We’ve started a new feature of
small media stories in the subscriber sealed section each day, so keep
your eyes open for snippets we can run such as the following:

Sealed Section Feb  12

DRESS CODES AT THE WORST

In regards with yesterday’s brief, The West Australian’s copy runners
have also been ordered by the editor not to wear jeans and T-shirts,
even on Sundays.

COVER-UPS AT THE SUNDAY TERRITORIAN

More on Fred McCue, NT Chief Minister Clare Martin’s press sec, who is
being investigated by police after a bar room brawl in Darwin last
Friday night. An enterprising cadet on the Territory’s Sunday paper,
The Sunday Territorian, knew about the incident on Saturday and told
Tim Pigot the paper’s editor, who promptly shelved the story. Pigot is
a former Labor govt press sec, husband of bad-tempered Labor MLA Delia
Lawrie and a mate of McCue.

 =================================

Sealed Section Feb  11

TROUBLE AT SLM

A Daily Tele insider writes:

“There is much interest at The Daily Telegraph about the future of
Sydney Live Magazine (SLM). Advertising support is minimal, averaging
less than 20 per cent per issue even with house ads, and its inclusion
in Wednesday’s edition has done nothing for circulation. Staff have
come and gone, the deputy editor walked out after a dispute with editor
John McGourty, and was not replaced. Wilder rumours include the
possibility of it being folded into the 7 Days tabloid. Many a howler
too with corrections now published in The Daily Telegraph.”

CAN THE CENTRAL COAST EXTRA LAST?

There is much wonder about The Daily Telegraph’s Central Coast Extra
inset now that Fairfax has withdrawn from the battle. The Extra was cut
to 12 pages over Xmas and circulation is static. The News Ltd free
local paper, The Advocate, is now five-days a week and jam-packed with
ads so the future can’t be good.

TROUBLE AT THE SUNDAY TIMES

Management at Rupert’s Sunday Times in Perth have recently had to
withdraw a warning to a photographer after he had been suspended on
full pay for a week last year. After representation from the MEAA’s
Sinclair-Jones and Martin Saxon, a withdrawal of the sanction and a
rewrite of a letter to the offending photographer has been drafted.

The paper’s picture editor is under a bit of extra pressure as a result.

DELAYS AT THE WORST

At The West Australian, the sub-editors are battling a new five column
grid layout ready for a “relaunch” which has been put back from January
to April or May. Editor Paul Armstrong has apparently decreed that the
newspaper will be a better product by ordering subs not to wear jeans
and T-shirts , even on Sundays.

WHO IS JAMES MORROW?

A Tom Blair fan writes:

“You reported that Tim Blair and James Morrow were about to launch an
IPA attack on the ABC, but your correspondent didn’t know who James
Morrow is. You might be interested to know that he has a blog: http://www.gravett.org/dailyjames/

(Someone should tell him what “daily” means…)

He recently arrived in Sydney from the US. Tim Blair wasted no time in
getting him an occasional gig with The Australian -certainly a step up
from his former haunts (including US News & World Report, Reason
magazine, National Review Online, Ironminds.com).”

AGE KILLS HORSE

The Age horse racing section reported the following on Monday: “Sandown
Cup winner Legible – considered a leading hope for the major cups in
the spring – has been put down after breaking a leg in training. The
mare was owned by Lloyd Williams.”

On Tuesday it was corrected as follows: “It was incorrectly reported in
The Age yesterday that Sandown Classic winner Legible had been put
down.”

Lloyd and the bookies would have been a bit bemused by this one.

=================================

Sealed Section Feb  10

STAFF TROUBLES AT THE WEST

A West Australian writes:

“I must say I am surprised that no one has written about all the staff
who have left The West Australian in recent times. There has been a big
exodus of very good journos, who couldn’t get out fast enough. I’ve
heard that Geoff Thomas, the paper’s aviation writer left in disgust
with Paul “Headstrongs” Armstrong’s antics. There is talk that he wants
to make his mark in WA then go back to England. Most of the journos who
left wouldn’t be game to put something in Crikey if they ever wanted to
work at The West again.”

IPA ATTACK ON AUNTY’S WAR COVERAGE

A senior ABC journalist writes:

“Sometime next week, the Institute of Public Affairs will launch a new
publication – a ‘backgrounder’ on the ABC’s coverage of the war in Iraq.

The authors are Tim Blair and James Morrow.  I don’t know who
James Morrow is, but how can anyone take Tim Blair seriously anymore?”

=================================

Sealed Section Feb  9

DYKE SIGNS BOOK DEAL WITH MURDOCH

After his experience with former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten, you
would expect recently departed BBC director-general would not be
someone Rupert Murdoch would readily give more than $1 million to as an
advance for a hard-hitting book that will probably dump all over News
Corp’s British operations.

But it seems this is precisely what is happening, according to this story in The Guardian:
“Dyke got assurances from Murdoch book firm”

MIKE EDMONDS CLARIFICATION

Crikey carried an item last week stating that Herald Sun gossip
columnist Mike Edmonds is “friends” with Sarah Gibson, the ABC
journalist and wife of Mike Sutherland, the ABC part-timer whose nose
was broken at the Walkleys by his former boss Marco Bass.

Mike assures us he is not friends with Gibson and his item about some
union and harassment battles at the ABC came from a different source.

