Roundup: Love Island drama, Social Media Inquiry, Vogue Australia

Love Island

• New Supercars CEO, Dean Jaensch, and SBS

Business of Media

Chairman Barclay Nettlefold announces Shane Howard as new Supercars CEO

Supercars has appointed long-serving chief operating officer Shane Howard to replace Sean Seamer as the head of the organisation, with a clear remit to continue the domestic and international success of one of Australia’s most popular sports.

Howard brings more than two decades of experience to Supercars’ top job at a time of change under new owners, Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd (RACE).

Shane Howard

Howard was selected from a high calibre list of professional business and sporting leaders from around Australia and the globe.

He has spent nearly 20 years ingrained within Supercars management, having first worked with the organisation at the 1997 Bathurst 1000.

Having guided Supercars through previous leadership changes, Howard brings a wealth of experience to the top job across business development, operations, marketing and live entertainment.

In 2001, Howard was handpicked by founder Tony Cochrane to head up Supercars Events.

Howard supported the Supercars’ Hall of Fame inductee to develop marquee street circuit events and the global expansion of Supercars, including races in China, the Middle East and the USA.

A well-known Gold Coast based executive with four decades of experience in various forms of domestic and international motorsport, Howard was named as a founding member of the Supercars Commission, originally chaired by Mark Skaife in 2011.

He currently oversees Supercars’ Event Management and Motorsport Operations and is the organisation’s key liaison with various government organisations.

Supercars chairman Barclay Nettlefold said: “As an incredibly talented businessman, Shane brings many great qualities and experience to the leadership role within the organisation.

“He is well credentialed and enjoys support from a wide cross section of business and community leaders as the right person for the role.

“Just as importantly, he has a deep understanding of the sport, the teams, our key stakeholders and fans.

“With Gen3 hitting the track in 2023 and international borders beginning to reopen, he has a clear strategic vision for the future of Supercars which the new ownership group fully supports.

“He is an outstanding leader with a proven track record in guiding Supercars’ operations.

“He is genuinely passionate about Supercars and we are very pleased to appoint him into the Chief Executive role.”

Howard will commence in the role as CEO from February 1, 2022 prior to the opening round of the Repco Supercars Championship, which begins in Newcastle on March 4-6.

Social Media Inquiry told: ‘Big tech must be punished for allowing abuse’

Online abuse victim Noelle Martin has revealed the torment she endured after bullying from anonymous trolls who published photoshopped pornographic­images of her, saying not enough was being done to punish social media sites and perpetrators, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

Broadcaster and journalist Erin Molan also spoke of the relentless online abuse she experienced, noting there was “no incentive for them to stop”.

The pair addressed the Inquiry into Social Media and Online Safety on Tuesday, detailing the pain they both experienced at the hands of online trolls and urging tougher measures be implemented to end abuse.

The inquiry has received dozens of submissions by many groups, including social media platforms Meta (Facebook), Twitter, TikTok Australia, media regulator the Australian Communi­cations and Media Authority and other industry entities, including Free TV Australia and the Digital Industry Group Inc (Digi).

The inquiry will continue with further hearings this week.

The findings will be contained in its report to be tabled in parliament on February 15.

[Read more]

Erin Molan tells Social Media Inquiry online troll threatened to harm her daughter

Television personality Erin Molan has revealed that she feared going outside due to vicious online trolling – but when she reported a threat to kill her unborn baby to Facebook it told her it didn’t meet the threshold for “inappropriate” content, reports News Corp’s Ashleigh Gleeson.

The 39-year-old Sky News contributor relayed countless examples of sickening abuse – including someone writing they would rape her two-year-old – while giving evidence to a powerful parliamentary inquiry into social media and online safety on Tuesday.

[Read more]

News Brands

Flinders University politics guru and Advertiser columnist Dean Jaensch dies aged 85

Renowned political expert and long-time Advertiser columnist Dean Jaensch has died at the age of 85, reports The Advertiser’s Gabriel Polychronis.

The highly respected commentator and Flinders University professor has been remembered by colleagues as a “fiercely intellectual” academic who was never afraid to speak his mind.

His wife Helen said he was a “wonderful husband and father”, who also made an “extraordinary contribution” in his professional life.

“He gave so much to so many and gave freely of his time to many thousands across the community,” Mrs Jaensch said.

“He was just an amazing person and I am so lucky to have had him part of our family and as my best friend for more than 60 years.”

