magician you need to be a very good listener and hear whether the audience is responding the way you want them to. If it is a death defying escape, are they gasping? If they are not then you need to rethink it.”
The climatic piece of the show is a death defying escape. “It is the most dramatic of the pieces and requires the most setup. I have to explain we are using real locks and real chains and a real saw that is connected to three wires, which hold a big buzz saw in place. I am strapped to it in a vertical position and each time a grinder goes through a wire it snaps and brings the buzz saw closer and closer to me.” Sounds dangerous!
The biggest shock he dropped on us: “The magician is really an actor who is playing the part of a magician. [He whispers] Secret revealed…I am not really magical. I pretend I am magical.”
Cosentino said the process for escaping from each lock is very methodical – about 10 to 12 seconds per lock. “It is always timed to perfection. With this particular new piece, which doesn’t even have a name yet, we are still figuring out how it will play out. We have to build in some drama, I don’t want to get out too soon. I need to know how far to push it.
“I know when I did my TV show I pushed it too far, mistimed it and got hit by a knife.”
TV, china & Macua: Cosentino’s other projects
The children’s book deal Cosentino has with Scholastic looks set to spawn an animated TV series. “It’s taking some time because the funding cannot be done solely within Australia. We have already been to Nine and they have liked it and agreed. We need international funding which makes it a more difficult project. We have spent a lot of time speaking with animation houses and there is only a certain amount they will put in.”
Cosentino is also in talks with Sony Pictures Television International to produce what will be a second series of The Elements for Asia to feature the Aussie illusionist. “We need to fit that in around my touring schedule.”
China is one of the markets on the drawing board for Cosentino. “We now have representation there and we are sending in our products and also looking at doing live shows.” He explained there can be restrictions around what can and can’t be shown onscreen. “We managed to be the first foreign magician to be played on TV in China in 10 years. It can be a long process to achieve that. Hopefully the time and effort we are putting into it pays off.”
A show in Las Vegas is not high on his wish list. “There are some really great acts and there are also some really terrible acts. When I was there last time I felt like anyone could get a gig in Vegas as long as you could fund it yourself. It is almost like a race to the bottom.”
Performing in Macau is a much more enticing proposition.
“That feels like a growing market to me. We played Wynn Casino [in Macau], and it draws more gambling revenue than the entire Las Vegas strip.”
Janine Allis visited Mediaweek to talk about new episodes of the podcast Superwomen We Ain’t this week. We had a few highlights yesterday, here’s some more of her thoughts on business and success.
By James Manning
Allis told Mediaweek the premise of the podcast is to react to some of the information out there about business.
“Quite often you can pick up a book and it lists 10 points, and if you follow that then all is fine.
“But it’s harder to get the true life version of what it’s truly like to own a business. It is not necessarily all happy days and smooth sailing. We wanted to give people a more realistic view of what it is like being in business and doing business.”
Allis and her co-host Margie Hartley seem to thrive in the informal setting of their podcast studio, speaking frankly and drawing on their experiences.
“That’s what we wanted,” said Allis. “We wanted the podcast to be really honest.
“The title came from my reaction when people come up to me, telling me how inspirational I have been. I am honoured when they say that, but then they tend to be surprised when they find me down-to-earth and very approachable.
“We wanted to take away the myth that successful people or people who have gone on a journey are super special. Or super women or super men.
“We wanted to tell people we are ordinary people who have worked hard, been in the right place at the right time and made good decisions and some bad decisions, which ended up being good decisions to get to the place where we are.
“When people say to me, ‘How do you manage your family and business,’ the honest answer is I do it poorly. It is not easy. It is not easy when you have four kids, a husband and a business and three dogs and all the things that come with that.
“It is not that we are special, or certainly not super people, we just do what we can…and that’s what we wanted to get through on the podcast.
“We are people who get it right sometimes and get it wrong other times.”
“Don’t believe your own bullshit,” is something that Allis said in the podcast about communication.
“Life is it’s own humbler. As soon as you start to think you might be better than what you are, or as soon as you think you have everything under control, life will teach you that you haven’t.”
“Life is a very big humbler. When you think you can pick people to employ them, and then you pick an absolute disaster, you realise you might not be really great at it.
“Then you get to a point where it is not about bad or good, it is about putting systems in place to find out if they are bad or good.
“What’s great about being over 50 is that you are more comfortable in your own skin and it’s ok to be flawed.
“In actual fact the best people are flawed and are ok with that.”
Allis is often asked about how she stays motivated and how that might be applied for others.
