Wednesday May 2, 2018

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Come Together 2018: Damian Eales's message to News Corp Australia advertisers

• “Our media, our technology, and our marketing services will deliver for your business”

By James Manning

News Corp Australia set a blistering pace this week as it launched its Come Together – News Future presentations. Australia’s biggest publisher also did it very differently this time.

• Come Together 2018: News Corp Australia unveils new suite of commercial initiatives

News Corp chose Melbourne, the home of HWT, to launch its roadshow and it ran eight separate upfront events under the Come Together umbrella. Sydney gets to see the product showcase in two weeks.

Its presenters were kept very busy too – on the first day of presentations there were three separate sessions, each of them divided into four groups rotating through the rooms of South Yarra’s Olsen Hotel. News Corp had commandeered the first and 14th floors of the building.

Before guests split into four groups for the eight separate presentations, they were welcomed by News Corp Australia chief operating officer Damian Eales.

After showing the latest News Corp reel, Eales said: “In our latest campaign, we proudly promote our connection with communities.

“Why? Well, communities are all about belonging.

“You see, we believe that people read to know… and know to belong.

“When you consider that over three-quarters of a population like Townsville read the Townsville Bully each week, you get it.

“We’re for these communities, like no other media company can be. We’re trusted by these communities.

“And there’s that word again… trust, the word of the moment. In a world of fake news, foul content and faux measures, trust has never been more important.

“Well, stay tuned, because today we have an antidote.”

Eales thanked the media agency executives and clients in the audience for giving up their time and he promised to make it worth their while, giving them reasons to want to talk more to News Corp about the new opportunities available to them.

“We want News Futures to be the start of a future conversation with your brand,” said Eales.

“Rather than introduce every showcase you are about to see, there are four themes you should look out for today.

“First, you’ll hear that we’re for Clever Content, not just any content. We’re for time well spent, for content worth sharing, for building content brands – not branded content. We’re for the art of the craft… and the science of being seen.

“Second, you’ll hear that we’re ‘the future digital network’. We’re for connecting customers in the moments that matter, using brands they trust. We’re for helping you reach your customers simply, selectively and at scale, for narrowcasting with News Connect 2.0 – our enhanced data product. And we’re for storytelling at scale with News Native Networks.

“Third, you’ll hear that we are more than media. We’re for print, sure, but we’re for so much more, for whole solutions, not partial problems. We’re for the data that we depend on and for serving more of your needs.

“And finally, I hope the biggest thing you take away from today is that we’re for results.

No-one buys twice what doesn’t work once. And we’ll back ourselves that our media, our technology, and our marketing services will deliver for your business.

Closing out his introduction, Eales promised advertisers results that are measurable and real.

Top photo: Damian Eales and News Corp Australia managing director National Sales Lou Barrett at Come Together

Radio consumption rises in Australia as smart speakers enter the audio space

Global firm Edison Research has released the second annual comprehensive Australian study of the digital audio, social media, mobile, smart speaker and podcast habits of Australians.

The latest research into what audio technology Australians are using includes for the first time the newcomers to the sector, smart speakers.

Key findings show a rise in radio consumption across multiple platforms in the marketplace, with 88% (up from 85% in 2017) of people having listened to an AM/FM/DAB+ either via free-to-air broadcast or online in the last week, three times as many people than the second highest audio platform.

The Australian Infinite Dial Study, commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via its PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital, provides updated insights into what Australians are consuming online. The Infinite Dial research for Australia is patterned on the longest-running survey (1998) of digital media consumer behaviour in the USA and provides a unique profile of the 2018 Australian digital consumer.

“The Infinite Dial Australia study explores the usage of technology in the market and, as has been the case in the USA, we believe The Infinite Dial Australia is set to become the authoritative source in the understanding of the online audio space,” said Edison president Larry Rosin.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said: “It’s an exciting time for radio in Australia. Audio innovation and development across the world have provided radio with another way of reaching audiences, whether it is via a traditional AM/FM radio, on a DAB+ device, via a podcast or on a smart speaker. Australian radio listeners interact with their radio station across social media, on the mobile and in the car. The Edison Study is an essential tool informing the industry on the technology habits of Australians.”

Key Australian Infinite Dial findings include:

• Radio is the leading audio platform consumed by Australians with 88% of people having listened to an AM/FM or DAB+ station in an average week.

