Wednesday September 12, 2018

Twitter enters over 50 video content partnerships in Asia Pacific

Twitter is pushing video content on the platform with over 50 premium video content collaborations announced today. 

The partnerships were unveiled at the TwitterFronts event at the All That Matters conference in Singapore.

FMA Indonesia, Fox Sports Asia, NBC Universal, Network 18, NET TV, Red Chillies Entertainment, Sony Music, Stadium Astro Malaysia, and Vice Media are among the partners that Twitter will collaborate with to bring new content to audiences in Asia Pacific and opportunities for APAC advertisers.

The announcement expands the premium video content available on Twitter to advertisers in Asia Pacific and builds on extensions of existing global and regional content deals.

Present during the announcement were Twitter executives Kay Madati, global vice president of content partnerships, and Maya Hari, vice president of Asia Pacific. They were joined by guest speakers NBCUniversal MD Christine Fellowes, Network18 COO Avinash Kaul, FMA Indonesia CCO Shanna Murady, Astro Malaysia VP of sport content CK Lee, VP Of Sports Content, Red Chillies Entertainment head of marketing Binda Dey, Sony Music’s senior manager for digital marketing and visual content Talina Cruz, and Vice head of sales Serene Lee.

Madati said: “Content is happening now at Twitter and we have proven through the efficacy of the partnerships we have crafted that content programming and distribution on Twitter are an essential part of any media company’s audience engagement and content monetisation strategies.

“Asia Pacific is accelerating growth for Twitter. Our unique and strategic value proposition that positions Twitter as a complement, not competitor, to traditional media companies has delivered great success and we seek to drive forward with more live stream and premium video content partnerships in the region.”

Hari said: “Video continues to be an important way to stay informed and engaged on Twitter, especially for the younger millennial audience in Asia Pacific.

“Building on the success of our premium video content launch at All That Matters last year, we are proud to expand our live stream and video highlights programming that is brand safe and will appeal to the audience and advertisers in APAC. The move strengthens Twitter’s presence and partnerships in the region, sharing with the world what’s happening right now in Asia Pacific and for global audiences to talk about it.”

New live stream and video highlights content partnerships


• Sony Music: Twitter is giving brands custom content opportunities with artists signed to the label, behind the scenes clips and action that’s on Twitter first. This will kick off with Guy Sebastian.
• Red Chillies Entertainment: A long-term partner of Twitter in India, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s production house Red Chillies Entertainment will be launching video content from upcoming Hindi movie, Zero, on Twitter. Along with this, RCE will be producing an exclusive live show streaming only on Twitter featuring Khan himself.
• NBC Universal: The partnership with Twitter will bring E!’s signature Live from the Red Carpet events as well as popular TV programming from @eonlineasia, @eonlineau and @DivaTVAsia to the platform and available for brand sponsorships.


• UEFA Champions League on FMA Indonesia: Fans of Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Salah will have access to near-live highlights throughout the competition on Twitter, until the very last game on June 1, 2019 in Madrid.
• Formula One on Fox Sports Asia: The network will showcase F1 action to fans on Twitter in real time via the handle @FSAsiaLive.
• English Premier League on Stadium Astro Malaysia: The stadium is the home of the EPL in Malaysia. This partnership will deliver video coverage of the latest news and highlights from EPL.


• NET TV: NET is a major television station network in Indonesia that produces TV programs primarily aimed for family and young viewers. With its renewed partnership with Twitter, the company will be bringing its top-rated TV programs to the platform, making it available for brand sponsorships. The content on Twitter includes popular TV talk shows such as Ini Talkshow, Tonight Show, Sarah Sechan, as well as its entertainment, sitcom and reality shows such as The Comment, Waktu Indonesia Bercanda, Breakout, The East and 86.
• Network18: This is one of the largest media conglomerates in India, featuring channels CNNNews18, CNBC-TV18 News, News18 Regional channels (formerly ETV), Money Control, First Post, History TV18 and more. The partnership with Twitter includes three-tiered sponsorships for video clips around major tent pole events: Budget Day programming with market leaders CNBC-TV18 News, election news with CNNNews18, and premium video highlight clips from factual entertainment channel History TV18.
• Vice: This partnership with the youth media company will deliver premium content to young audiences consuming news and culture.