“In an office the other day someone said to me, ‘Janine, how do we motivate this team. We are going through a bit of a lull.’
“You can’t change people, people have to motivate themselves. We are human, and some days we are more motivated than other days.
“I am the mother of four children and some days I don’t want to be a mother. Some days I don’t want to be in business. We all have our ups and downs.
“Some days you feel energetic and your brain is clear and the words come beautifully. Other days everything is a struggle.”
As to how she manages her time, Allis told Mediaweek, “My life is run by my diary. I try and not go into the office on Mondays and Fridays and use those days to set up and set down the week. I do some public speaking, not a lot.
“I work on Boost Juice and Retail Zoo and there is always plenty to do.
“I am also an investor in a number of businesses I work with including Be Fit Foods, which is a great business. Every day is different, and I really like that variety.
“I try and do yoga every day and try and keep fit. Then plan spikes through the year, which might be some travel.”
Our favourite podcast title in this series: No point making money if you’re dead.
Allis: “People can spend $5,000 or more a year on their car, but don’t spend anything on themselves. I find that staggering. I am part of senior business groups. I was there on day and looked around the room, which included some of the wealthiest and most successful business people you could come across.
“Most of them were drinking too much and half of them were overweight. They finally had financial freedom, but they are not going to live long enough or have a quality of life to let them enjoy it.
“You have to find balance.”
Retirement? That’s not going to happen, according to Allis.
“Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse. I get great joy out of working and problem solving, creating and growing. There will never be a time where I retire. What is retirement?
“Even for guys, there is only so much golf you can play.
“Sometimes people really struggle with retirement because they loose their purpose.”
Yesterday John Stensholt joined Your Money’s Ingrid Wilinge and James Daggar-Nickson and Mediaweek’s James Manning to talk about Australia’s richest 250 people.
Business journalist John Stensholt moved from Fairfax Media to News Corp last year. He is a former editor of The BRW Rich List and there was some speculation that he might be involved in some sort of list at his new home on The Australian.
That was indeed the case and this week he has been teasing readers with limited information about The List, which will be revealed in full on Saturday in The Weekend Australian.
The number of billionaires in Australia will surprise readers of The List on the weekend.
“We got 96, I tried very hard to get to 100,” said Stensholt. “It’s a major part of The List and shows you how many successful people there are in Australia. Entrepreneurship is well and truly alive. We have an amazingly diverse group of people – from old money to new money and everything in between. There’s young people and there’s someone who’s 95 and plenty of 60 and 70-year-olds as well.”
As to the “keep it simple” name of The Australian’s new rich list brand, Stensholt told Mediaweek on Your Money:
“We had a few ideas and work-shopped it internally. We wanted to create something new, not just follow what has been done previously. The wanted it to be bigger, better and unique.”
As to why he decided to leave what was then Fairfax Media, Stensholt said: “The Australian has great backing from management and they were really keen to get me here and they were very supportive of what I had done in the past. I think newspaper subscribers will really enjoy what we have done for Saturday.”
The quality of the new venture was driven by the willingness of rich people to share information with The Australian. Stensholt said: “You would not believe some of the information I have seen from people. Some people have the attitude that if we are going to publish something you may as well get it right. They want it to be accurate and so do we, so there is nothing better than going directly to the source.
“We have an amazing amount of information – so much work has gone into this. About 80-85% of the list do engage with us on a confidential basis.”
Not everybody who makes a rich list can manage to keep their place. “There have been some interesting examples of people who have lost wealth over time – Nathan Tinkler comes to mind. He made his money so quickly and then lost a lot of it so quickly too.
“Even James Packer’s wealth has gone backwards, although he did a deal to split the family wealth, but even so he has found it hard to maintain the wealth he inherited.
“Having the internet does bring the barriers to entry down and you can now see so many people building global businesses from Australia which they wouldn’t have been able to do 20 or more years ago.”
Stensholt stressed that with The List, The Australian started its wealth management special from scratch. “The idea of moving to The Australian was to come up with a bigger and more comprehensive list. Our researchers and I know where to look for information. We have amazing stories for the general reader including rags to riches, groups of people, migrants, husbands and wives etc.”
Good and bad stories are educational, according to Stensholt. “People can get a lot out of the setbacks some of the entrepreneurs have. It is not all smooth sailing. There is some great start up stories about raising money, growing really quickly and then starting to hit hurdles. Maybe people grew too quickly, some might have lost a key client. Everyone has some sort of setback.”
