This week Therese Catanzariti get her first review form a Fin in
Australia, a subscriber questions the stats behind the ABC’s feature My Favourite Book and we have all the feedback on the Walkleys.

Gimme the stats on My Favourite Book

I thought the My Favourite Book on the ABC was lots of fun last
night. There were some good ideas in their presentation which could be
copied for other awards programs.

However, I noticed we heard nothing about the details of the votes – no
raw figures and even no percentages. We were only told the ranking of
the top 10, and a few snippets about the top 100.

In the top 10, two books tied for equal ninth. What! That makes me
suspicious that we are talking about really small numbers of votes
here. In the SMH we are told there were 15,000 voters and 5,000 different book titles. An average of 3 votes per book.

Does anyone know the raw figures? My guess is that the winners got
about 100 votes and the equal ninth books got about 10 votes.

Yours in statistics.
Paul

Therese’s view of lunchtime in Helsinki

Being a Finn, it has been interesting to read about Therese’s
experiences in Finland. If I had a wild guess she is missing Australia
and its lovely sunshine, the food, fresh vegetables and tasty fish. I
have enjoyed barramundi a lot! It takes Finnish “sisu” to an Australian
live in Finland and especially during the long winter months (from
November to March). I really admire her to have taken the challenge of
living there!

Many of the perceptions she offers to Crikey’s readers are valid but
some seem to be relatively weird. Having said that I must wonder how
many Finns she actually has met: “Finns have porridge for breakfast. I
have never met a Finn who doesn’t have porridge for breakfast.” As for
myself and other Finnish people I know (well, I’m a Finn studying in
Australia at the moment), I can assure you that Finns eat variety of
breakfasts; coffee/latte/tea, sandwiches, croissants, French
bread/muesli etc.

It is true that the staff cafeterias offer sometimes poor variety of
food, and yes, people carry their food on the trays by themselves, I
guess that is the price we have to pay to have corporate subsidised
lunches. Furthermore, there are several international restaurants in
Helsinki offering eg. Indian, Thai, Japanese, Nepalese, Chinese,
French, and yes, Mexican food, too. But of course, by mentioning them
one could not write as fascinating and funny text.

There might be some holes in Terese’s knowledge about Finland, as she
writes “See what happens when you join the EU?” Actually, Finland
joined European Union in the year 1995.

Looking forward to reading about her further writings.

Katja Paulaharju (MEdL)

CRIKEY: Check out Therese Catanzariti’s story here – Lunchtime in Helsinki

Paul McGeough’s Walkley

If the reception his
nomination got is any indication Paul McGeough Walkley is well and
truly going to get his opponents coming out of the woodwork.

Chief among their complaints is the credibility of his report
on interim (unelected) Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. McGeough has
reported that Allawi had killed prisoners who were regime opponents in
cold blood. The complainants argue that this story cannot be true. The
point to the way it was only picked up by few reputable newspapers and
plenty of radical leftist and Islamic sites.

But think about it for a moment. What would have happened if his story WAS true?

It
reminds of the story of the young person who was telling his elders
that ancient people were so stupid for thinking that the sun revolved
around the earth “how stupid it that he said?” One of the elders
responded. “I wondered how it would have looked if the sun did revolve
around the earth?”

We are faced with the same situation.
Whether the story is true or not we are going to get the journalist
telling us that’s its true and Allawi denying it. Regardless of the
truth the US and Australian governments would side with their
hand-picked choice for Iraqi ruler. Most of the international media
which uncritically accepted the WMD lies will want the kind of proof
that couldn’t possibly exist. Like the sun’s apparent motion in the sky
everything would appear exactly the same regardless of the truth.

So
it comes down to credibility. Do you believe a former CIA agent who has
engaged in terrorism in the past or do you believe a journalist who
established his credentials in Iraq over the previous two years?
McGeough’s peers recognised his credentials for that work in the past.
This time they had to make a choice as to who told the truth and they
chose wisely.

Congratulations Paul McGeough.

Your Hebrew-reading Media Watcher

Sol Salbe
You know the rest

Some Walkley thoughts from Boilermaker Bill

How
ironic that Wendy Bacon ended up getting to present the Walkley for
news reporting to Ellen Whinnett from the Hobart Mercury for undoing
Brother Jim’s legacy of Richard Butler as Governor!

How
outrageous that the Malcolm Knox story beat the AFR’s Rivkin stories
for investigative journalism – a worthy winner for Gold Walkley but not
the best investigative story??!!

Loved the Mike Moore and Clark and Dawe pieces – oh how we miss Frontline keeping the media honest, or at least halfway honest.

