News Corp claims to have 200,000 digital subscribers — but is someone putting their thumb on the scales? Plus other media tidbits of the day.
Online access will cost you at News. News Corporation raised eyebrows yesterday with its claim to have 200,000 digital subscribers, which apparently included subscribers to its online Supercoach competition as well as for investment newsletter Eureka Report as well as figures for its capital city papers. In July of last year it claimed 100,000 digital subscribers, but that total only included figures from papers such as The Australian, the Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph. But buried at the end of the press release was the real story — many of those digital subscribers are to be charged more for the dubious privilege of online access:
“News Corp Australia also announced modest prices rises of $1/week for digital subscriptions to The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail and $2/week to The Advertiser and Herald Sun.”
That’s an extra $52 a year for digital subscribers to the Tele and The Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and $104 a year for The Advertiser in Adelaide and Herald Sun in Melbourne. We’ve no idea how much that will cost subscribers because News didn’t provide any figures for comparison purposes, or any data on just how many people subscribed to the four papers, which are News Corp Australia’s main tabloids. Note also there was no increase for the struggling broadsheet, The Australian. At the last audit report in February, the Oz had 57,000 digital subscribers, which is also the only figure given for any of the papers. — Glenn Dyer
ABC’s Double J goes live. At noon today, the sound of Myf Warhurst’s voice filled my ears. And not a moment too soon. Tuning in at 11.45, 15 minutes before Double J, the ABC’s newest internet radio station was due to launch, I’ve been treated to no less than three different covers of NWA’s Express Yourself. It’s a reference to a day in 1989 that saw Triple J play the song for 24 hours straight as its presenters went on strike. The first song played after the station launched today was … Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Get Ready for Love. He’s both Double J and Triple J’s most-played artist, for good reason. For anyone keen to relive their youth, the station is here. — Myriam Robin
Brothers in arms. Readers of The Huffington Post were told in no uncertain terms which Indonesian candidate is best for the country in a glowing op-ed by Hashim Djojohadikusumo, a founding member of Indonesia’s Gerindra Party. In an endorsement for his party’s candidate, former military strongman Prabowo Subianto, Hashim writes:
“Corruption, income inequality, and religious intolerance represent three of the most critical threats to the future of Indonesia. Prabowo Subianto, the leader of the Gerindra party, is the only candidate to share his vision and policies for meeting these and other challenges and ensuring a better Indonesia for the next generation.”
Of course Hashim is fond of Prabowo, since they are members of the same party. But it turns out their connection is deeper than that. Prabowo is actually Hashim’s older brother — a disclosure that was notably absent from HuffPo’s op-ed.
Video of the day. TV news types are celebrating the life of veteran newscaster Ian “Roscoe” Ross, who died from pancreatic cancer this morning. Director of Seven News, Sydney, Chris Willis, paid tribute to Ross in a statement:
“We all loved Roscoe. He was the consummate newsman and a wonderful human being. He had incredibly high professional standards and could be a tough task master. He led our news brilliantly in the time he was here.”
Here’s one tribute on the day he retired from Channel Seven’s Sydney bulletin in 2009 …
Front page of the day. Tornadoes are ripping through the southern United States, with more than a dozen dead …