Most successful business people are conservative, said Stensholt. “There is a healthy dose of pragmatism in the business world. Our Margin Call column had a story this week about senior business people turning up to a fundraiser for the Labor Party and Bill Shorten hosted by billionaire Anthony Pratt.”
It looked like the biggest TV story of the week was going to be The Project’s exclusives on Monday with both Jacinda Ardern and Egg Boy.
But later that night, Sky After Dark regular Teena McQueen debuted on Q&A and was called “the worst panellist in the show’s history”. What an honour, but before the news could even sink in, Tuesday exploded with the news about One Nation and the NRA. And just like that, it was back to being Teena Who again.
It is going to be hard to top the gobsmacking Al Jazeera investigative documentary and the ramifications aren’t going to be over any time soon. And if you can’t get enough of politicians and semi-automatic weapons, HBO comedies Veep and Barry return to FoxShowcase next Tuesday. Veep’s seventh season will undoubtedly win Julia Louis-Dreyfus her seventh Emmy in a row, having already made history getting it six times for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy.
Off air longer than it should have been, due to Louis-Dreyfus’ cancer diagnosis, real life has seen Donald Trump become President, so what will the fictional Selina Meyer do to top that? Well, let’s just say no taboo is off limits, with withering takedowns of American life at every rapid turn. There are just seven episodes till the end so savour every second.
After creating Barry last year, Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, while co-star Henry Winkler scored Outstanding Supporting Actor. Seeing The Fonz finally get an Emmy was enough for me to binge the first series, and he is indeed spectacular playing the unwitting acting coach to Hader’s hitman.
Shows about assassins are very hot right now. The second series of Killing Eve is about to hit iview, and Great British Bake Off presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are currently filming one for Sky called Hitmen. Ultra-violence always seems more palatable if there are nervous laughs attached, but for sheer savagery, it will be hard to top Get Krack!n which aired its brilliant finale this week on the ABC.
Regulars Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney selflessly gave over their show to Indigenous performers Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell, and what followed next was so outrageous, it may require another series to fully process. In any other week, conservative commentators would be foaming at the mouth about what was said about racism and commercial television. But with everyone so consumed about what parasite might bite Pauline Hanson next, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up. Tick, tick, tick!
Multi-Channel Network (MCN) as appointed Daniella Serhan (pictured) to the role of partnerships director. Leading MCN’s established Partnerships team, Daniella will ensure the delivery of strategic campaigns between MCN, channel partners and advertisers.
In her role, Serhan will be responsible for leading the team in bringing to life integrated solutions for brands and building new opportunities across MCN’s global channel partners and all associated KPI’s. In addition to her work with MCN’s global channel partner portfolio, she will also be assisting with the deployment of MCN’s out of home assets.
Reporting directly to MCN CEO Mark Frain, Serhan will work closely with MCN’s Foxtel sales and brand partnerships director Martin Medcraf and advanced advertising director Nev Hasan to deliver major partnerships for all advertisers, while bringing genuine innovation to campaigns through new, advanced advertising techniques.
MCN CEO, Mark Frain, said: “Daniella is a leader who delivers a balance of great strategic thinking, whilst understanding the finer details to achieve brands’ objectives. During her time with MCN Dan and her team developed many campaigns which were nominated for industry awards and pushed the boundaries of integration, and she has a strong track record of delivering record breaking revenue for channel partners.”
Serhan, said: “In 2019, the advertising landscape is evolving faster than ever, and the partnership model is becoming more and more important for both brands and channels. I’m thrilled to be taking on this role at a time when MCN is perfectly positioned to help brands, agencies and channel partners leverage the power of integration and innovation to deliver fantastic viewer experiences, and solid commercial results.”
Serhan has been with the MCN business since 2016, previously heading up the Network 10 brand and partnerships team working closely with the Network, key agency and client partners.
She has over 15 years’ experience in television, having roles at both Foxtel and Network 10 in a partnerships and sales capacity before joining MCN.
MCN’s global partner portfolio includes BBC, Discovery, NBCU, Fox Networks Group, Viacom, Turner and many more.
Australia’s #1 news website news.com.au this week launched an all-new mobile app.
Following consumer research, the news.com.au product, delivery and editorial teams worked with the News Corp global mobile app team to build a best in class product.
The news.com.au app will deliver a personalised experience for the millions of Australians who consume news.com.au multiple times a day. It will allow readers to explore and customise their app with the news, information and entertainment that is important to them.