• After just 17 months, awareness of the Australian radio industry’s free mobile app with access to more than 250 stations, RadioApp, is 15%, compared to the long established TuneIn 20% and iHeartRadio 37%.

• Radio continues to dominate listening in the car with 89% of people (over 18 years) having listened to AM/FM radio in the car in the last month.

• 13% of Australians have listened to a podcast in the last week, with 16% of 25-54 year olds listening to a podcast weekly. An average of five podcasts are listened to each week by those who are weekly podcast listeners. 14% of weekly podcasts are by Australian radio stations or Australian radio personalities.

• Overall social media usage by Australians is up 2% to 82% in 2018, with 94% of 12-24 year olds using some form of social media. However, the social media used most often finds Facebook use down to 60% from 73% in 2017 and Instagram up to 14% from 8%.

• Smartphone ownership in Australia continues to outstrip the US with 90% of Australians owning a smartphone and the 25-54 year olds have the highest ownership with 96% owning a smartphone.

• Brand awareness of smart speakers in Australia shows Google Home leading with 61% awareness, compared to Amazon Alexa at 28%. Smart speaker ownership is 5% in Australia compared to the USA at 18% but the US ownership more than doubled from 7% in 2017.

• Netflix remains the most popular on-demand video service, with 41% of Australians subscribing. Foxtel Play, Go or Now is up in 2018 to 18%. In the last week in Australia 49% of people have used Netflix, Foxtel Play, Go or Now, Stan or Amazon Prime.

Edison president Larry Rosin is in Australia this week presenting the second Australian study to commercial radio stations and media agencies in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Australian Infinite Dial study was conducted in the first quarter of 2018 and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,009 people and is a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians aged 12 and older.

The Infinite Dial study can be downloaded at

Mediaweek Interview: Acast Australia country manager Henrik Isaksson

The coming six months are going to be interesting for the audio and voice technology company Acast.

By Kruti Joshi

The organisation announced overnight that it has become the official commercial partner of the BBC to lead on the monetisation of its podcasts and audio outside UK.

With the addition of the podcasts produced by the BBC to its slate, Acast is expecting the number of listens coming from Australia to jump by two million per month.

“At the moment we are averaging about 3.3 million listens a month,” Acast country manager for Australia Henrik Isaksson told Mediaweek. “With the BBC announcement, we are expecting to average 5.5 million listens a month to come from Australia.”

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article hereor subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

Screentime opens Adelaide office to produce new RBT for Nine

• SAFC funds to put South Australian drivers on the map in ob-doc hit under Colin Thrupp and Basia Bonkowski

Screentime will open an office in Adelaide and commence production of hit TV show RBT on Adelaide streets from July, it was announced in the South Australian capital yesterday.

Screentime says its decision to open in Adelaide is in response to its growing slate of South Australian television productions that includes high-end drama Pine Gap currently filming in Adelaide, the recently completed Wolf Creek, and from July, Australia’s number one factual show RBT.

This is the first time Screentime, a Banijay Group company, has opened an office outside Sydney in the 22-year history of the company. Its expansion into South Australia has been made possible by a two-year funding allocation from the Arts South Australia-funded South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) under the Television Company Partnership Initiative.

RBT SA (courtesy Screentime)

Screentime SA will continue the company’s strong collaboration with the SAFC and is looking to attract, develop and produce fiction and non-fiction productions working closely with the independent production community in South Australia.

In addition to crews and services, this boost in production will take advantage of the state’s world-class facilities including Adelaide Studios’ state-of-the-art sound stages, production offices, post-production facilities and locations across city and state.

Screentime SA will be headed up by series producer and director Colin Thrupp, who takes up the post in July and will work closely with executive producer Basia Bonkowski to transition the hit factual show RBT to South Australian streets.

Screentime SA will produce the 12th season of RBT for Channel Nine, working closely with Inspector Colin Cunningham of the SA Police Media Unit and the local freelance production community to bring a South Australian touch to the factual franchise.

Screentime executive chairman Bob Campbell

Screentime executive chairman Bob Campbell said:

“The establishment of Screentime SA will see us working with the South Australian creative community to continue to build our production slate in the State. ANZAC Girls and two seasons of Wolf Creek – as well as our current productions Pine Gap and RBT – strongly illustrate our commitment to production in South Australia, which will be further enhanced by this initiative with the South Australian Film Corporation.”