New and renewed video content partnerships in Australia


• Fox Sports: Highlights from AFL/NRL finals and ongoing content partnership across A-League, cricket and surfing.
• NRL: Fans can catch weekly recaps, match previews, live content and insights from NRL talent, only on Twitter.
• Seven West Media: The business has renewed its partnership with Twitter, which will see it bring more content packages to the table in 2019.


• SBS: In 2019, the public broadcaster will bring video content about Mardi Gras, Eurovision and major sporting events.


• Domain: The digital property portal’s established editorial arm will showcase video highlights of every property need – buying, selling or renovating.


Twitter’s APAC news director Jonathan Harley: ‘We are the fastest and largest news platform on the planet.’

The immediacy of Twitter is what makes it the go-to source for journalists and consumers for the latest news.

By Kruti Joshi

This week, Twitter announced that it had entered into 50 video content partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, including companies like Domain, SBS and Seven West Media in Australia.

With over seven million active monthly users in the country according to Nielsen, Twitter’s news partnerships lead for Asia, Jonathan Harley, identified it as a key market for the company. “We are constantly growing.”

He was in Singapore for the All That Matters conference when he spoke to Mediaweek.

“We are the fastest and largest news platform on the planet,” Harley said. “Twitter is the place where news audiences come and lean in, seeking to find news content.”

Harley works with all of Twitter’s news partners in Australia at a senior or executive level. This helps the social media giant align with what its partners are doing and what they are trying to achieve.

Harley confidently stated: “There is not a single news partner in Australia or anywhere in the region that we are not working with at the moment.”

Twitter works with news outlets in three ways: helping them reach a wider, younger and mobile audience; teaching them to produce content for the platform that will help them reach their targeted audience in an efficient and impactful way; and identifying commercial opportunities. The third one is “not going to be available to all news publishers all the time”, Harley said. The new video content partnerships are an effort to expand who the commercial opportunities are available to. Harley emphasised that this will be an ongoing project.

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

Departing Sky News CEO on his next challenge and recent bombshells

For the past 20+ years Angelos Frangopoulos and his Sky News Australia team have been reporting on bombshells. However, in the past few weeks there has been some exploding internally

By James Manning

As he packs his bags for a new job in the Middle East – as CEO and managing editor of Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi – Frangopoulos discusses the recent WIN TV FTA deal plus recent criticisms about conservative bias.

• Sky After Dark and Malcolm Turnbull

I will always stand by every person’s right to express an opinion about the state of the nation. We have a variety of voices – I don’t hear much criticism about what Stephen Conroy has to say and I don’t hear much criticism about what Graham Richardson has to say. I think a lot of the criticism is just noise from others who are trying to politicise what we do.

The people accusing us of being political are being political themselves.

I probably owe Chris Uhlmann a beer for giving us such great exposure on the Today show.

The ratings indicate our programming throughout the day and particularly in the evening does resonate with Australian audiences.

Some of our timeslots have seen the audience increase by over 100% year-on-year.

In my final years of running this business we have achieved our highest ratings ever in the history of Sky News. Surely that indicates we are doing something right with the programming we are delivering.

• Has News Corp ever had editorial input since it became a 100% shareholder?

That is the most ridiculous thing that I have heard. Our current programming was in place before News Corp acquired the business. Paul Murray has been with us for 10 years. He did not suddenly start expressing opinion on December 1, 2016 when News Corporation acquired the business. The programming was approved by our previous shareholders – Seven, Nine and Sky News UK.

• WIN TV deal: Would you have liked to have had Sky News on metro FTA too?

The deal works even better because it is just regional. There is something special about delivering Australian content like this to parts of the community that really haven’t necessarily always had the opportunity to have a national voice.

We are really committed in getting programs like those hosted by Paul Murray and David Speers on the road and into regional communities.

Paul Murray

When we say regional we are including Canberra and all of Tasmania because it is part of the WIN distribution area.

It is very exciting that going into an election campaign we will be able to engage regional audiences to make them feel a part of it for those people who don’t have Foxtel.

The other thing that is quite critical about what we are doing is that this is a proper promotional platform for Foxtel into regional areas. You will still be only able to get the full suite of Sky News programs on Foxtel. You might have seen from the program schedule we are being very selective. In the case of Paul Murray for example, viewers of Sky News on WIN get the first hour, but not the second hour. We expect this to help raise the profile of Foxtel and give people an understanding on the depth and breadth of the Australian content that subscription television offers.