News.com.au general manager Melissa Overman said: “On average, 10 million Australians consume news.com.au content every month so first and foremost our readers were at the centre of product development. The app provides an incredibly rich way to experience the content they know and trust and allows us to engage with our audience in new ways.
“Free to use, the app provides readers with an easy, fast and frictionless way to access and enjoy content they love from news.com.au while discovering more from our newsroom through deeper engagement opportunities within the new app.
“This was a truly collaborative, innovative project delivered by a team that spanned across the globe. The launch of the app is part of our ongoing product evolution program designed to enable more consumers to discover the news in colour.”
News.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito said: “Our app has been designed to allow our audience to easily engage with the news in a more intuitive way. For the first time, the app allows our audience to follow topics tailored to their interests. Everything from federal and local politics to the AFL or NRL team they support or keeping up with their favourite television show.
“To continue to meet our audiences’ needs, the app allows us to further enhance our strength in breaking news. We know our audience turns to us as big news stories are breaking and through the app we will deliver immediate alerts straight to their mobile. All powered by our 24/7 newsroom of journalists in a trusted and safe environment.”
News DNA’s general manager of commercial integration Ainslee O’Brien said: “The news.com.au app offers a premium marketplace for our clients that supports our audience engagement and loyalty goals. We have a robust commercial roadmap rolling out for the app in the coming months, including an iteration of our industry leading native product and an exciting referral and rewards program.”
The launch of the app will be supported by a promotional campaign across News Corp Australia’s network to encourage consumers to download the app and start personalising their news experience.
Verizon Media this week brought together 50 creative, media and marketing rising stars from across Australia and New Zealand for the inaugural Brand Love Academy event.
Held in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, the hand-picked future leaders listened and learnt from some of the world’s best business speakers at an event focusing on personal brand building, future-proofing careers and brain-training for a high performance life.
Created as a part of Verizon Media’s company-wide commitment to invest in talent whilst adding value to the future of the industry, Brand Love Academy featured an array of inspiring speakers including Atlassian’s Work Futurist, Dominic Price, co-founder of Vitae.Coach, Shelley Laslett, co-founder of The Impossible Institute, Dan Gregory and Verizon Media’s head of brand & RYOT, Zoe Cocker and head of data & targeting, Dan Richardson.
Attendees came from across a spectrum of agencies and brands including: MediaCom ANZ, Wavemaker ANZ, Kiwibank, Amnet, VMLY&R (PHD), Spark Foundry, Ikon, Starcom, CHE Proximity, OMD, Initiative, Mindshare, PHD, Audience 360, Carat, MediaLab, Bohemia Group, REA Group, Cadreon, UM and Havas Media.
The Brand Love Academy class of 2019 were able to put their new knowledge to the test in a final pitch-off for Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD), one of Verizon Media’s not-for-profit partners through their gold partnership with UnLtd.
The brief tasked teams with creating and promoting a fundraiser for MMAD, with the winning team scoring the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Advertising Week in New York and meet Verizon Media’s senior executives.
The winning team of Caitlin Hess from Ikon, Maia Trepa from Carat, Andrew Clift from UM, Alana Adair from Mindshare and Justine Baloh from Mediacom pipped the competition with their idea to send 20 CEOs to a MMAD 2-5-1 camp. Two days, five disciplines and one shot to brainstorm ways their organisations can reach their full potential to make a difference. MMAD have already started production of the fundraiser, with three CEOs at Brand Love Academy expressing interest in the camp.
Verizon Media ANZ’s MD Paul Sigaloff said: “Our first year of Brand Love Academy exceeded expectations, the positive energy in the room was palpable which reinforced why Verizon Media invests heavily in our industry’s talent. We’ve given young talent the opportunity to access vital tools and information they may not have learnt until later in their careers.”
Pitch winner, Justine Baloh, digital performance executive at Mediacom, said of the experience: “Our team started with a complicated web of ideas but following the advice from Dan Gregory, we focused on the ‘why’ and managed to narrow down to one simple idea that spoke to the brief.
“Having only one hour to develop a pitch and five minutes to present, we were zoned in on giving our all to the task at hand. We’re a bit shell-shocked about winning this amazing opportunity to continue learning thanks to Verizon Media.”