Nine head of content production and development Adrian Swift said:

“Our audience loves RBT, the diligence and patience of the police and the extraordinary stories they hear from drivers up to no good on our roads. We’re thrilled to be going to South Australia to discover a new police force and a lot of new stories as they keep our roads safe and disastrous drivers under control. We congratulate Screentime on the move and thank SA Police and the SAFC for their support of the production.”

New South Australian Film Corporation CEO Courtney Gibson said:

“Attracting Screentime to open an office in the State is all about maximising opportunities for South Australian creatives and crews, not just in drama but also in non-scripted production. Screentime is one of Australia’s leading forces in non-scripted and it’s fantastic having someone with Colin’s peerless credentials driving the development of production with the local sector via Screentime SA.”

New Screentime SA head Colin Thrupp runs the South Australian production company Travelling Tale Productions, which he established in 2010.

He has created and directed a number of successful programs including Croc College, Jillaroo School, Adventure Angler and Marine Wildlife Rescue. Other credits include Head First for Mushroom Pictures. Since 2014 Thrupp has been responsible for a number of shows including Air Rescue, The Embassy, Dr Karl’s Outrageous Acts of Science and Moment of Truth produced through Fredbird Entertainment.

Top photo: Bob Campbell, Corey Wingard MP and Courtney Gibson (credit: Lisa Tomasetti)

Facebook's F8 Conference Day 1: Privacy update + Oculus Go launched

On the first day of its annual F8 conference, Facebook announced it will be taking steps to protect user information and wellbeing on its social media platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram.

The tech giant also announced that it has made further progress with integrating AR and VR experiences on the platforms.

For the Facebook app, the company will be building a Clear History function. This will enable users to see the websites and apps that send Facebook information when they use them. Clear History will also allow users to delete this information and turn off the ability to store this data.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said: “Apps and websites that use features such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics send us information to make their content and ads better. We also use this information to make your experience on Facebook better too.”

Zuckerberg on stage at F8 2018

A comments filter tool will come into effect today on Instagram. It will automatically filter comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to their wellbeing or health. “Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited bullying on our platform, and I’m proud to announce this next step in our ongoing commitment to keeping Instagram an inclusive, supportive place for all voices,” Zuckerberg said.

The American company has turned its focus to AR and VR experiences on Facebook and Instagram in a big way this year. Its first stand-alone VR headset, Oculus Go, has gone to market today. It is available for purchase globally with prices starting at USD$199. It will have more than 1,000 games and experiences available at launch. Facebook will also introduce 3D photos later this year.

The social media giant has introduced video chat functions on Instagram Direct and WhatsApp. This seemed like a natural next step for WhatsApp, where users were already able to make in-app voice calls. However, it’s a new play for Instagram Direct as it previously had no calling functions.

See Facebook’s highlights from day one of the F8 conference here.

TV Ratings Analysis: Tuesday May 1

• Not so much scandal, but double elimination a winner for MKR
• Final of Blind Auditions on The Voice edges over one million

By James Manning


Home And Away continues to log a regular 700,000+ audience with 764,000 last night.

On My Kitchen Rules the Russians dodged a cheating scandal but it wasn’t enough to avoid elimination and the girls were sent packing along with truffle farmers Henry & Anna. Meanwhile, besties Stella & Jazzey secured the last semifinal spot for 2018, impressing the judges with a near-perfect entrée and main. The Tuesday episode did 1.22m ahead of the first semifinal tonight.

Interview was perhaps at its best yet with Richard Roxburgh the first guest on episode three. He told some great stories and dropped some colourful phrases like “sailing away on the good ship Yalumba”. Actor-turned-Instagram sensation Celeste Barber was also on the show. Sensation is a word thrown around pretty liberally in TV publicity but with 3.8m Instagram followers, Barber must qualify. The episode had an audience of 449,000 after the first two weeks attracted 598,000 and then 523,000.


Tracy Grimshaw was on location for a special edition of A Current Affair on Dolly Everett, once a cute kid in an Akubra hat, who should have been turning 15 this week. The episode did 811,000 after 893,000 on Monday night.

The Voice featured the final Blind Audition episode ahead of the Knockouts next Sunday. Team Kelly was already complete so the final Blind Audition saw Boy George, Delta and Joe Jonas complete their teams. The episode did 1.0m.