He took a particular interest in South Australian politics and wrote a column for The Advertiser for more than 20 years.

[Read more]

Hong Kong journalist warns loss of press freedom could happen elsewhere

Journalists in Hong Kong, where independent newsrooms have been squashed and punished and squeezed out of existence, have a message for the rest of us, reports CCN’s Reliable Sources.

What has happened in their once-vibrant media hub, they say, could happen to you.

CNN’s Ivan Watson captured this sentiment in an in-depth report for Reliable Sources. One of his many interviewees was a woman named Connie, a 16-year veteran of Hong Kong newsrooms, who most recently worked at Apple Daily before it was raided by police last June. Now the paper is closed and Connie is unemployed and, as Watson said, she “doesn’t want her full name published for safety reasons.”

Connie told Watson that “I’m thinking of leaving Hong Kong” because “this is not safe anymore.” And she said, “I just hope that anyone [who] still have freedom of speech, just, you must hold it tight.”

That climate of fear helps explain why some journalists have left the industry altogether.

Ronson Chan, ex-deputy assignment editor at Stand News, which shuttered in December, told Watson that it was dangerous to even talk to him. “I’m afraid that it will become evidence,” Chan said, “saying that we’ve become an agent of a foreign power. But I still think that I have to speak out about what [has] happened in Hong Kong.”

[Watch the report here]


Vogue Australia celebrates 30th anniversary of West & Lees’ Big Day Out

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the institution that put Nirvana centre stage in Sydney, Vogue Australia via writer Brodie Lancaster has reflected back on the phenomenon that was the Big Day Out.

Whether it was the summer dates, those incredible line-ups or the feeling you were a part of something bigger than yourself, there was nothing quite like the Big Day Out – before or since – in Australia’s musical landscape.

Thirty years ago this month, music promoters Ken West and Vivian Lees first set their sights on transforming the Sydney leg of the Violent Femmess 1992 Australian tour into something bigger than just another gig.

“There was not a festival scene then,” West reflects now. He felt both protective of the growing alternative music scene, and conscious of the bigger promoters hovering around underground acts, ready to out-spend the little guys like West who had earned his stripes touring international acts.

On the day the inaugural Big Day Out was announced in November, it sold 52 tickets. Eight weeks later, right before they’d take to the stage that day, Nirvana’s Nevermind went number one on the Billboard charts. It changed everything. It was luck, a stroke of genius or both, and in the decades since history has been rewritten to retroactively frame Nirvana as headliners of the little festival that could.

[Read more]


Love Islanders to be named and shamed for not declaring paid-for Instagram posts

UK social media stars including Jodie Marsh and five ex-Love Islanders including Francesca Allen (pictured) are to be subjected to a name and shame Instagram campaign by the UK’s advertising watchdog for continuing to flout social media marketing rules, reports The Guardian.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which issued a final warning to 122 UK-based Instagram influencers over repeatedly failing to tell followers when they were paid to promote products in posts, has resorted to using the social media platform to highlight their behaviour to users.

The ASA has created personalised ads that name the social influencers – Marsh, Allen, twins Jess and Eve Gale, Belle Hassan and Anna Vakili – stating that they have been sanctioned for not declaring paid posts to followers and pointing to a webpage listing all of those who “break these rules”.

[Read more]

Sports Media

SBS out of touch, says axed cycling commentator Robbie McEwen

SBS is facing a fierce backlash over its decision to dump former Australian cycling champion and broadcaster Robbie McEwen from its coverage, reports Sophie Smith in The Sydney Morning Herald.

McEwen won 12 stages of the Tour de France during his racing career and since his retirement in 2012 has become a popular caller and studio analyst.

The three-time green jersey champion on Sunday announced just hours after commentating from the Australian national road championships that he’d been cut from the network.

McEwen said he was not provided with a valid reason for being dropped.

“I’m assuming someone is pushing their own agenda in axing me. I loved doing it & I’m really disappointed. Direct your opinions to @CyclingCentral @SBSSport & attn to the executive producer if you’d like to let them know how you feel about it,” he continued.

SBS said in a statement issued after McEwen’s announcement: “Robbie has been a valued member of our cycling commentary line-up for a number of events over the last six years, but we’re exploring a different approach in 2022.

“While his contract has come to an end, we thank Robbie for all that he’s brought to the role during his time with us.”

[Read more]

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