Top Photo: Brad Love Academy pitch winners – Caitlin Hess, Maia Trepa, Andrew Clift, Alana Adair and Justine Baloh
• Seven and Collingwood are Thursday network winners
• Nine and Dragons the winners though in Sydney & Brisbane
• Gogglebox still key to 10’s week as critics grapple with MAFS
By James Manning
• Seven News 853,000/715,000
• Nine News 803,000/789,000
• A Current Affair 478,000 (No Brisbane)
• ABC News 596,000
• 7.30 517,000
• The Project 238,000/355,000
• 10 News First 372,000
• SBS World News 122,000
• Sunrise 287,000
• Today 191,000
The first three nights of Home And Away were all over 600,000. Thursday it dipped to 383,000 with the episode going to air in Melbourne and Adelaide after 11pm.
The AFL then drew a strong crowd for Seven and helped it across the line with a network win. After the first match of the season did 739,000 last week, a second successive Richmond game, where they lost to Collingwood, was on 627,000. The Melbourne numbers for the two weeks were 482,000 and 417,000 last night.
The NRL delivered Nine winning shares in Sydney and Brisbane. The audience for the thriller between Broncos and Dragons had 486,000 watching with just over 220,000 in both NRL capital city markets.
Googlebox was again key to 10’s performance and again delivered what will be their best share of the week. The audience was on 584,000 after 580,000 a week ago. It was hilarious watching the different reactions to Married At First Sight. There was also an overlong segment on the sexy charms of Paul Hollywood!
Earlier in the night The Project did 355,000 and Show Me The Movie! was on 307,000.
There was no Escape From The City this week, with the second part of the Al Jazeera One Nation doco How To Sell A Massacre getting the 8pm slot. After 595,000 on Tuesday, the program last night drew 458,000.
The well-promoted new drama Project Blue Book debuted with a double episode average audience of 195,000.
It was preceded by the repeat of Great British Royal Ships on 183,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||4.0%||GO!||2.6%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.1%||GEM||1.7%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||5.7%||GO!||2.6%||WIN Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||4.6%||GEM||2.7%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.5%||7flix||3.2%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||1.2%||NITV||0.4%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
SBS has launched SBS Cultural Connect, a collection of distinctive services designed to help advertisers better understand and reach Australia’s increasingly diverse population.
Adam Sadler, director of media sales at SBS said, “How do you speak to a consumer when you don’t understand them? Brands can’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to our country’s increasingly diverse population, and those who do may be missing out on opportunities.
“SBS has been speaking to these communities for over 40 years, so we are well-placed to give brands the platform and expertise they need to create a real connection with culturally and socially diverse audiences around the country.”
As the world’s most linguistically diverse broadcaster, providing services in 68 languages through SBS Radio, SBS can not only help brands connect with hard-to-reach audiences, but it also provides advertisers with unparalleled in-language production including specialist translation, subtitling, voice over, and other services.
SBS Cultural Connect also provides access to research, data and insights on Australia’s diverse communities, as well as strategic support to assist clients in creating meaningful and culturally appropriate content.
Resources already available to businesses include SBS’s Cultural Competence Program, an innovative online training program designed to build understanding around cultural diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
‘We need to get better and faster at finding and removing hate from our platforms’
After the horror of the Christchurch murders a fortnight ago, two of the biggest social media platforms have announced a ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism.
Facebook and Instagram will start enforcing the new policy next week.
The companies have detailed how they will implement the changes:
Our policies have long prohibited hateful treatment of people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity or religion – and that has always included white supremacy. We didn’t originally apply the same rationale to expressions of white nationalism and white separatism because we were thinking about broader concepts of nationalism and separatism – things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity.
But over the past three months our conversations with members of civil society and academics who are experts in race relations around the world have confirmed that white nationalism and white separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organized hate groups. Our own review of hate figures and organizations – as defined by our Dangerous Individuals & Organisations policy – further revealed the overlap between white nationalism and white separatism and white supremacy. Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and white separatism.
We also need to get better and faster at finding and removing hate from our platforms. Over the past few years we have improved our ability to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to find material from terrorist groups. Last fall, we started using similar tools to extend our efforts to a range of hate groups globally, including white supremacists. We’re making progress, but we know we have a lot more work to do.
Our efforts to combat hate don’t stop here. As part of today’s announcement, we’ll also start connecting people who search for terms associated with white supremacy to resources focused on helping people leave behind hate groups. People searching for these terms will be directed to Life After Hate, an organisation founded by former violent extremists that provides crisis intervention, education, support groups and outreach.
Unfortunately, there will always be people who try to game our systems to spread hate. Our challenge is to stay ahead by continuing to improve our technologies, evolve our policies and work with experts who can bolster our own efforts. We are deeply committed and will share updates as this process moves forward.
