The Guardian is opening a Melbourne office, making editors around the Victorian capital nervous. Plus Crikey’s White Night coverage and other media tidbits of the day.
Guardian on the Yarra (we don’t mean Fairfax). Melbourne editors beware: The Guardian’s after your top journos. The British newspaper has announced the opening of a Melbourne bureau, just nine months after it first established a foothold in Australia. Its current bureau, which employs close to 40 people, is in Sydney, and after reportedly faster-than-average growth, expansion’s on the cards.
Page views from Australia to theguardian.co.uk were up 70% year-on-year in January, editor-in-chief Kath Viner says (though it is worth noting the company launched theguardian.co.uk/au in May last year). Managing director Ian McClelland adds that Guardian Australia has surpassed all expectations in terms of both traffic and revenue.
“We are well ahead of business plan and thrilled that we can bring forward our planned geographic expansion into Melbourne, as well as increase our in-house brand partnership and production capabilities,” he said. “We are very keen to hear from smart, hard-working people in the market who want to work for a world-class organisation like The Guardian.” Watch this space for high-profile poachings. — Myriam Robin
ABC journos gear up for budget cuts. On the night before the last election, Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised no cuts to the ABC. “I trust everyone actually listened to what Joe Hockey actually said last week and again this week — no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no cuts to pensions, no changes to GST. And no cuts to the ABC and SBS.” Given the public attacks launched on the ABC by the government in recent weeks, however, the ABC’s union delegates are worried Abbott plans to go back on that promise, potentially by cutting funding to the Australia Network.
They called an emergency union meeting at the ABC offices last week to figure out how to deal with this, and in a statement posted to all ABC journalists yesterday, they called on ABC management to “publicly express explicit support for continued Australia Network funding and the need for the federal government to honour the triennial funding arrangements for the corporation which began last year”. Any changes to ABC funding, they note, would “seriously diminish independent journalism throughout Australian and across Asia and the Pacific”. — Myriam Robin
Crikey’s special #whitenightreview coverage. Tomorrow evening one of the biggest events on the Australian cultural calendar unfolds in Melbourne: the second White Night festival. Following last year’s inaugural event, which drew more than 300,000 people to the city centre, Melbourne’s CBD will again be awash with bright lights, loud sounds and more than its fair share of hairy hipsters.
Crikey’s cultural offshoot Daily Review will offer special independent coverage of the event via our hashtag #whitenightreview. If you’re out and about on the night, tune into the hashtag via our official Twitter stream and be sure to fire off your own tweets using #whitenightreview. Join the spirit of edgy independent coverage and share what you think of the event. For those who are interstate, check out the hashtag throughout the night. There’ll be some sights to see … — Luke Buckmaster
The Daily Telegraph’s ad bonanza. In the first 35 pages of today’s Daily Telegraph, a full 13 pages were taken up by full-page ads. That’s a full 37% of the space just on full-page ads — once you count half-page and quarter-page ads it would rise further. The Herald Sun had the same result — 13 full page ads in the first 35 pages. Who said the ad market was tough?
Video of the day. We can’t resist this supercut of American news anchor Brian Williams rapping Rapper’s Delight. “I said a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie to the hip-hop and you don’t stop …”
Front page of the day: Russian punk activist band Pussy Riot were beaten by Russian security members (Cossacks, in this case) with horse whips in Russia overnight. Here’s the New York Post’s tasteful take on the event (though we can’t help but appreciate the pun) …