It was Nine’s turn for a Royal Wedding special with Diana To Meghan: Royal Wedding Secrets, which did 524,000 after 9pm.


The Project was devoted to a comedy special fundraiser for Beanies 4 Brain Cancer with viewers handing over $2m across the hour. There were plenty of gags across the hour with Amanda Keller and Hughesy special guests at the desk. Highlight was the four-minute stand-up routine from Steve Price. You could see the gags coming a mile away, but they were worth waiting for and the segment peaked when it nearly turned into a Hughesy roast. Tommy Little also got his gear off, Russell Crowe sent in a video and the lovebirds from Bachelor In Paradise, Sam and Tara, were also guests. The special episode started on 365,000 and climbed to 560,000 after 7pm.

Episodes three and four of season 12 of Bondi Rescue followed with 405,000 and 306,000.

Hughesy, We Have A Problem had the A team on board last night – Becky Lucas, Lawrence Mooney, Kate Langbroek, Tommy Little and Merv Hughes. A body language expert summed up the lineup, noting the host looked like a psychopath because he didn’t blink. The episode was on 370,000.

NCIS: Los Angeles followed with 260,000.


A second week of The Checkout: Factory Seconds did 368,000 after 341,000 last week.

Part two of reporter Peter Greste’s General Monash And Me did 370,000 after 379,000 for part one.

Next was actress Judi Dench, who explored the magical and secret lives of trees in a doco filmed over the course of a year in Judi Dench: My Passion For Trees with 260,000.


Episode three of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Natalie Imbruglia with 323,000 watching after Charlie Teo pulled 433,000 last week.

Insight talked to people in open relationships with 221,000 watching.

Dateline then had an audience of 119,000 for Yemen’s Children Of War.

Week 18 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 24.0% 9 22.8% TEN 10.7% SBS One 5.3%
ABC 2 2.6% 7TWO 2.6% GO! 2.4% ONE 2.5% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.1% GEM 3.3% ELEVEN 2.3% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 1.8% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 15.2% 31.7% 30.3% 15.5% 7.3%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.9% 7 22.4% 9 20.6% WIN 9.8% SBS One 5.0%
ABC 2 3.0% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 3.3% ONE 2.1% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 3.7% GEM 4.4% ELEVEN 2.8% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 1.5% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 16.2% 31.9% 29.8% 14.7% 7.3%
85.6% 14.4%
Tuesday FTA
  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1,229,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,080,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,063,000
  4. The Voice Nine 1,008,000
  5. Nine News Nine 951,000
  6. Nine News 6:30 Nine 934,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 811,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 764,000
  9. ABC News ABC 740,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 648,000
  11. The Project 7pm Ten 560,000
  12. Diana To Meghan: Royal Wedding Secrets Nine 524,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 509,000
  14. 7.30 ABC 508,000
  15. Interview Seven 449,000
  16. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 437,000
  17. Bondi Rescue (R) Ten 405,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 392,000
  19. Hughesy, We Have A Problem Ten 370,000
  20. Monash And Me ABC 370,000
Demo Top Fives

16-30 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 294,000
  2. The Voice Nine 205,000
  3. The Project 7pm Ten 168,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 166,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 158,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 466,000
  2. The Voice Nine 377,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 278,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 263,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 262,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 517,000
  2. The Voice Nine 435,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 340,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 323,000
  5. Seven News Seven 322,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 183,000
  2. The Justine Clarke Show! ABCKIDS/COMEDY 178,000
  3. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 176,000
  4. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000
  5. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 175,000
  6. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  7. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  8. Neighbours ELEVEN 159,000
  9. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  10. Fireman Sam-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  11. Thomas And Friends-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  12. Teacup Travels-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  13. Dot.-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  14. PJ Masks-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  15. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  16. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  17. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  18. Midsomer Murders  9Gem 136,000
  19. Giggle And Hoot-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  20. Full Custom Garage-PM 7mate 132,000
Tuesday Subscription TV
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 73,000
  2. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 501 58,000
  3. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 56,000
  4. Family Guy FOX8 53,000
  5. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 52,000
  6. The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor UNIVERSAL 51,000
  7. Family Guy FOX8 44,000
  8. The Simpsons FOX8 44,000
  9. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  10. Gunpowder BBC First 42,000
  11. Jones & Co SKY NEWS LIVE 42,000
  12. Friends 111 42,000
  13. Open Mike FOX FOOTY 40,000
  14. American Dad! FOX8 39,000
  15. American Dad! FOX8 38,000
  16. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 37,000
  17. The Fan FOX LEAGUE 37,000
  18. Escape To The Country LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  20. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000

