tip off
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Tips and rumours

Party-watch at The Australian … why Fairfax management discovered the Twitter … time to tweet Jesus! …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Oz party-watch. The Australian is very excited about its upcoming 50th birthday. Yes, under the watchful eye of Rupert Murdoch, the first edition rolled off the presses back on July 15, 1964. The man himself, who has been holidaying with his family in Greece, flies into Sydney this weekend to prepare for a black-tie birthday dinner. It’s next Tuesday at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion (a function centre near Fox Studios). Tony Abbott, who once wrote for the Oz, will don the black tie to reminisce with Rupert. Editors and section editors will also attend. And there are rumours of other celebrities invited … we’re hearing the guest list runs to hundreds.

Chalking up 50 years as a newspaper is not a bad effort — but then, Rupert is in New York at the moment celebrating the 125th birthday of The Wall Street Journal. Why, that’s so old that not even Rupert could have founded it!

While regular Australian journos aren’t allowed into the black-tie shin-dig, they’re all being flown to Sydney for the staff party on July 26 at the Paddington Town Hall. Rupert will have left by then — but then one often has more fun without the boss at the staff party, right? Oz insiders who would like to contribute to Tips’ party-watch can email us here.

For the record, Crikey recently turned 14, and the occasion was celebrated by a fresh packet of Scotch Fingers in the office biscuit tin.

Fairfax welcomes “the internet”. Crikey told you recently of an edict Fairfax management sent to its entertainment reporters, ordering them to have at least 1000 Twitter followers within a year. Given how trashy Twitter can be, we’d have thought any entertainment reporter with less than 1000 followers is a rarity, but anyhow. Now Fairfax insiders tells us that management at The Age only “discovered” Twitter after the New York Times digital strategy was leaked to Buzzfeed in May this year (read the report here). We hear the NYTimes document was dissected at Fairfax, and various meetings were held, and the Twitter edict is the result. Some Fairfax scribes are drily noting they have been tweeting for many years. And behind management’s back, some are saying anyone who fails to meet quotas can just buy some followers (easy to do).

Time to tweet Jesus! Speaking of Twitter, are you missing a key handle in your feed? This cracking billboard for the Seventh Day Adventists in Washington thinks you are (and thanks to @saladinahmed for passing it on):

The irony of using Twitter to riff off the billboard (which is genuine) is delicious. The Crikey bunker is addicted to Twitter but, er, how do we reach Jesus? @jesus has 600,000 followers while @god has 140,000. The best bet for communion with them up above may be @TheTweetOfGod, with 1.4 million followers. This is one of God’s contributions from this morning. Touche …

Strewth never forgets. Crikey staff are quaking in their hipster brogues after being lashed with a wet lettuce leaf by The Australian’s Strewth writer James Jeffrey this morning. Did Chris Mitchell make you put that in, James? Because your heart didn’t seem in it …

Initially bewildered by this item, we think the Oz is talking about this Crikey article in August 2012 about the vampire murder, and this story in January 2011 about the Wivenhoe Dam. And far from apologising with the amusing gag that “our brain may have been briefly replaced with an artichoke” (please, James, that’s so 1990s — we’d prefer “foraged sea vegetables”), we’re delighted the Oz remembers our stories for so long. Keep reading, Chris!

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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  • 1
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Wednesday, 9 July 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering who might be providing the entertainment for The Australian’s 50th anniversary bash? As in, surely they need a performer, who represents all the class and integrity of a News Ltd publication. Hmmmmm……..what’s Rolf Harris doing these days?

  • 2
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 9 July 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if what most get’s up “The Bludger-Alien’s” nose is the fact that it doesn’t get to edit/manage “public interest” - what gets through/published - re the thoughts of ordinary punters, as much as it used?
    That there are ideas out here, other than the ones sanctioned by Murdoch’s troll-op-ed army as being “fit for publication/in the public interest” - beyond and contrary to Limited News con-troll - being spread around amongst the voting public - going “viral”?

  • 3
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Wednesday, 9 July 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Yep, congratulations …celebrating the 50th for a now moribund loss making never-mind sometime newspaper that few people buy anymore. Hooray!

  • 4
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 9 July 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    What is The Oz’s problem?
    Their idea of “Piracy”?
    They don’t like others doing what they think they have the only Right to do?

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