• Headline News breakfast with Jaynie Seal only on WIN TV

We are doing a separate breakfast show for regional Australia for a couple of reasons. One is that WIN wanted to put a FTA breakfast show on the main primary channel because the Ten Network doesn’t have one. We were faced with a challenge because we have an output deal with Seven and Nine but we can’t air Seven and Nine content on FTA television because that falls outside the rights envelope we have with them.

We have created a separate product at breakfast time that meets our requirements and quite frankly is unashamedly regional. We cover regional newspapers and report regional news from 6am to 8.30am.

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

Melbourne Radio Wrap: Day 3 – Nova 100 and 105.1 Triple M

• Nova near its best while Triple M’s new shows yet to build an audience.

Nova 100 10+ 6.9%, Breakfast 7.7%

Cumulative audience: 10+ 935,000, Breakfast 517,000

The Melbourne FM station remains competitive on 6.9%, with its Chrissie, Sam and Browny breakfast show on 7.7%, up 0.8.

Nova’s best 10+ share in the past two-and-a-half years was 8.0%, which it managed twice last year. The breakfast show’s best in that same timeframe was 8.4% in survey one this year.

Morning still needs some audience love sitting on 5.5% and Kate, Tim and Marty can’t command as strong a share in Melbourne as they can in other markets. They rank #4 drive on 7.9%.

105.1 Triple M 10+ 6.0%, Breakfast 7.0%

Cumulative audience: 10+ 631,000, Breakfast 292,000

This is the station’s second-lowest share in two and a half years after 5.6% in survey seven last year.

The Hot Breakfast suffered its second consecutive survey dip and is now also on its second-lowest share figure in that time after 6.9% in survey two this year.

The Hot Breakfast: Eddie, Wil and Luke with writer Marieke Hardy

Triple M’s Mike Fitzpatrick told Mediaweek:

“I am a little disappointed in the result for Kennedy Molloy in drive. We thought the show would connect better by now but it is up against some pretty strong competition and heritage shows in both Hughesy and Kate and Kate, Tim and Marty. Kennedy Molloy though is still a brand new show – the audience knows the performers but it doesn’t know the brand. I trust my ears on these things and the show is very, very funny and will find its audience.

“This latest survey seems to have really favoured the music stations – Gold and smoothfm. But how long can Gold keep good numbers with its breakfast show going backwards?”

Fitzpatrick said The Hot Breakfast is still a new show with the recent addition of Wil Anderson. “Is it number one? No. But it wasn’t #1 for the first couple of years after we brought Mick in. When you change the lineup you change the show. I am very happy with how it is sounding.

“Triple M dominates all the football ratings 10+ and is #1 Friday night, #1 Saturday afternoon and #1 Sunday afternoon. We own the football and we feel we know what we are doing after doing it for 21 years.”

Fitzpatrick noted there is some upside for the station with Collingwood in the finals – something that helped previously with the club president hosting breakfast. They will need to win this weekend though!

Top Photo: Nova 100 breakfast: Chrissie, Sam and Browny with Andy Lee

SBS tackles mental illness stigma with new two-part series

SBS’s upcoming two-part documentary on mental illness, How ‘Mad’ Are You?, will premiere on the channel in October 2018.

The series, which aims to break down stigma around mental health, follows 10 Australians from all backgrounds and ages. Five have a history of mental illness and the other five do not. They spend a week together and take part in a series of specially designed tests and challenges overseen by clinical psychiatrist, Dr Steve Ellen.

Three leading mental health experts will watch the participants closely to work out who has been diagnosed with a mental illness. These experts are Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, psychiatric nurse Jan Macintire, and Professor Tim Carey, who is a clinical psychologist.

SBS director of content and online Marshall Heald said: “At the heart of SBS is a commitment to contribute to a more cohesive society. One in five Australians experience mental illness every year, and How ‘Mad’ Are You? aims to start a conversation that will help break down stigma and challenge assumptions about what it means to have a mental illness.”

Also see:

• SBS News refresh: Digital shifts changing political news operations
• Meshel Laurie among the celebrities confirmed for SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From Live 
• SBS reveals programming slate for second half of 2018
• SBS hosts TV industry leaders at inaugural Media Pride event

National mental health charity SANE Australia has served in an advisory role in the making of How ‘Mad’ Are You?.

The show is been produced by Blackfella Films for SBS, with principal production investment from the broadcaster in association with Screen Australia.