Australian businesses will get a $60 million boost in Tuesday’s budget to spend on Facebook, Instagram and Google and other forms of international marketing, in a bid to drive digital exports and compete with businesses in the US and UK, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Eryk Bagshaw.
The advertising subsidy increase will be announced by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Friday, through the export market development grant program, which has been accessed by more than 3500 companies.
The $60 million injection to the program, which has helped other listed companies such as Freelancer and fitness wear dynamo 2XU, comes as the government promises a tougher line on social media companies in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack. Once the grants are delivered it has little control over how taxpayer money is spent.
For the past eight weeks, audiences in Australia and overseas have closely followed the story of fraudster Hamish McLaren through The Australian ’s chart-topping podcast series, Who The Hell Is Hamish? reports the paper’s Charlie Peel.
The final regular episode in the series will be released today at 2pm AEDT, capping off an investigation led by The Australian’s investigative journalist Greg Bearup that delved beyond the raft of crimes McLaren has pleaded guilty to, and into the shadowy fraudster’s murky past.
Episodes of Who The Hell Is Hamish? have been played more than 2.75 million times through various feeds, rocketing the series to No 1 on the iTunes charts.
Jobs will go at The West Australian and Sunday Times newspapers in Perth as newly appointed senior editor Anthony De Ceglie calls for voluntary redundancies as part of an ongoing review of its editorial operations, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
De Ceglie, who took the reins in January, told staff that the review has identified some duplication, resulting in the need for staff losses, as reported by The Australian.
“We are continuing to review the company’s operations including the editorial department as part of the evolution to a seven-day-newsroom. In doing this we are finding some processes and teams that work very well. Conversely, we are also seeing that we do have some excess capability,” De Ceglie said in an email that was sent to staff today, which has been seen by The Australian.
The West Australian and Sunday Times employ a combined 170 people, but the total rises to 270 after including regional titles and the perthnow.com.au website.
Harbour Radio Pty Ltd – the licensee of radio station 2GB – breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice in an Alan Jones Breakfast Show segment broadcast on 23 August 2018, reports The ACMA.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation examined Alan Jones’s use of a racially charged phrase and found it offended against generally accepted standards of decency.
“The phrase used by Jones has not been acceptable as part of everyday speech in Australia for some time and does not belong on our airwaves,’ said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
Numerous complaints were made to the ACMA about the 2GB broadcast and the fact that it was not the first time Jones had used the phrase on air.
The station released an apology within hours of the broadcast and Jones provided an on-air apology the next day in which he acknowledged the phrase was offensive and not appropriate for the broadcast.
2GB responded to complainants acknowledging that the phrase should not have been broadcast. As a result of the ACMA’s investigation, 2GB management has agreed the phrase will not be used on-air again.
The ACMA considers these have been appropriate responses by the licensee to this breach under the co-regulatory framework for commercial broadcasting.
The ACMA did not find a breach of the likely incitement of “hatred” or “serious contempt” or “severe ridicule”. Although the licensee broadcast a phrase widely considered racist, the ACMA did not consider that the high threshold test of incitement was met, as required for a breach of this provision.
The ACMA notes that the time taken to complete this investigation has been longer than preferable. This was a result of the licensee requiring additional time to respond to the ACMA’s enquiries due to the availability of its presenter.
Never one to hold his tongue, outspoken Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan stayed true to form during his appearance on Nine’s Today show on Thursday morning, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Amy Croffey.
Using the backlash to the show’s all-female hosting team of Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardener as his example, Morgan came out swinging against social attitudes in Australia, saying sexism was alive and well.
“I think that [misogyny] is something that historically Australia has struggled with and I would look at the way Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister, got treated,” Morgan told Knight, then referring to a recent interview with Gillard, in which he said Australia was “the epitome of misogyny and sexism”.
Knight said: “Well, we are the first brekkie show with two female hosts…”
“I saw the fallout to that announcement … and there was so much misogyny and sexism labelled at you guys,” Morgan said. “I just thought, well there you go, that’s an illustration that Australia, like other countries, has a long way to go.”
A group of 25 of the world’s best comedians shone bright as they helped kick off the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, reports News Corp’s Patrick Horan.
The Opening Night Allstars Comedy Supershow – the festival’s annual launch event at the Palais Theatre — showcased a who’s who of funny folk including Dave Hughes, Stephen K Amos, Mark Watson, Michelle Wolf, Tom Ballard and Joel Creasey.
Along with last week’s Gala (which airs on ABC this Sunday), this line-up suggests an exceptionally abundant year for Aussie and international talent at this year’s Festival.