Crikey



Media briefs: Palmer’s papers … anonymous sources … damn those bookies …

We’ll believe it when we see it. If the thought of Clive Palmer launching a newspaper sounds familiar, that’s because it should. Yesterday Australia’s favourite eccentric billionaire tweeted that Rupert Murdoch would soon have a new Australian newspaper competitor, “as I’ve registered the trademark Australasian Times”.

Palmer fit in an interview with The Age before his Q&A appearance, telling Fairfax that he’s also seeking to set up a site where News Corp journalists can anonymously dish the dirt on their company.

But it’s not the first time Palmer has threatened to move into publishing. In July 2013, for example, he lodged a trademark application for The Australian Times. That application is still pending, but it appears to have hit a snag as there’s a series of community publications that already exist under the Australian Times banner, as well as a site for Australian expats in the UK that goes by the same name.  After a burst of publicity, Palmer’s publishing dreams sank, seemingly without a trace. It remains to be seen whether the same will happen this time. —  Myriam Robin

Only spokespeople quoted here. The issue of anonymous sources continues to divide the American press, with many concerned that the use of anonymous sources acts to shield those who should be accountable while providing a smokescreen through which political actors can trash their opponents with little consequence. Writing for Reuters, Jack Shafer slams The New York Times for giving away anonymity too easily:

The Times has cited anonymous sources in at least 25 stories in the past seven days. Behind the scenes, labored negotiations may be governing who gets to speak anonymously in the paper, but from the outside it looks like the Times will give you a mask if you simply ask. In an Aug 5 story about the multimillion-dollar deals the stars of The Big Bang Theory just won, the Times attributes its information about the deals to ‘people with knowledge of the outcome, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private’.

Are not most financial negotiations private, or have I missed public ones conducted at the Hollywood Bowl between stars and producers? By applying such low standards to sourcing, the Times essentially places a placard in its window announcing its availability to any source who wants to anonymously spill details about negotiations. I’m not such a sourcing absolutist that I rule out all anonymity. But if the Times is going to be pliant, at least it can be honest about its pliancy, rephrasing its justification to say, ‘the sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Times always rolls over for them in stories like these’.”

Damn those bookies. We all know ad banners are auto-loading and are rarely paired to the article they appear over, but still, this isn’t a good look. Crikey was sent this from an Age reader, who described it as “unfortunate”.

Video of the Day. Lee Lin Chin’s adventures in comedy continue, and she’s roped along a few “friends”.

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Categories: MEDIA, Media briefs

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  1. I hope Clive has a go at publishing a newspaper. After all, his efforts couldn’t be any worse than the current crop of drongos cr+p!
    Especially that found in ALL Ltd News publications!!

    by CML on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:57 am

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