Screen Australia head of production Sally Caplan said: “Producer Darren Dale and writer and series producer Jacob Hickey from Blackfella Films have a proven track record of delivering thought-provoking social impact documentary series for SBS including Screen Australia-funded titles Filthy Rich and Homeless and First Contact. I’m sure this new series will start an important national conversation about mental health, a subject that is too often ignored.”

How ‘Mad’ Are You? will air over two weeks, starting October 11, 8.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand.



TV Demand Charts: Ozark and Mayans MC race to the top

• Season 2 of Ozark pushes it to the top

After little movement the last few weeks Ozark moves to top spot of the Digital Originals chart for both Australia and New Zealand, following the release of its second season.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine stays on top of the Overall TV Shows chart for Australia but was knocked off in NZ by Mayans MC following its premiere episode.

BoJack Horseman also made the top 10 Digital Originals charts for both countries after its season five trailer was released this week. It was joined by the new Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski.

TV Ratings Analysis: September 12

• Nine wins third consecutive night in week 37
• The Block and Australian Survivor the most-watched non-news shows
• Seven’s Take Me Out attracts 504,000, #4 in 16-39 demo

By Kruti Joshi


The broadcaster has won three out of three nights in week 37 so far. It recorded a primary share of 22.1% on Tuesday.

Sparks were flying on last night’s episode of The Block with the episode now completely focusing on the kitchen area. Hans and Courtney were in a bit of a budget dilemma. The pilot and airhostess couple only have $61,000 remaining to renovate the rest of their apartment.

The episode had 987,000 people watching. A new episode of True Story with Hamish and Andy followed on 640,000 and 508,000 stayed on to watch a repeat episode of the show.


The news was the channel’s best performer on 937,000. Home and Away was Seven’s only other entry in the top 10 with 642,000.

The Chase Australia ranked #11 with 575,000. Take Me Out, hosted by Joel Creasey, did 504,000. The show was the fourth-most-watched show in the 16-39 demo.


Australian Survivor was the channel’s best with 664,000 watching. It was also the second-most-watched show in all demos, following The Block.

The talking points on last night’s episode of The Project included the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tour down under and cartoonist Mark Knight’s depiction of Serena Williams’s outburst at the US Open (see below).

Australian TV and radio presenter Steve Vizard was the special guest on the show, which was watched by 500,000


The News and 7.30 were the channel’s most-watched shows on 709,000 and 556,000.

Foreign Correspondent did 437,000.

Week 37 TV: Tuesday
ABC11.1%717.3%922.1%TEN13.0%SBS One5.6%
ABC 23.4%7TWO3.4%GO!4.1%ONE3.2%VICELAND1.0%
ABC ME0.6%7mate4.0%GEM3.5%ELEVEN2.1%Food Net0.7%
ABC NEWS1.5%7flix1.5%9Life1.7%NITV0.2%
ABCSeven AffiliatesNine AffiliatesTen AffiliatesSBS
ABC10.7%719.2%917.5%WIN9.6%SBS One4.5%
ABC 23.1%7TWO4.3%GO!4.6%ONE3.0%VICELAND1.1%
ABC ME0.9%7mate6.3%GEM5.8%ELEVEN2.4%Food Net0.8%
ABC NEWS1.6%7flix1.0%9Life2.0%Sky News  on WIN1.2%NITV0.3%