Media News Roundup

Business Of Media

Nick Falloon on Domain CEO search and reports 2018 digital revenue +21%

Domain Holdings executive chairman Nick Falloon has shied away from putting a timeframe on the appointment of a new chief executive, as he drew a line under a workplace review that followed the abrupt departure of Antony Catalano, reports The AFR’s Joyce Moullakis.

On the sidelines of the Macquarie Australia Conference in Sydney, Falloon said the CEO search at the property classifieds and digital company was “well advanced” but the board was “not putting a timeframe on it”.

He told The Australian Financial Review the CEO field was a mix of local and global candidates, and investors had to be mindful of non-compete clauses that could accompany new appointments.

The investor presentation included a market update on the first 17 weeks of the latter half of the company’s financial 2018 year. It said Domain’s digital revenue was tracking 21% higher while total revenue had increased 13%.

[Read the original]

Mark Zuckerberg ordered to appear before a British parliamentary committee

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been threatened with a legal summons unless he fronts a British parliamentary committee to answer questions about the social network’s safeguarding of user data, as well as allegations of Russian interference in the Brexit vote, reports Fairfax Media’s Nick Miller.

Mark Zuckerberg at his congressional hearing in the US

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee sent a letter to Facebook on Tuesday demanding that Zuckerberg appear in person in London on May 24.

Such summonses are rarely issued, and are binding on anyone in Britain apart from members of the government or members of the House of Commons or Lords.

They were used, for example, to force Rupert and James Murdoch to give evidence to the same committee when it was investigating phone hacking – an appearance which the elder Murdoch called “the most humble day of my life”.

[Read the original]

BBC introduces podcast advertising with new Acast partnership

The BBC has named global podcast company Acast as its official commercial partner to lead the monetisation of its podcasts and audio outside of the UK. The exclusive deal marks the first time the BBC has offered advertising around its podcast library.

BBC’s Bob Shennan and Acast’s Ross Adams

• Mediaweek Interview: Acast global chief executive – Ross Adams

In Australia, Acast is partnered with Nova Entertainment, in a deal announced last year.

The BBC began producing podcasts in 2004 and is one of the largest podcast producers in the world, with strands across news, drama and entertainment. The deal covers all BBC podcasts available outside of the UK (subject to rights restrictions), including the Global News, The Assassination, World Business Report, Radio 4’s In Our Time and 5 Live’s Football Daily.

Bob Shennan, director of BBC Radio and Music, said: “Podcasts are one way we’re reinventing BBC radio to engage younger audiences with our world-class content. We’re working with established and new talent to produce shows, which are informative and entertaining as only the BBC can be. The BBC has been challenged to generate more commercial income to supplement licence fees, and this new deal will contribute to that.”

Using advanced targeting abilities and market leading analytics, Acast will work with the BBC to monetise international content while safeguarding its commitment to UK listeners.

Acast CEO Ross Adams said: “Acast is dedicated to supporting a new era of on-demand content for the BBC. Our focus as a business is to enable the best content creators to do their best work by removing the technical and commercial friction from the process of making great audio. Our extensive international sales network coupled with our agile engineering resources open up the possibilities for partners like the BBC.”

This advertising push outside of the UK is part of an effort to identify responsible funding sources for the BBC and increase its commercial income.

Hootsuite and Facebook making it easier to share your brand’s content

Social media management platform Hootsuite and Workplace By Facebook have announced a partnership to make it easier for employees to share their brands’ content across social platforms.

The partnership sees the integration of of Hootsuite’s employee advocacy platform, Amplify, with Workplace by Facebook, allowing an organisation’s employees to share content quickly and easily with their connections across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other networks.

Hootsuite founder and CEO Ryan Holmes said: “Employees are often the biggest advocates of their company, its products, and services. This strategic partnership between Workplace by Facebook and Hootsuite to integrate Workplace and Amplify makes it easierfor employees to find and share approved content in support of their brand, helping extend the impact of their organisation’s social marketing, selling, and support programs to succeed with social.”

