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Media briefs: farewelling Williams … Insight walk-off … ad-free magazines …

The world, and the Australian media, farewells Robin Williams. And other media tid-bits of the day.

Farewelling Williams. Commercial networks usually have some sort of cobbled-together clip to show when Star X dies, that they can label as “a celebration of …”. If they’re really cheap, they’ve got an off-the-shelf profile half-hour made by some studio when they’re spruiking X’s new movie, which, with some new cheap titles, becomes a trip down memory lane. But hats off to Channel 10, who got a nearly 8% audience boost on last Tuesday after it took the DVD of Mrs Doubtfire off the shelf, plugged it in the machine at 8.30pm last night and labelled the slot “A Tribute to Robin Williams”. Yes, it was. But remember, 10, it has to be back by Friday, otherwise fines begin to accrue.

Still, we all mourn in our own way. 7Mate’s episode of Family Guy featured a routine in which something was judged as difficult a task as “Robin Williams’ agent pretending he’s still funny”. Cut to Robin Williams sitting disconsolately at home, telling bad gags. Had a documentary feel. Maaaaaaate. — Guy Rundle

Speaking of which, yesterday’s news was all jihadis and Williams, and The Courier-Mail and The Daily Telegraph tried to get both in the one story in their Williams coverage. “He was a stand-up guy, but jihadis don’t get the joke”, a Courier-Mail headline told readers, before going through the tweets of a few Islamist Twitter accounts slamming Williams for making jokes about Islam. An abridged version of the same article ran in the Daily Tele. — Myriam Robin

Insight walk-out. SBS’ Insight program took a dramatic turn last night during a segment on Australian Muslims who travel overseas to conflicts in Iraq and Syria, either on humanitarian missions or as jihadis. Host Jenny Brockie spoke to several Australian citizens who travelled to the Middle East or supported those who did, including 19-year-old Abu Bakr, who supports terrorist group Islamic State (formerly ISIS). Bakr declared that “ISIS doesn’t want to bring anything but justice … This is what ISIS wants to bring — justice, peace and humanitarian aid to the people.” Brockie then showed a video clip of IS fighters shooting at cars and rounding up a group of unarmed men to be murdered. After the clip, Bakr said: “No comment. If you have any other questions about it, direct them to my lawyer.” Another audience member brought up the slaughter of Christians in Mosul, which riled up Bakr. “If you kill an innocent life it’s like you kill the whole of humanity. If you save an innocent life it is like you are saving the whole of humanity … You can’t judge while you’re sitting here,” he countered. Bakr said that if western troops did not withdraw from Muslim countries, “something will happen here”. A few minutes later, Brockie began talking about cancelled passports. Bakr, who has had his passport cancelled by Australian authorities, stormed out.

The magazine with no ads. Wonder how much money you save by reading the ads in magazines? $5 off the cover price, suggests the launch of a new Australian magazine that’s ditched the ads. Selling at $15 a pop, Australian Womankind editor Antonia Case told Crikey’s sister publication Women’s Agenda that the new magazine is priced about $5 more expensively than ad-filled rivals. Case aims to provide readers with a weightier, more philosophical women’s magazine, one that allows readers to “opt out” of the advertisements. Case says that with no advertising, they focus entirely on the reader as their clients, noting that the question of advertising begs the question “how much is your mind worth?” — Read the full piece on Women’s Agenda. 

Front page of the day. The Chicago Tribune farewells its native son …

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  • 1
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    19-year-old Abu Bakr the ignorant young chappie who gets his facts from Facebook walks out of the SBS Insight program; the Australian nation takes notice. Give me a break. Take him for a walk in Kings Cross maybe someone will sucker punch him.

  • 2
    Bento
    Posted Thursday, 14 August 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Geez Bill. Violence is your solution to violence? That always works….

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