  1. The Block Nine 987,000
  2. Seven News Seven 937,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 919,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 895,000
  5. Nine News Nine 860,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 781,000
  7. ABC News ABC 709,000
  8. Australian Survivor Tues Ten 664,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 642,000
  10. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 640,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 575,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 556,000
  13. True Story With Hamish & Andy (R) Nine 508,000
  14. Take Me Out Seven 504,000
  15. The Project 7pm Ten 500,000
  16. 800 Words Seven 479,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 473,000
  18. Foreign Correspondent ABC 437,000
  19. Catalyst ABC 382,000
  20. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 376,000
Dem Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 287,000
  2. Australian Survivor Tues Ten 222,000
  3. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 188,000
  4. Take Me Out Seven 165,000
  5. True Story With Hamish & Andy (R) Nine 157,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 451,000
  2. Australian Survivor Tues Ten 344,000
  3. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 318,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 261,000
  5. True Story With Hamish & Andy (R) Nine 258,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 489,000
  2. Australian Survivor Tues Ten 368,000
  3. True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 345,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 311,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 288,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 220,000
  2. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 214,000
  3. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 205,000
  4. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 200,000
  5. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 199,000
  6. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 198,000
  7. Little Roy PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 180,000
  8. The Big Bang Theory Tx2 9GO! 180,000
  9. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 178,000
  10. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory Tx3 9GO! 167,000
  12. Aussie Salvage Squad PM 7mate 167,000
  13. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  14. Highway Patrol E 2 Pm 7mate 163,000
  15. Hey Duggee PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  16. New Tricks 9Gem 150,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory Tx1 9GO! 146,000
  18. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 137,000
  19. Mrs. Brown’s Boys E 2 Pm 7TWO 135,000
  20. Neighbours ELEVEN 133,000
TUESDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 77,000
  2. Jones & Co Sky News Live 74,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 61,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 55,000
  5. Family Guy FOX8 55,000
  6. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 50 3 51,000
  7. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 50,000
  8. Bones TVH!TS 50,000
  9. NCIS TVH!TS 48,000
  10. Carry On Cowboy FOX Classics 47,000
  11. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 47,000
  12. Credlin Sky News Live 44,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 42,000
  14. Curious George Nick Jr. 42,000
  15. As Time Goes By FOX Classics 40,000
  16. PML Overtime Sky News Live 40,000
  17. Open Mike FOX FOOTY 38,000
  18. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 38,000
  19. The Simpsons FOX8 37,000
  20. Beat Bugs Nick Jr. 35,000

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

Australia ranked in global top 10 for digital readiness, but Cisco says some states lag

Australia has been ranked in the top 10 countries in the world for “digital readiness”, in a new study of 118 countries by tech giant Cisco, but some states are falling behind, reports Yolanda Redrup in The AFR.

The study examined a range of factors from technology infrastructure and adoption to human capital, with Australia scoring most highly in categories such as the ease of doing business, the startup environment and basic human needs.

The study forms part of a multiyear national engagement strategy for Cisco, as it endeavours to position itself as a digital thought leader in the country and earn a “seat at the table” with policymakers.

“It was our attempt to lean into the conversation and help Australia’s investment in innovation and productivity,” Cisco vice-president of Australia and New Zealand Ken Boal said.

[Read the original]

ABC drama: did political editor Andrew Probyn try acting?

The ABC has refused to clarify for two days whether its top political editor posed as a bullying MP in a staged re-enactment of the treatment of female Liberal MPs during the leadership turmoil in Canberra, reports Lilly Vitorovich in The Australian.

Mystery surrounds the identity of the person – possibly the ABC political editor Andrew Probyn – who appears in the scene with his face obscured by objects, including an office pot plant.

In the ABC’s dramatisation, the person, wearing a suit and tie, portrays a male Liberal MP demanding a female MP sign a petition that would pave the way for a second leadership spill. The faces of both people are obscured. The man posing as a male MP in the clip is also seen holding a copy of the petition with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield’s name visible to viewers.

Probyn and ABC spokeswoman Sally Jackson did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Monday and Tuesday when faced with direct questions about whether viewers were watching Probyn.

[Read the original]

Streaming boosts global export opportunity for Australian musicians

Australian Recording Industry Association chief executive Dan Rosen believes the local music sector has a huge opportunity to continue its multiyear growth run by showing off its talents on the global stage, reports Max Mason in The AFR.

Streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play have reshaped the Australian music industry, helping it return to growth in 2015 and continue on an upward trend.

For the first half of 2018, total sales grew by 6% to $195.6 million compared with the same period last year. Total digital sales jumped 14.2% to $162.5 million.

Within digital, ad-supporting streaming revenue jumped 31.9% to $12.7 million, while subscription sales surged 35.1% to $105 million.

[Read the original]

Power struggle complicated CBS’s handling of Les Moonves sex claims

Former CEO and president of CBS, Leslie Moonves, continues to attract headlines following the announcement of his departure earlier this week.

Keach Hagey writes in The Wall Street Journal:

In January, six months before the blockbuster accusations became public, Shari Redstone phoned fellow directors on CBS’s board to ask about rumours that the company’s chief executive, Leslie Moonves, was about to have a #MeToo moment.

There was nothing to it, they assured Redstone, president of CBS’s controlling shareholder National Amusements. She phoned Moonves and he told her the same, according to people familiar with the matter. A source close to Moonves said Redstone never raised the allegations directly with him.

Some board members were sceptical, believing Redstone was spreading the rumours. She and Moonves were at odds over the future of CBS: Redstone wanted a merger with sister firm Viacom and he was resisting.