Facebook Director of Workplace Ecosystem Partnerships Frerk-Malte Feller said: “We’re excited to be working with Hootsuite on this integration, which will provide a complete solution for employee advocacy and engagement. Through this partnership, organisations will have the power to amplify important news and information easily and efficiently.”

Connecting to Workplace is immediately available for Amplify customers within the Hootsuite platform. More information about Workplace may be found here. More information on Hootsuite Amplify may be found here.

Toowoomba-based Wagner family seeking record defamation payout of $4.8m

The largest defamation payout in Australia is being sought by four members of the Toowoomba-based Wagner family, with a court told they each had claims of $1.2 million over allegations made on radio host Alan Jones’s shows.

The total $4.8m in damages being sought exceeds the record $4.5m payout actress Rebel Wilson was awarded last year over articles in Woman’s Day, reports The Australian’s Mark Schliebs.

The $1.2m figure was mentioned in the Supreme Court in Brisbane by Rob Anderson QC, acting for Jones, in relation to claims sought by each of the four Wagner brothers.

They are suing broadcaster Harbour Radio, two radio stations and journalist Nick Cater over 32 broadcasts in 2014 and 2015 they allege defamed them.

[Read the original]

News Brands

ABC TV news censured by ACMA over Andrew Probyn’s impartiality breach

ABC’s television news division has been censured for describing Tony Abbott as “the most destructive politician of his generation”, reports Fairfax Media’s Michael Lallo.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found the ABC breached its impartiality obligations by using this “pejorative” term.

In an ABC News report – broadcast nationally on October 10 last year – political editor Andrew Probyn analysed a speech Abbott gave to the conservative Global Warming Policy Foundation.

In its submission to ACMA, the ABC argued: “Probyn’s language succinctly described the political tactics Mr Abbott had demonstrated over an extended period.”

The watchdog, however, deemed the term “destructive” a step too far.

“The impartiality provisions in the ABC’s own code require it to demonstrate balance and fair treatment when presenting news, and avoid conveying a pre-judgment,” said ACMA chief Nerida O’Loughlin.

“This is only the second breach by the ABC of its impartiality rules since 2011. While this demonstrates strong compliance with these important provisions of the code, the ABC did not get it right on this occasion.”

The ABC has promised to incorporate ACMA’s finding into its editorial compliance training programs.

[Read the original]

Former Greens staffer and candidate Osman Faruqi hired by the ABC

Former Greens staffer and candidate Osman Faruqi has been hired by the ABC as part of the public broadcaster’s pivot towards digital news breaking, reports The Australian’s Dana McCauley.

In what has been described as an attempt to “Buzzfeed-ise” the ABC and boost its reach among young people, Faruqi will be part of “a new digital storytelling project created to reach new audiences in an innovative and engaging way”, a spokesman said. It is understood that Faruqi, who left pop culture website Junkee in March, will serve as deputy editor of a new lifestyle “vertical” on the ABC website.

[Read the original]

Amanda Hodge reports on the deadliest attack on media in Afghanistan

In 2016, more than a year after international troops pulled out of Afghanistan, Agence France-Presse Kabul photographer Shah Marai poured his despair into a blog post that talked of the end of hope, a life of few prospects with no way out, reports The Australian’s Southeast Asia correspondent Amanda Hodge.

On Monday, Marai, 41, did what Kabul’s media do week after week – he ran to the scene of a suicide bombing to document the rising carnage wrought on his countrymen, women and children. The first bomber came on a motorbike. His blast near the national intelligence service headquarters killed four.

The second waited for rescue workers and media to arrive, walked in carrying a camera and blew himself up, killing nine journalists and photographers – including Marai – in the deadliest attack on media in Afghanistan since the invasion.

[Read the original]


Eurovision: Michael Idato & Paul Clarke on “top four” finish for Jessica Mauboy

Jessica Mauboy has made her unofficial debut in competition at the 63rd annual Eurovision Song Contest, reports Fairfax Media’s Michael Idato.

The 28-year-old Darwin-born singer has completed her first rehearsal on the stage of Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, ahead of next week’s semifinal and final.

One school of prevailing thought has Mauboy positioned with Israel’s Netta, France’s Madame Monsieur and Norway’s Alexander Rybak in a possible “top four” finish.