GHOULISH GIGGLES IN ADELAIDE

News of more tasteful reactions to the lurid circumstances surrounding
the arrest and death of Adelaide media and PR figure John Trenorden
have reached Crikey. Not only was some wag leaving messages on voice
mails pretending to be Trenorden last week, but a mobile number was
doing the rounds that let bored journos make a call and hear the man
himself announce on his own message bank “Hi.  It’s John Trenorden
here.  I can’t get to the phone.”

BOB MILLER AND 2UE

Southern Cross Broadcasting has once again demonstrated its complete
disregard for perceptions that it doesn’t worry too much about shock
jock ethics. That’s the only conclusion you can make following the
appointment of Bob Miller as General Manager of 2UE. Bob Miller is the
former Toyota marketing guru who came up with the whole concept of the
grubby Australian Bankers Association deal with his mate John Laws that
kicked off the cash for comment scandal.

HAS TOM BADDELEY SHAFTED THE AFR?

What seems to be going on with the ABC TV news at Perth? It seems that
Deborah Kennedy is being given the shove and Tom Baddeley (who had
resigned to go to the Australian Financial Review) is now the new
weeknights newsreader.

=================================

Sealed Section Feb 6

NEXT MEDIA UP FOR SALE

Publisher Phil Keir has just put Next Media up for sale. Wonder if
Kerry Stokes will follow the usual formula and buy the titles and then
close a few down? Check out the Next stable here as it includes
Internet.au, Rolling Stone Australia and a Wiggles publication:
http://www.nextmedia.com.au/whatwedo.htm

FAIRFAX BACK IN THE POACHING GAME

Crikey hears that the Sydney Morning Herald has made offers to four
different reporters on The Australian in recent weeks. Any names?

PUBLIC DEBATE IS NOT HECKLING

In the past 48 hours, ABC News online has run two “heckling” headlines:
“Latham heckled during regional tour” and “Blair heckled during Iraq debate”
 
Why is this news? Aren’t politicians supposed to be heckled? Or are we
so used to stage-managed public appearances by our elected leaders,
that the rarity of hecklers makes them newsworthy?
 Maybe the ABC News online subs are too young to remember when politicians engaged in public debate from their soapboxes

MORE TEN NEWS STUFF-UPS

On Monday right the Ten late news ran a Shaun Fewings story of police
road blocks at Hay picking up truckies trafficking drugs. Good story –
no problems. Except it was the second night they’d run the story. 
The Monday piece was almost exactly the same as the one that appeared
the previous night.

SNAPPERS DUMPED AT THE WEST

We understand three photographers at The West Australian were dumped
last Friday. One of them had been with the paper for more than 30 years.
 
=================================

Sealed section February 4

UNFORTUNATE HEADLINES

The Fin Review managed an unfortunate juxtaposition of headlines in yesterday’s email newsletter with a subject line that read:
 
“NAB shares climb; Hundreds die in stampede”
 
Presumably there’s no connection between Frank Cicutto’s resignation as
NAB CEO and the tragic deaths of 244 Muslin pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

MORE REHAME DEPARTURES

Some more news on the Rehame front.  It seems there is a little
trouble at the office as another internal staff member has resigned.
That’s three in as many weeks including the Regional Broadcast manager
and the National Print Manager.

STRANGE HEADLINES FROM NEWS.COM.AU

Who is in charge of the Newsbar at the top right hand corner of
News.com.au’s website? The headlines “Pubic hair found in desert” and
“Schoolbook Porn for kids” were displayed on Tuesday morning’s website.
Do they really think viewers of their website would be rushing to view
these items or that they are newsworthy?

A SPRAY FOR PAUL SHEEHAN

Many journalists, including Crikey, are complete tech luddites and it
seems SMH heavyweight Paul Sheehan is being accused of exactly that in
this piece – “Spam, Viruses and shooting your mouth off” – for his
coverage of the Mydoom virus:

MORE UNFORTUNATE HEADLINES

The Age’s otherwise excellent online site was up until recently running
its photo-essay section called “Marvellous Melbourne” right above its
dark and brooding expose on the chilly city’s criminal underculture,
titled “Murderous Melbourne”.

I am sure a link to Tourism Victoria’s home page would be appropriate.
 
LATE NIGHT HI-JINKS ON TEN

Viewers of last night’s late editions of Ten News and Sports Tonight
would have enjoyed the zany antics of the respective crews if they were
watching closely.

Sultry Sandra Sully kicked off proceedings presenting the bulletin’s
wrap up story on US Groundhog Day celebrations – only to have the story
played twice before viewers went back to a blushing Sully who was
clearly in on the joke.

Matthew White on Sports Tonight followed Sully’s lead with the intro
vision to the story on Andy Bichel’s axing from the one day cricket
squad also being played twice, followed by White declaring during the
story on Zimbabwe’s poor showing against India at Perth that “it was
groundhog day for Zimbabwe”.

=================================

Sealed section February 3

KAREN’S BACK

An Adelaide Advertiser journalist writes:

“Karen Porter has been back at the Tiser for less than a week and is
already treating people with little respect. Clearly, she hasn’t learnt
much about people skills during her unhappy time as editor of The
Sunday Mail.”

LITERAL OF THE DAY FROM THE AGE

“The Labor Party stands to loose at least $70,000 a year in donations
after leader Mark Latham’s pledge to reject all donations from tobacco
companies.”

THE UNFORTUNATE HEADLINE JUXTAPOSITION AWARD

On page two of today’s Herald Sun were two headlines that should never
have gone together: ‘Molester flees on day release’, and ‘Good news,
kids’.

Oh dear.

Peter Fray

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