[Read the original]

Government spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on ‘inspirational’ talkers for staff

The federal government is spending tens of thousands dollars hiring celebrities such as singer Casey Donovan, surfer Layne Beachley and Shark Tank judge Naomi Simson to give talks to staff, reports Annabel Hennessy in The Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that in 2018 alone Home Affairs splashed more than $63,000 of taxpayers money on just five speakers.

But experts have slammed the spending as a waste of money given there is no research to show motivational speakers improve workplace morale.

Among the speakers engaged was former Australian Idol contestant Donovan, who cost $11,250 and was hired to give a motivational talk to staff for National Reconciliation Week.

[Read the original]


News Corp executives defend controversial Serena Williams cartoon by Mark Knight

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has defended a controversial cartoon by Herald Sun’s Mark Knight. It portrays the Serena Williams outburst at the US Open Final.

In a tweet, Miller wrote: “Criticism of Mark Knight’s Serena Williams cartoon shows the world has gone too PC and misunderstands the role of news media cartoons and satire. Poor behaviour in any sport needs to be called out.”

The cartoon shows Williams midair with an angry face, a smashed racket on the floor, and the chair umpire in the background telling the opponent, Naomi Osaka, “Can you just let her win?”

Since it originally appeared on the Herald Sun website earlier this week, it has sparked a debate about the representation of Williams.

The Herald Sun reports: “The cartoon dominated America on Tuesday both on TV and social media, with Knight ‘trending’ on Twitter such was the debate. Some US celebrities who vented their outrage online have audiences in the millions.

“On Tuesday night, @knightcartoons had been mentioned almost 74,000 times on Twitter, including retweets – an increase of 88,900% from the day before.

“Mentions of @theheraldsun were also up 9,000% from the day before.

“The keyword ‘Mark Knight’ had been mentioned about 5,300 times, up 7,000%.”

In an interview with News Corp, Knight said: “A few days beforehand, I’d actually drawn up a cartoon of Australian Nick Kyrgios and his bad behaviour at the US Open. So I am not targeting Serena – Serena is a champion.

“I drew her as she [Williams] is, as an African American woman. This whole business that I am some sort of racist, calling on racial cartoons from the past is just made up.”

News Corp’s Victorian MD Peter Blunden and Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston have also spoken out in defence of Knight.

Blunden tweeted: “Australia’s finest cartoonist Mark Knight has the strongest support of his colleagues for his depiction of Serena Williams’s petulance. It’s about bad behaviour, certainly not race. The PC brigade is way off the mark… again.

“Serena Williams has been revered by the Herald Sun for 20 years, and deservedly so. Does any outlet, anywhere, celebrate her achievements more than this? The notion of racism is totally misguided. A true legend, but her tantrums were news and warranted the attention.”

Johnston also used the microblogging platform to say: “@Knightcartoons [Mark Knight] cartoon is not racist or sexist… it rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend… Mark has the full support of everyone @theheraldsun.”

The Herald Sun has even dedicated its front page to the debacle surrounding Knight’s cartoon.

Serena Williams cartoon: Mark Knight drama likened to ‘blackface’ controversy

The cartoonist at the centre of international outrage over his depiction of Serena Williams’s US Open meltdown has defended his work saying he doesn’t feel he did “anything wrong”, report Tom Crystal and Olivia Caisley in The Australian.

Mark Knight, a cartoonist at the Herald Sun, told Sky News this evening he was saddened by public criticism regarding his portrayal of the tennis champion’s US Open defeat on Sunday.

“I don’t have a feeling in my gut that I’ve done something wrong,” Knight told Sky News. “I drew it not intending to comment on gender and racial politics in America, so I don’t feel bad about it.”

[Read the original]

For the second time in a month, Australian cartoonist Mark Knight of Melbourne’s Herald Sun is coming under fire for how he draws black people, writes Michael Cavna in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Over the weekend, Knight published his reaction to Saturday’s US Open women’s final – and in doing so, summoned the vile imagery popularised during the US’s Jim Crow era.

In the new cartoon, which mocks the heated exchanges between runner-up Serena Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos, Knight depicts the 23-time Grand Slam champion as a child throwing a tantrum as the umpire says to eventual champion Naomi Osaka, “Can you just let her win?”

[Read the original]

Every now and then an editorial cartoon can be something of a social commentary hand grenade – you pull the pin, roll it across the floor and put your fingers in your ears, writes Warren Brown in The Australian.