Australia’s head of delegation to the competition, Paul Clarke, said this year Australia had paid particular attention to how Mauboy’s performance was placed on the Eurovision stage: “Eurovision has to be unique, it has to be surprising, and it has to make your heart think. That’s who wins it, male or female, whatever country they come from.”

[Read the original]

The MKR “cheating scandal” that barely registered on the Richter scale

Mediaweek was among some viewers who wondered what happened to the much-hyped “cheating scandal” on My Kitchen Rules Tuesday:

It was meant to be the cheating scandal that would send “shockwaves” through My Kitchen Rules headquarters, reports Fairfax Media’s Broede Carmody.

But what went to air on Tuesday night barely even registered on the Richter scale.

As with any good reality TV show, the drama was dialled up to 11. “One team will do the unthinkable,” the promos blared. “One team will cheat.”

Despite the promos crying “scandal!”, the judges appreciated Olga and Valeria’s attempts to rescue their main course. In fact, during the post-cook feedback, the word cheating was nowhere to be found.

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Racism claims: Grammy award-winning band cancels Sunrise appearance

A Grammy award-winning band has cancelled an appearance on Sunrise the night before it was due to perform on the show following the racism controversy around the program, reports Emma Reynolds on

American rockers Portugal. The Man, best known for smash hit “Feel It Still”, said in a statement shared on Instagram: “We do not want to be part of that show at this time.”

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Screenrights announces ANZ cultural fund with total grants of $200,000

Screenrights, the audio-visual copyright society for Australia and New Zealand, has announced a new Cultural Fund to support innovative new projects, which will foster the creation and appreciation of screen content in Australia and New Zealand. The total pool available for the 2018 Cultural Fund round is $AU200,000.

Screenrights CEO Simon Lake

The focus of the Cultural Fund will change each year in response to trends and issues in screen content creation.

In 2018, the Cultural Fund focus is education and, more specifically, solutions to overcoming barriers to access and use of meaningful screen content for teachers and students in education and training.

Applicants are invited to apply for funding of up to $AU50,000.

“Technology creates a wealth of opportunity, but not one that is shared equally. There remain geographical, technological, skills-based and financial barriers that restrict access for students and educators to meaningful screen content,” said Screenrights CEO Simon Lake.

Applications will be assessed by a panel of professionals with both local and international expertise in the screen industry and in education. The 2018 panel includes: Jenny Buckland, CEO Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF); Richard Harris, independent screen professional (formerly Head of Business & Audience, Screen Australia, also formerly CEO, SAFC, and Executive Director, ADG); Tanya Orman, Channel Manager National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Alice Shearman, Executive Director New Zealand Writers Guild.

Peter Banki, Partner of Banki Haddock Fiora, will act as Chair.

Panel members will make recommendations to the Screenrights Board of Directors for consideration.

The Daily Telegraph editorialises on how our laughter industry is dying

The Daily Telegraph today editorialises on why our laughter is dying:

Comedy gigs are drying up, corporations no longer book laugh-makers for events, and outside the ABC (whose comedy offerings regularly make headlines for their puerile name-calling against right wingers), commercial TV networks have found it easier and safer to place their bets on reality shows.

The culprit is, not surprisingly, our 21st-century culture of po-faced political correctness and perpetual outrage. And it’s not just great Australian acts like Kevin “Bloody” Wilson, Austen Tayshus, and Billy Birmingham (who told The Daily Telegraph he’d be “hung, drawn and quartered” for his Twelfth Man cricket routines) who are suffering.

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Sports Media

Seven’s Tim Worner: “We are committed to cricket and tennis next summer”

Cricket fans without pay television will almost certainly have to watch at least one Test match on a secondary channel in the upcoming summer while new rights holder Seven West Media broadcasts one last Australian Open tennis tournament, reports The AFR’s John Stensholt.

In possibly a first for cricket, Seven will relegate Australia’s day/night Test against Sri Lanka to a secondary channel in late January after committing to show both cricket and tennis.

While Seven is understood to have explored the idea of on-selling the tennis rights, which include the high-rating Australian Open in late January, to rival Nine Entertainment Co, Seven chief executive Tim Worner on Tuesday said his network would show both sports despite scheduling clashes.

“We’ve got one more year in our deal with Tennis Australia, so we are committed to showing both cricket and tennis next summer,” Worner told the Macquarie Australia conference in Sydney. “These are the only two summer sports that matter.”

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