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Media briefs: Tele fear … Totaro takes UK … new Block revealed …

Planet Hillary, scaremongering and more media tidbits.

More Daily Tele scaremongering. As a sidebar to a story about a 17-year-old who was allegedly raped in Strathfield train station, The Daily Telegraph sent journo Jim O’Rourke to ride Sydney trains and drum up some fear among female passengers travelling alone. Under the ludicrous headline “Travelling alone is a dangerous and scary plan”, the story details the reactions of three women whom O’Rourke told about the alleged assault. Two of the three said they had not heard of the case before O’Rourke told them, and after being told all three said they were now frightened …

Daily Telegraph

Let’s put this in perspective. According to a 2011 report by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, the rate of personal crimes on NSW trains on a typical weekday is about 0.3 incidents per 100,000 journeys. Of these, just 0.6% are sexual assaults. The likelihood of being raped on any given journey is 1.8 in 100 million. As a comparison, the likelihood of being struck by lightning at some point in your life is one in 6250. The odds of being canonised by the Catholic Church are one in 20 million, and the odds of dying in the bath or shower are one in 2232. But the Tele has never let the facts get in the way of a good fear campaign.  — Cassidy Knowlton

Aussie journo heads foreign press. Former Fairfax scribe Paola Totaro has been elected president of the Foreign Press Association in London. She’s the first Australian to hold the position. The Foreign Press Association has a colourful history — it began in 1888 when European journalists flocked to London to cover the grisly murders of Jack the Ripper (a major news event that pushed the sales of several British dailies above 1 million copies for the first time). Today, the organisation provides UK Press Card accreditation to 1500 journalists every year, and hosts briefings and press conferences by prominent British movers and shakers.

Two-time Walkley finalist Totaro was posted to London in 2008 as Europe correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She remains in London despite no longer being with Fairfax, now writing freelance for The Guardian and The Australian. —  Myriam Robin

The Block’s next reno site. Six split-level, atrium apartments above two restaurants in a converted Prahran office block is the next ambitious renovation proposal by the producers of hit Channel 9 television show The Block. Production company Watercress has spent $8.25 million on the 1980s office building near trendy Chapel Street opposite Swinburne University’s Prahran campus. The $2.5 million Brenchley Architects infill works schedule for the three-storey 3540-square-metre building will be mostly internally.

The shop-top dwelling application proposes to convert the existing office building into a mixed-use development, comprising six three-bedroom dwellings along with two roof terraces for two of the apartments, plus a pergola in the front setback. Each apartment will have an 18-square-metre terrace. There will be solar access into all apartments from skylights in the roof.

The Watercress application, which comes with a cumulative $10.75 million outlay on purchase and renovation outlay, still awaits City of Stonnington planning approval. The next series The Block: Fans v Favourites begins next week with the historic Dux House warehouse renovation at 47 O’Grady Street in Albert Park, which sold by interests associated with billionaire businessman Lloyd Williams last year for $5.9 million.  — Jonathan Chancellor (read the full story at Property Observer)

Front page of the day. The New York Times Magazine has turned Hillary Clinton into a planet. A weird, flesh-coloured planet …

NY Times Magazine

Video of the day. Television talking head-turned-fabulously outspoken writer and commentator Tracey Spicer has had it with all the time she spends on her appearance each day. So she stripped down and showed a recent TEDx event in Brisbane an alternative …

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    Alex Cruickshank
    Posted Monday, 27 January 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, this presentation by Tracey Spicer is not an original piece of work! Journalist Suzanne Mostyn did exactly this nearly 2 years ago on live television during her segment on Channel 7’s The Morning Show. It was fascinating viewing, so much so, that Suzanne was asked to then write a follow up piece in The Telegraph. Here is the link to her written piece which also shows images from the show:
    http://twitter.yfrog.com/z/nv5lklnj
    As a proud sister, I am disappointed to see Suzanne’s work being copied without acknowledgement.

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