You’re aware of its explosive potential but sometimes, due to the fast pace of news, it’ll bounce down the stairs and into the garden where it can fizz.

But then there are times when unexpectedly even the most innocuous cartoon will go off – with spectacular results.

[Read the original]

Journalist charged after cyclist struck during McLaren test drive crash

A journalist has been charged after allegedly hitting a cyclist while test driving a supercar worth hundreds of thousands of dollars during a media event in Sydney’s north, reports Derrick Krusche in The Daily Telegraph.

Amelia Hungerford, 28, who writes for magazine Signature Luxury Travel and Style, was behind the wheel of a McLaren sports car when she allegedly struck the cyclist in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park on May 9.

Journalists had been invited by McLaren to test drive its new Sports Series vehicles, which attract prices upwards of $250,000.

[Read the original]


Decision day for Alan Jones in Wagner defamation case

The defamation suit launched by the Wagner family against broadcaster Alan Jones will be decided today, with the four Toowoomba brothers seeking up to $4.8 million in damages, reports Mark Schliebs in The Australian.

Three months after the final evidence in the case was heard, Supreme Court judge Peter Flanagan is scheduled to hand down his judgment this morning. It follows a seven-week trial over 32 broadcasts by Jones in 2014 and 2015.

The Wagner brothers alleged they were defamed by imputations that a “bund” – a wall of dirt – at a quarry they owned caused the deaths of 12 people in the 2011 Grantham floods. They have also sued over allegations that they built the Wellcamp airport outside of Toowoomba without proper approval and they engaged in cover-ups.

Jones and co-defendants Harbour Radio and 4BC have used the defence of truth over many of the imputations, and argued that expert hydrological evidence commissioned for the case showed there was a “surge” of water allegedly caused by the collapse of the bund.

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Golden era for animation: Rick and Morty win an Emmy

If this is the golden age of television, it is nowhere truer than for animated comedies, reports The Australian’s Justin Burke.

Some argue that the present abundance of series bears too great an artistic resemblance, describing it as “CalArts” (California Institute of the Arts) style, a school founded by Walt Disney.

Others observe the opposite. Matt Groening of The Simpsons, Futurama and Netflix’s Disenchantment fame recently told me: “The TV animation that we grew up with definitely had a sameness about the visuals, and what I am really gratified by is that all these (new) shows don’t look like anyone else’s.”

At the Creative Arts Emmy Awards last weekend, held ahead of next week’s 70th Primetime Emmy Awards proper, Rick and Morty won the outstanding animated program award ahead of veterans such as The Simpsons.

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There is space for more streaming services in Australia, says Netflix co-founder

Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph believes there is room for other on-demand streaming services to set up in Australia, but quality content is key to attracting and retaining customers, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

“Is there room for other players? Absolutely, and in fact I hope there is,” Randolph told The Australian during an interview.

“There’s no monopoly on great content. No one is monopolistic about this. I don’t just watch Netflix, I watch all kinds of streaming services. I watch cable, I watch over the air TV.

“They all serve different purposes, and the more there is, the more choice, the better for all of us,” said Randolph, who still owns a small stake in Netflix.

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The words that led to Shane Jacobson’s courtroom stoush

“This isn’t a barbecue,” reports Siobhan Duck in the Herald Sun.

These are the words that led from a wedding invitation to a bitter courtroom stoush between Shane Jacobson and his manager.

Court documents lodged by Jacobson’s lawyers in response to a complaint from Deb Fryers – his manager of 12 years – argue that she went on the warpath when the Little Big Shot host wouldn’t allow her to bring a guest to his wedding.

Fryers now wants a 15 to 20% cut of the $1 million her legal team argues Jacobson earned from his work on stage and screen as well as appearances and ad campaigns.

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Sports Media

Seven generously plugs Nine’s last cricket tournaments

“If you could only choose one,” Seven Network’s new 7 Cricket Twitter account tweeted on Friday, flourishing an image of the Ashes urn alongside one of the ICC Cricket World Cup, “what would you rather win?”, reports Joe Aston in The AFR.

For Seven chief Tim Worner, Seven’s head of sport Saul Shtein and head of cricket Dave Barham, the answer is easy: either of them! For next year, Australia will compete for both, taking on England in England over August and September, after the Old Enemy hosts the white ball trophy from May 30 to July 14. And Cricket Australia’s former domestic broadcaster Nine has already secured the broadcast rights for both tournaments.

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