A well deserved Leadership Award to Les Carlyon – along with Gideon Haigh, the finest prose stylist writing in Australia today!

And
finally, full credit to SBS and the event producers for a tightly
edited, well run Awards night that honoured the talent without the need
to endure endless backslapping and high fiving.

Latham’s legacy

One
thing that we should be grateful to Latham for is that he stalled the
move to Canberra of Bob Carr. I have no doubt that Carr contemplated a
move to the Hill as the stateman, white knight, and saviour of the
nation. Given what Carr has done to NSW, the mind boggles at what he
could do in a national arena.

Diana

Walkley Awards, up there with the Logies

When will you lot realise the general public, (us great unwashed out here) don’t give a shit about the Walkley Awards.

Amazing how people of your ilk will pay out mercilessly on the Logies
(most accurately in my humble opinion), but somehow the Walkleys are oh
so bloody worthy.

F**k, you make out journalism is such a noble profession, up there with working in the refugee camps in the Sudan.

You’re just like politicians, accountants and train drivers – there are
some good ones and bad ones around, but hey, its just a job. Enough of
the hand wringing, journalism is no higher cause than most other
occupations you’d care to name.

I feel better now.

Tony from Northbridge

Fight the next election, not the last

From this day forward the Labor party should get behind Mark Latham and
concentrate on fighting the next election rather than the last. It is
well to remember that we are only 12 months away from the next election
run-up while the latest Morgan poll has Labor recovering to within a 2%
swing of victory as the Nats continue to tank.

Mark Latham has it all over Peter Costello and any other likely Liberal
contender in 2007. The election campaign showed how vulnerable
Costello is even in good times without Treasury holding is hand.
Witness his disastrous attempt to skewer Latham over costings, his
grandiose and unfulfilled promise to resign when proved wrong and his
inability to appreciate the difference between a Treasury projection
and a forecast as it applies to budget surpluses (how much of the
misguided pre-election pork barrelling rests on this appalling year 11
error).

If any one should doubt this analysis they should consider that Latham
was outpolling Costello as preferred PM just a couple of months into
his leadership. Strangely enough no head-to-head polls have been
published since.

I am willing to bet that internal Liberal polling has thrown up similar
results which are why Howard is still there and Costello is still
twiddling his thumbs.

John Kotsopoulos

The reality for Latham

The Labor party still does not get it. Latham is perceived as a
boofhead. He is un-electable. Nothing that he does in the next
three years will change that perception.

TW


Regional Partnership Program

See Minister Andersons’ allocation under the Regional
Partnership Program (RPP) is going to worth a look. Perhaps they should
look a little closer to Sydney.

The Sydney ACC called GROW
Employment Council has been assisting with RPP funds in other Liberal
seats. The seat of Wentworth received $201,000 from RPP the first time
ever RPP has ever made it’s way into a secure liberal seat. One wonders
if that could be because of the internal challenge going on at the
time. A little further out of Sydney is Macarthur, well all I can say
is that seat does very well out of RPP and Sustainable Regions program,
yet just up the road at Liverpool there was no allocation of any RPP
funds while Parramatta received RPP funding.

But that’s not
all GROW does. It provides RPP funding to Board Members. From 2002-
2004 individuals and corporations on the board have received $685,000.
Not bad when you consider the allocation for Sydney until recently has
been $985,000 per year.

Anon

Hamilton Island snobs vs Geoff Dixon

It
was refreshing to read the letter in the AFR from Geoff Dixon,
regarding the snobs of Hamilton Island who are now being forced to
hob-nob with the ordinary people. Such an attitude from the CEO of a
major company is indeed refreshing.

Of course, now that
Geoff Dixon has exposed his true opinion, we presumably will start
seeing Geoff (mind if I call him Geoff? We are all equal now,
remember!) and Margaret Jackson sitting down the back of the aircraft
in economy when they need to fly somewhere – won’t we?

Dave

Nerdy Nanas know what’s what

CSI and Cold Case are interesting shows. I’m bemused by the way crime
scenes are contaminated by every cop/investigator walking over the
scenes, leaving finger prints and strands of long dyed tresses over the
victims. The sight of CSI people swanning into discos and inviting
possible suspects to have mouth swabs for DNA testing, has me screaming
with laughter. This amused me some much that I have taken to tossing
my hair, pouting my bosom and waving a cotton bud around the
grandchildren’s mouths. Nana! Between, the tears of laughter, I
started counting the ads and station promos. At least 7 between each
segment of the show. Not happy Nine!

New Years Resolution – Stick to
SBS and the ABC.

Nerdy Nana

Peter Fray

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