Roundup: Australia’s Eurovision entrant, Adelaide Fringe, Herd MSL


US tax breaks, Nicola Bulley, Cummins&Partners, Gogglebox, Australian Idol

Business of Media

US local news outlets need tax breaks to help save democracy, says advocate

Local news organizations across the United States need to be given serious government financial help, especially in the form of tax breaks, in order to stave off a crisis in the media sector and help save US democracy, a leading advocate for non-profit journalism has said, reports The Guardian’s Erum Salam.

Steven Waldman, co-founder of Report for America, said a new initiative, called Rebuild Local News, wanted to revitalize hundreds of local news outlets across America decimated by changes in the industry, shifts in the sector’s advertising revenue structure and more recently, the pandemic.

The Rebuild Local News coalition is pushing for a comprehensive list of tax credits to keep afloat local newsrooms, such as a tax refund for local news digital subscribers, payroll tax credits for hiring and retaining local reporters, and a tax credit for small businesses to advertise in local news outlets.

Waldman and his coalition estimate that it would bring in $3.5bn of relief to the local news economy via “philanthropy, businesses, consumers and the government”.

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News Brands

The Advertiser appears to be boycotting Adelaide Fringe festival after ad deal breaks down

Rupert Murdoch’s South Australian tabloid, the Advertiser, appears to have largely boycotted the Adelaide Fringe festival after a sponsorship arrangement between Australia’s biggest arts festival and its hometown paper broke down, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

Local art critics who review for the masthead claim an editor at the Advertiser contacted them individually and said “it’s all off; you’re not reviewing anything this year”, breaking a long tradition of support between the Fringe and the Advertiser.

The Fringe director, Heather Croall, has confirmed the festival has not placed any advertising with the Advertiser for the first time in recent years and says it is “deeply disappointing” there has been sparse coverage.

The festival’s opening weekend was largely ignored by the paper despite the attendance of 330,000 people and the opening of more than 1,280 shows.

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Nicola Bulley’s family attack UK media after missing mum’s body found

The family of Nicola Bulley have released a statement attacking the media following the identification of her body, reports Press Gazette’s Dominic Ponsford.

The 45-year-old went missing while walking her dog in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire on 27 January and her body was identified on Monday after being found in the river Wyre on Sunday.

The case has prompted huge media interest.

The family have claimed that Paul Ansell, Bulley’s husband, was “vilified” in the press.

And they particularly singled out ITV and Sky News for allegedly contacting them despite their request for privacy.

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Microsoft Australia appoints Herd MSL to its PR account

Microsoft Australia has appointed Herd MSL as its Australian PR agency partner following a competitive tender.
The PR and integrated communications agency will support Microsoft’s Australian business with strategic counsel, thought leadership, PR campaigns, and creative storytelling and will work across the breadth of Microsoft’s business, excluding gaming.
Ogilvy PR remains the agency of record for Microsoft’s gaming business, including Xbox, which was not part of the tender process.
Liz Greene, communications director, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, said of the appointment: “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
“As communicators, our role is to help people connect with our mission in a meaningful way and to help our customers understand the role that Microsoft and our products play in empowering every Australian to achieve more.
“Throughout the tender process the team at Herd MSL clearly demonstrated how they can deliver impactful communications and support us in bringing our mission to life. We can’t wait to get stuck in and do some great work together.

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Cummins&Partners hits refresh as it reveals its new presence and rebranding

Cummins&Partners has hit refresh with a new presence that has come to market this week.
After 11 years in business, the creative/media agency has set up as a micro-network creative consultancy across Melbourne, Sydney, and New York.
Michael McConville, global CEO of cummins&partners, welcomed the launch day. He said: “We’ve spent the last few months redefining what creativity means for us and our clients.

“This agency launched with something fresh, based on our unique output at the time. Now we’ve found what will be fresh for the years ahead. Not just what we do, but how we do it.”
The creative company has a renewed focus on creativity, media, content, design, interactive experiences and story-making. It has also spent time reshaping its offering, work practices, values, and personnel.

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SBS make captain’s call to send synth metal rockers Voyager to 2023 Eurovision Song Contest

The shock decision to send a band to represent Australia for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest could prove to be a surprise vote winner with fans, reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.

After axing this year’s Australia Decides contest to choose our 2023 representative, SBS has backed synth metal band Voyager from a secret shortlist of five acts.

Voyager may not be a household name like previous contenders, including Guy Sebastian and Dami Im, but they are well known to the Eurovision fanbase.

They stormed home to win the fan televote at last year’s Australia Decides contest, ultimately coming a very close second to Sheldon Riley when the overall vote was tallied.

Voyager is a strategic choice by SBS. Social media posts with the #VoyagerForEurovision hashtag began back in 2015.

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Gogglebox stars give update on Emmie Silbery’s dementia diagnosis

Gogglebox Australia stars Isabelle and Kerry Silbery sit down for an emotional interview on last night’s episode of The Project, opening up about the family’s matriarch being diagnosed with dementia, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.

Isabelle, mum Kerry and grandmother Emmie have been one of Gogglebox Australia’s most popular households since the show started in 2015 – but the Silberys made the sad announcement earlier this month that 94-year-old Emmie would no longer be able to appear on the show due to her dementia diagnosis.

“The hardest part was actually telling her she wasn’t going to be on Gogglebox anymore,” Emmie’s daughter Kerry tells Project host Sarah Harris, saying they had to once more explain to Emmie that it was because she has dementia.

“She said, ‘I’m perfectly alright! I’m not gaga!’”

“This is real life. Emmie is no longer able to do the show, and we wanted to be really transparent about that and not have her disappear off the couch,” said Isabelle.

Elsewhere in the interview, Isabelle broke down as she spoke about the “long goodbye” she was experiencing with her ailing grandmother.

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Australian Idol 2023: meet the Top 12

Australian Idol last night locked onto its Top 12 contestants for 2023, reports TV Tonight.

The diverse group ranges in age from 15 – 28 from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, with a variety of singing and performing styles.

Performance shows begin Sunday night on Seven before Live Results shows on Monday night.

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